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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 57

Summary

Fred goes to Lowick Parsonage, where Mary is spending a few days with the Farebrothers, helping the old ladies settle down. On the way, he visits the Garths, wishing to inform Mrs. Garth about his new work and seeking her approval. Her scholarly son, Christy, is back home for a holiday and she holds him up as an example to Fred. In addition, she wreaks her own frustration at losing Mr. Farebrother as a son-in-law on Fred by letting him know about the formerís feelings. Fred is astounded, as he never suspected it. He goes on to Lowick feeling he will lose Mary to his far superior rival. At the parsonage, the "rival" obligingly takes them to his study to give them privacy. They have an argument about the matter. But Mary relents, knowing of Fredís constancy towards her, and gives him fresh hope about her feelings for him. Yet she cannot help feeling a twinge at the loss of a man much admired by her, as well as that of a respectable status.


Notes

Fredís complacency is given a jolt in almost every aspect of his life. That he doesnít get embittered or give in to his self-pity is what in the authorís eyes, makes him worthy of happiness. The difficulties in this love affair come before the marriage and are resolved; thereby assuring the reader of the coupleís continued happiness. Here again, the Garth familyís example serves as a contrast to those of the other protagonists. The idea of alternative possibilities, as in Maryís case if she had married Farebrother, is a repeated motif in the novel.

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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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