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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 44

Summary

Lydgate meets Dorothea at the new hospital. He reassures her that there havenít been any physical changes in Casaubonís condition, but that he has been anxious to know the truth. After that, Lydgate cannot resist trying to interest her in the hospital itself. He tells her opposition to the whole project is chiefly personal hostility to Bulstrode, its chief sponsor; and to himself, its medical chief. Dorothea responds enthusiastically. She offers two hundred pounds a year, and envies him the knowledge to do great good. Later, she mentions the matter to Casaubon. He is sure she had found out that he was aware of his illness. He distrusts her affection and retreats into isolation.


Notes

The author brings in a note of sympathy between Lydgate and Dorothea, kindred souls struggling to achieve similar goals. There is a suggestion that Dorothea has found a channel for her frustrated energy and spirit of service. Lydgate's vigor and dynamism only serve to underline her plight as a woman-shut off from useful knowledge and the opportunity to develop her talents and usefulness.

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