When the narrator leaves the hospital, he is certainly distressed by everything he just went through, but as he teases out this strange feeling he starts to regard it as a positive development. Not only does he wonder about the words and affect he has just expressed in his final conversation with the factory official/doctor, but he is also convinced that he no longer fears important men. To be frank, I was really puzzled by this portion because it seems to represent a distinct shift in his psychology as a character: “We, he, him—my mind and I—were no longer getting around in the same circles. Nor my body either” (249), yet I am having trouble pinning down exactly how he changed, other than these paragraphs expressing his sense of confusion and dissociation. His fear of important men is certainly diminished as we can see from the spittoon incident at the boarding house and his general distrust of authority within the brotherhood, but why did the fight in the boiler room and the subsequent accident and electroshock therapy precipitate this shift in his attitude? In a novel that seems to be seriously concerned with the formation of one’s identity, what are we to make of his brief but nearly total loss of identity and the way it seems to reorient him?