Book 1 “Romantic egoist”
This story begins with the description of Amory’s childhood. This boy comes into the world in a rather wealthy family. His mother, Beatrice Blaine, is an intelligent and educated woman. She brings up her child in luxury. They travel around the world and enrich their knowledge about people living all over the world. Amory is a disobedient and spoiled child. He doesn’t listen to his mother, and as a result, Beatrice has a nervous breakdown. Afterwards, she decides to send him to the Catholic Church of her friend Monsignor Darcy.
When he grows up, he becomes a sensible guy, but still spoiled. He always goes to the parties with his friends, where his first kiss with Myra happens. His teachers consider him to be sensible, but lazy boy. One day he visits his mom, but she is in depression because of the alcohol. And he decides to go to St. Regis School in Connecticut. But he thinks that the prep school will destroy his life. His first days at school aren’t excellent. He doesn’t have friends, because he is very proud. After, he finds friends and decides to leave the prep school and go to Princeton.
There he meets Kerry Holiday, Burne Holiday, and the young poet Tom D'Invilliers. Also he tries to get his foot on the ladder and begins to write poems. When the World War I starts, Amory comes backs to Minneapolis after his first year. After some time, he returns to Princeton and becomes a sophomore. Unfortunately, Amory’s father dies and he is forced to come back home. At Christmas Amory visits Monsignor Darcy and informs him about his decision to leave the university. But Darcy persuades him to drop the idea.
During the World War I the United States got involved in it. Amory is taken into the military service, but his best friend Burne refuses to fight for the country. Amory also wants to get rid of it, but he is anxious what people may think about him.
Two years pass and Amory comes back. His old friend Kerry Holiday dies during the war. Burne Holiday disappears. People don’t even know what happened to him.
Book 2 “The Education of a Personage”
This part of the book starts in New York. The author describes the young lady Rosalind Connage, the sister of Alec Connage. Alec is Amory’s roommate. Alec’s family discusses Amory’s arrival and life, and Amory is pleasantly surprised. Alec is sure that Amory and Rosalind would make a good couple, because they both are proud. Amory falls in love with her at once. But Rosalind wants to marry the wealthy man, Gillespie. At the party, Amory forces Rosalind to pretend that she loves him. She agrees, but after some time she breaks his heart. Amory understands everything and accepts it.
After the parting, Amory begins to drink alcohol. He is in despair and is rather depressed. His chief always complains on his working in a drunken state. Amory thinks about committing a suicide. But one day he gets a letter from Monsignor Darcy and decides to visit him. In Maryland he meets a girl called Eleanor. After spending time together they both understand that it is only a love affair and take it like “young irony”.
After some days, Amory starts to forget about Rosalind, but when he gets morning newspaper he sees the article about the engagement of Rosalind and Ryder. This makes him torture.
From this moment, Amory always has a discussion with his inner world. He realized that there are many important things in the world that are worth to fight for to the end. It is really important to respect people. By the end of this story he becomes a completely different person he used to be and looks at the world with self-realization and bawls “I know myself… but that is all”.