Free Study Guide for The Assistant by Bernard Malamud|
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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES
Frank sets out to find Ward Minogue. Frank recalls the night of the robbery. When Ward and himself could not rob Karp, they decided to rob Bober. At the time of the robbery, Frank knew of no meaningful difference between the two men, so he was agreeable with the change of target. Now, Frank finds Ward in a poolroom. He asks for his gun back. He wants to throw it into the river where it will never be found. Frank is afraid that, even though he bought it through a fence, it could be traced if Ward lost it. Ward wants to try again to rob his original target, Karp, in retaliation for the way he treated him as a child. Frank talks him out of it, and refuses to take part in any future robbery. Ward tells him that he knows what he has been up to at the grocery store. Ward disapproves. Frank doesn't succeed in getting back the gun.
Later, when Ida is preparing to close for the night, Helen mentions that she plans to take a bath. With this knowledge, Frank, after a short internal struggle, climbs into the dumbwaiter shaft and manages to peep at Helen as she is naked in the bathroom.
In this chapter, we learn for sure what we may have suspected. Frank was one of the robbers. And, Ward Minogue was the other.
Some readers will feel a connection to Frank Alpine. They will see him as someone similar to themselves. Most, if not all, of us are a mixture of good and bad, in varying proportions.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Assistant".
. 10 May 2008