Looks like I misread Mr Brooke a bit. He’s not liberal with his tenants, he’s sort of a slum landlord. He thinks he’s a jolly chap but his tenants are drunk and have had it with him.
I like that Eliot is making Mr Brooke an all-around good guy. We see some of the dirty underbelly of this sort of life that everyone is guilty of to one degree or another. We’re all hypocrites about some things, I suppose.
“We must not have you getting too learned for a woman, you know.”
Oh, my, how times have changed. Imagine saying this to someone today.
This does bring up a related issue, however. Joseph Conrad is forever being labeled a racist for saying things like this about other races, yet is Eliot taken to task for having her characters speak as people did then? They are only products of their time, for good and bad.
I’m going to have to admit to some ignorance in this chapter. I feel as if I was plopped down in the middle of a conversation about things and (some) people I don’t know anything about. I get they’re talking local politics and that Mr Brooke is (perhaps?) being too liberal with his new newspaper and how lax he is collecting rents from his farms. Beyond that, I’m a little lost here.
Strange image of a dying, almost infantile Feijoo covered in kittens, his memory failing, his hearing failing, living mostly in a strange present as if the world was being forgotten. It’s a sad but also sort of wonderful image, to live only in the moment in a patchy of sun.
Apt comparison between Dona Lupa’s money being as loved as a child. At least the money didn’t cause as many headaches! Funny how for the poor (Fortunata) and the rich (Juanito) money is just a means to an end, but for the middle class (Dona Lupa) it’s the entire world.
So she’s pregnant and Maximiliano, like some Native American having a vision (the hash), guesses it. That at least explains why she’s even more upset at being dumped by Juanito. And just imagine living in that house, so depressing with everyone keeping secrets or grudges or just plain mad.
Moreno’s heart literally exploded.
At least Fortunata has someone, Aurora, to talk with about everything. Mauricia was batguano crazy even if she was a kindered spirit, but Aurora is a smart and successful woman who knows all the parties concerned so she’s a good ear.
This is the second such chapter where the style of writing becomes almost post modern. With Moreno it was a stream of consciousness that ended in a sudden death, with Fortunata it’s like a screenplay where she’s trying to stage manage the memories and arguments with Juanito.