[Clara] had started him thinking and he believed she was partly right. He felt like a factory-owner who after accusing a clerk of dishonesty finds that his own son, in the office, is changing the books once a week.This Side of Paradise p. 105
What Amory failed to see, that Clara pointed out, was that he had lousy judgment. But while Clara teaches him a fact, she can’t move him to remedy this defect, for Amory believes himself to be Nietzsche’s Superman. One would think this realization would humble him, would get him out of his head. But no, Amory can’t get out of his way and assumes that what comes into his head is the right thing to say—as we see a few lines later:
“I think,” he said and his voice trembled, “that if I lost faith in you I’d lose faith in God.”
But to say that to one who “was very devout, always had been,” well, that was the quickening of the end of that relationship. Clara didn’t want to be worshipped, yet Amory thought his worship of her would be enough for her—or at least he hoped it would. She was unmoved, for she knew the difference between worship and love.
But how many others have foolishly accepted the misguided worship or faux worship of another human being. We struggle to worship our creator aright—so why are we so deceived into groveling at the worship of a fellow creature, who ultimately won’t worship consistently—especially one of the opposite sex?
We were made to worship, not to be worshipped, and God is a jealous God. He’s not jealous in the vindictive, petty jealousy of the Roman gods. He is, instead, jealous for his people, like a shepherd for his sheep, knowing that their straying toward another object is in no way good for them. Amory, because he worshipped the creature rather than the creator could not escape the downward spiral.