This whole chapter Ladislaw is almost exclusively referred to as just Will. So there is a familiarity between her and him, but just subtle. And the difference with how he speaks to her as opposed to Mr. Casaubon (always Mr.) is striking – they speak more as two people close in age should speak (for the times). She’s also (through Will) seeing the world (and Casaubon) from a fresh point of view.
Not that it’ss any surprise to the reader that Dorothea is growing miserable, but what is remarkable is how beautifully written this chapter is. She describes Rome as being this beautiful wreck of a city, a city that has made the civilized world, but is also neglected and difficult to understand. These descriptions of Rome reflect how she feels and it feels so lonely. And we end where ch 19 begins.
So that’s why we were told the mouse story. We should have remembered Sor Marcela had that cognac and that’s why Maurica is seeing things because she’s drunk is all. One little mouse and then another.
That windmill seems to represent Fortunata’s passion for Maximiliano: listless and providing very little energy, but stable, too.
Fortunata does not believe her manic friend, who is sitting on the manure pile, has really seen the Virgin. Everyone else does, even the most naive nun (the former aristocrat lady who never sins), but I mean, come on, she is literally sitting on a pile of compost. Or is this symbol deeper than the obvious?
I like how there is a distinction between the monstrance and the eucharist inside – the jewel is the vessel but the truth the cargo. And the way the ‘white idea’ (eucharist; Christ) speaks in her is very plain and simple and veneracilar. And she’s smiling to herself as she prays. Be grateful for what you’re given.
Fortunata taking with Maurica about her upcoming marriage as she washes the clothes = getting clean. The clothes hiss faintly when held under water as if the sin is washing out of them.
The nuns sure are worried about the girls having sex with each other.
I guess I’ve been too easy on Guillermina. I didn’t think about how she was complicit in ‘buying’ Pituso, and now we learn how she had the police grab the girl Felisa and force her to the convent.