restoration of the old alignment

p. 34:

Her eyebrows had been plucked and then drawn on again at a more rakish angle but the efforts of nature toward the restoration of the old alignment gave a blurred air to her face.

As the little coterie of Mrs. Wilson’s friends arrive at the apartment, Fitzgerald does a quick, cutting sketch of each. This is Catherine, Myrtle’s sister – we’ve all known someone like her. The would-be sophisticate, clanking around in her style that is as inimitable as she imagines, but not for the reasons she’s presumed. She’s lost whatever true self she has in the drastically plucked eyebrows, but the lack of character keeps emerging to smudge the image she tried to construct.

I also like the Hobbesian description of Mr. McKee’s photographic muse: “His wife was shrill, languid, handsome and horrible.”

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