It’s impossible not to notice how immensely intelligent Eliot is. And not just that she knows a lot of facts – what good are facts? – but that the sign of a truly intelligent person is knowing what the facts mean. Here she uses them to underscore a point she want to make, or to whatever purpose she needs them for. I doubt many of her male contemporaries were half as smart as her.
Casaubon only wants a woman who won’t get in his way so he can just keep doing what he’s always done while he gets too old to do anything else.
Dorothea thinks Milton’s daughters were more submissive than they were. She won’t learn Latin just as she won’t learn Casaubon’s language. She can’t love if she feels inferior.
Brooke is teasing Casaubon. I love it.
“But her feeling towards the vulgar rich was a sort of religious hatred: they had probably made all their money out of high retail prices, and Mrs. Cadwallader detested high prices for everything that was not paid in kind at the Rectory”, and “when a woman is not contradicted, she has no motive for obstinacy in her absurdities.”
Mrs. Cadwallader is great! This novel is great! It’s SO funny, even modern!
“I don’t think it can be nice to marry a man with a great soul” Ha!
“always a few grains of common-sense in an ounce of miserliness”
Now I understand why Brooke is, so far, allowing this marriage – he’s a bit of a progressive, a liberal. He’s willing to let his daughters be free, up to a certain point. But maybe he’s like this out of being timid around strong women; probably why he’s a bachelor.
Mr. Casaubon’s letter never once used the word love, though Dorothea’s letter says “I am very grateful to you for loving me” right at the start. He seems to want some sort of intellectual buddy or at least someone willing to devote themselves to him but not to lovingly return the sentiment.
Celia, of course, picks up on this immediately. “Oh, Dodo, I hope you will be happy.” she says quite lovingly.
Ha! His first words to Jacinta are “big whore”. How arrogant of her to think she can just take the child only because he’s poor. Even Plato has some idea of manners and is even good with the boy. She thinks he’s going to break their necks when they first go in the door, he waves the little boy’s hand at her when she leaves.
Nearly every character has multiple names. And while it’s not difficult to keep track of it is easy to forget that Pituso last chapter is now Juanin this chapter.
While Ido doesn’t have Kuru (cannibals disease), he is badly effected from eating food rich people would normally eat, as if he’s allergic to fine things or that it causes him to act foolish like a rich person – he’s a good man when just eating beans and being poor.
The opposite could be said too, however. In that in every royal stood the real Spaniards, even those who where poor and had done nothing. Plato is more than just a buffoon.
“There is no human being, no matter how despicable he may seem, who cannot stand out in something,” Izquierdo (Plato) could pose for painters as famous men. A stand in, pretender. Very funny, actually. He lied about his revolutionary activity, now he’s a royal imposter. And no audience would know, either!
Maybe what Galdos is saying through this failed revolutionary is that with all Spain has been through it’s all still a failure. He’s had every profession, but he can’t read or write and has no future (though Ido who is literate is also a failure). Meanwhile the rich live worried about they banks.
Two of these revolutions were successful, the moderate Vicalvarada or “Vicálvaro Revolution” of 1854 and the more radical la Gloriosa (Glorious Revolution) in 1868. The latter marks the end of Isabella’s monarchy. The brief rule of the liberal king Amadeo I of Spain ended in the establishment of the First Spanish Republic
This Izquierdo is whom the boy is living with. He’s some sort of revolutionary but now is a bum. Is the author saying something about the revolutionaries?
Ido, Literary critic of misspelled posted signs. Ha! “It’s one thing to correct the public’s spelling and quite another to take certain corrective measures with the human species.”
Previous chapter we get Juanito’s cold and how he cried and acted like a baby with everyone fawning over him. This chapter we see real poverty and here too the men seem worthless (or greedy).
sad how such a small amount of money mean to someone so poor. To Jacinta the coin means almost nothing, to Ido he guards it jealously.
Ido, the crazy writer, is made to carry bricks, not engage in a literary project. For his effort he’ll get a new bowler hat. Is this a slam on the useless arts?
a pitiful pride with dirty Pituso leading the formation on his way to be washed by the lady making a show of her clean water, as if her water is better than her neighbors. Great image.
the first time Jacinta sees the boy (us too) he’s covered in that ink. Earlier it was alluded that children were introduced to bad novels to spice up the plot, so this is almost a meta reference. But he’s also compared to the devils like the other children which parallels his low class.
This tour through the slum is fascinating. All the color, the noise, the filth, the little children dirty and looking like Devils.
Instead of a child Jacinta has a husband who is worse than a fussy baby.
So we finally learn there is a son after all.
What a strange scene with the other reader epileptic man, Ido. It’s cruel of Juanito to work him up like that, shows little sympathy for someone poor and hungry. And what if Ido is a former writer in a nation where nobody reads? Art so far in the novel has been lacking in the characters lives.
He writes dreams very well. Jacinta dreaming of the boy who wants her breast but then doesn’t take it, and her waking to see the men in the theater with heads leaned back and mouths open as they are enraptured by Wagner’s music.
“… they all vehemently set forth their opinions like prophets, as if they had never done anything but correctly fortell the future.”
The men worry about the economy and their stock, Guillermina is busy trying to pay the rent for the orphanage.
Villalonga and Casa-Munoz (both house names?) are full of themselves and try to be more educated than they are as they argue about Spain becoming a Republic after the king abdicated