Parallels / Contrasts:
One Parallel that comes up is the idea of eating a candy bar in the alley. Neil says he though about leaving the Patimkin house and going back to where he "might even sit in the alley and break candy with my own" (40). Neil is just a little uncomfortable with Julie and he wants to be somewhere where he knows he belongs and knows he will be comfortable. The first time he had gone to the Patimkin house he had thought of "Aunt Gladys and Uncle Max sharing a Mounds bar in the cindery darkness of their alley, on beach chairs..." (9). In this passage Neil is comparing the life he has in Newark to the life the Patimkin family has.
A contrast in this chapter is based off the same quote on page 40. Neil is unhappy at the Patimkin house and he wants to go back to his house. When he first went to their house, however, he remarked at how perfect it was saying that driving to the suburbs brought one "closer to heaven" (8). When he first sees Short Hills he thinks the place is perfect but now he seems to long for his life in Newark.
The Whisky bottle in the Patimkin's basement
The Stool Martha Winney fell off
The Fruit in the Fridge
I think the most important prop would be the stool. The stool symbolizes the dead end job that Neil is stuck in. He realizes his greatest possible achievement is to be head of the Reference Room at the library and he doesn't want to be stuck there forever.
The reader gets some class consciousness as Neil walks through the Patimkin house and notices everything they have there Neil notices the huge amount of fruit in the fridge at their house he also notices the "freezer big enough to house a family of eskimos" (42). Neil is noticing the small things that make his life different to the Patimkin's life. I think it is the small things sometimes that make one jealous of another person.
Insights / Truths:
One moment of insight for Neil is when he takes some fruit from the Patimkin fridge and Julie "peeked to see if they [my hands] were empty" (44). Neil realizes that he is not really welcomed at least by Julie. It seems as though she does not want him in her house and that she is really judging him harshly.
Meaningful / Confusing Passsages:
I was confused by how upset Julie got when Neil beat her in ping-pong. I was also confused by how rude Neil was to her. I think Neil had just never experienced winning like that and that he needed to beat Julie to feel good about himself. I also think that Julie had never experienced a loss like that before.