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AMORY, SON OF BEATRICE
SPIRES AND GARGOYLES
THE EGOTIST CONSIDERS
NARCISSUS OFF DUTY
THE DEBUTANTE
EXPERIMENTS IN CONVALESCENCE
YOUNG IRONY
THE SUPERCILIOUS SACRIFICE
THE EGOTIST BECOMES A PERSONAGE

 

"Who is one? What makes you one?" 

 

Amory considered. 

 

"Why--why, I suppose that the _sign_ of it is when a fellow slicks his 

hair back with water." 

 

"Like Carstairs?" 

 

"Yes--sure. He's a slicker." 

 

They spent two evenings getting an exact definition. The slicker was 

good-looking or clean-looking; he had brains, social brains, that is, 

and he used all means on the broad path of honesty to get ahead, 

be popular, admired, and never in trouble. He dressed well, was 

particularly neat in appearance, and derived his name from the fact that 

his hair was inevitably worn short, soaked in water or tonic, parted 

in the middle, and slicked back as the current of fashion dictated. The 

slickers of that year had adopted tortoise-shell spectacles as badges 

of their slickerhood, and this made them so easy to recognize that Amory 

and Rahill never missed one. The slicker seemed distributed through 

school, always a little wiser and shrewder than his contemporaries, 

managing some team or other, and keeping his cleverness carefully 

concealed. 

 

Amory found the slicker a most valuable classification until his junior 

year in college, when the outline became so blurred and indeterminate 

that it had to be subdivided many times, and became only a quality. 

Amory's secret ideal had all the slicker qualifications, but, in 

addition, courage and tremendous brains and talents--also Amory conceded 

him a bizarre streak that was quite irreconcilable to the slicker 

proper. 

 

This was a first real break from the hypocrisy of school tradition. The 

slicker was a definite element of success, differing intrinsically from 

the prep school "big man." 

 

 

"THE SLICKER" 

 

1. Clever sense of social values. 

 

2. Dresses well. Pretends that dress is superficial--but knows that it isn't. 

 

3. Goes into such activities as he can shine in. 

 

4. Gets to college and is, in a worldly way, successful. 

 

5. Hair slicked. 

 

 

"THE BIG MAN" 

 

1. Inclined to stupidity and unconscious of social values. 

 

2. Thinks dress is superficial, and is inclined to be 


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