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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 25

Summary

Fred rushes to Stone Court to confess to Mary. He thinks prompt confession will gain him immediate forgiveness. Mary is furious with him and deeply disturbed about her familyís suffering. She denounces his selfish pleasure seeking which doesnít care who suffers as a consequence. Fred is filled with despair. She feels sorry but is impatient at his being "so contemptible, when others are working and striving." Fred is cheered up by her satirical description of his future as a fat, shabby parasite in old age. Her change of mood encourages his incorrigible optimism. He leaves in a better mood, but feeling slightly ill.

Mary awaits her fatherís visit, and he comes soon after dusk. After some conversation with Featherstone, Caleb takes Mary aside. He tells her hesitantly about this financial problem and she promptly offers her savings. Caleb gently warns her about Fredís unreliable nature that "a woman ... has got to put up with the life her husband makes for her "just as his own wife and suffered on his account. Mary assures him that she will never commit herself to "one who has no manly independence." He goes away comforted. Featherstone taunts Mary with her fathers poverty, to which she sharply replies.


Notes

This chapter develops the same Themes already introduced in the earlier one. It contrasts Fred, with no proper guidance from his parents, being selfish and extravagant. While Mary, principled and self-respecting has deep love and respect for her parents, which is returned by them. Even while working for Featherstone, Mary is independent and expects nothing from him, while Fred lives in a foolís paradise, believing he is his heir.

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