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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 77

Summary

Rosamond is steeped in melancholy, gentle, and abstracted, so that Lydgate feared her. The only cheerful thing in her life seemed to be the arrival of Ladislaw. Somehow she linked his arrival with an attachment to herself personally. She is also hopeful that after he came, she could persuade her husband to quit Middlemarch, and get her fatherís help in resettling in the city.

Dorothea also thought of Ladislaw, more so since Bulstrodeís scandal, when people began to speak of him, as "the grandson of a thieving Jew pawnbroker." Since his last angry statement when leaving her, she has been confident of his love for her. She cherishes that, though with no thought of marriage, and the public disapproval arouses her sympathy afresh.

That morning, she calls on Rosamond as promised, taking along the check for Lydgate. The maid shows her into the drawing room. Leaving Rosamond there, the maid goes in search of her mistress. She stumbles in a weeping Rosamond, with Will Ladislaw clasping her hands and speaking to her in a low tone. Stunned, Dorothea formally hands over the check and hurries away, leaving the other two frozen with shock.


Notes

The two women had up to this point lived parallel lives, in which they are repeatedly shown in contrast to each other. Now their lives are shown intersecting dramatically. It is through such meeting-points that the diverse sections of the plot mesh together, yet do it naturally and convincingly. Both women are contrasted yet again through their feelings for the same man. To Rosamond, he is a fantasy romance, through whom she can escape, in her mind, from her husband and his real-life problems. To Dorothea, the confidence that he feels deeply for her, gives her comfort, although she does not probe the nature of her own feelings.

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