Until late in the novella, the narrator fails to understand the Fonstein's desire for closure. "I break my head trying to understand why it's so important for Fonstein. He's been turned down ? So he's been turned down" (p. 22). The narrator wants to wash his hands of his own heritage "I didn't want to think of the history and psychology of these abominations, death chambers and furnaces. Stars are nuclear furnaces too. Such things are utterly beyond me, a pointless exercise" (p. 29). His "advice to Fonstein - given mentally - was: Forget it. Go American" (p. 29). The narrator has an odd comment to the portly Sorella, suggesting she is the living incorporation of European Jews: "Maybe Sorella was trying to incorporate in fatty tissue some portion of what he had lost - members of his family" (p. 48).
When Sorella meets Billy in 1959 (p. 58), she has a packet of evidence from Billy's deceased assistant Deborah Hamet (called Horsecollar (p. 16) because of Yiddish word khomet), accusing Billy Rose of bribing "Robert Moses' people to put across my patriotic Aquacade at the Fair" (p. 55) among other misdeeds (see photo 1939 World's Fair Aquacade).