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The Trollope Project - Archives > The Warden: Chapters 6-10 - June 12-June 18

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message 1: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Second we go!!!

One, Mr. Bold seems a bit clueless when it comes to predicting the responses of those close to him regarding his actions against Mr. Harding and the hospital bequest. How does Eleanor respond to him? How does his sister, Mary, regard his actions? What is his defense?

Two, Mr. Harding also is clueless about Eleanor's reaction to Mr. Bold's action against him. What does he think Eleanor is concerned about regarding Mr. Bold? What are her real concerns? How does Eleanor finally overcome Mr. Harding's misunderstanding regarding her real concerns?

Three, we are introduced to the Jupiter in this section. From the little you can glean from the passage, is the Jupiter a trusted, investigatory type newspaper (like the Boston Globe in the film Spotlight or the NY Times)? Or is it a tabloid type paper? How is the news from the Jupiter generally received by the public? How do Mr. Harding's fears concerning the story and his desire to respond compare with Mr. Grantly's response to the story?

Four, how has Mr. Grantly's opinion of Mr. Bold changed?

Five, how does Trollope describe the Grantly's children? And how is the narrator of the story connected to the children?

Six, what is Sir Abraham's opinion regarding the case? What is Mr. Grantly's response to the opinion? What is the Bishop's response to the opinion? What is Mr. Harding's response to the opinion? Is Mr. Grantly correct in his assessment of the situation or should Mr. Harding's hopes and desires be taken seriously?

message 2: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod
John Bold is a man of action who sometimes leaps without looking. He thinks that he is going to help the old men get a fair deal, but he has only looked at numbers and papers, not at the real situation. These men are probably better housed and fed and have more disposable income than when they were working, since all their needs have been provided for them-- and they were contented.
Stirring things up and getting lawyers involved in the situation was not a wise mive on John's part. He is going to lose control of the situation very quickly.

It has already taken a toll on the relationship with his sister(who thinks he is being foolish) and Eleanor. He really is clueless about the effect his actions have on others, and on himself. I think Eleanor is upset because he doesn't take into the consideration the effect of all the publicity and fuss will have on her father, who knows how they feel about each other and made the first move towards reconciliation. John should have gone to the tea party!

Re: the Jupiter. It is eerily similar to the media of today with its half- truths and distorted facts, not responsible journalism. And then Abel Handy, who can't read, emroiders the article with even more inaccurate facts.

message 3: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2034 comments Mod
John Bold is a youthful idealist who finds out the hard way that things in real life aren't always simple. Many of us have been there! The press wants to show good guys and bad guys but there really aren't any bad people in the situation.

The children at Plumstead Episcopi are not real characters, but satires on specific church figures. It's a part of the book that probably doesn't mean much to us today. I don't think they have any additional part in the story.

message 4: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod
Here is a quote that describes Plumstead Episcopi:

On the whole, therefore, I found the rectory a dull house, though it must be admitted that everything was of the best.

I am impressed with the way Mrs. Grantly manages her household, and her husband.

message 5: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4455 comments Mod
For me Bold and Harding are characters which are similar. Bold is a crusader swept away by his desire to see justice done. He's focused only on that end, and any fallout from such is unimportant to him. I do think he sees the ramifications as evidenced by his earlier visit to Harding to let him know what he would be doing. It's the end goal that's important to him.

Justice is also important to Harding. He wants to ensure what has been done for the men, and the money he himself received was appropriate. He needs to have the intent of the will followed. He also wants justice for himself in having his innocence declared.

One big difference between the two is Harding now feels captive to the situation, where Bold finds it to be one more crusade out of the many in which he is involved. Harding is stuck with no positive outcomes possible for him.

message 6: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1282 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "Here is a quote that describes Plumstead Episcopi:

On the whole, therefore, I found the rectory a dull house, though it must be admitted that everything was of the best.

I am impressed with the w..."

I really liked how Trollope presented himself as someone intimate with their household!

message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) The change of voice when Trollope introduces the children was a bit of a bother for me. The voice is omniscient and we are seeing into the private chambers of the Archdeacon's bedroom and then suddenly the narrator is "I" and telling me his impressions of the children, as if he were a character in the story. A little jolting.

I also see Harding and Bold as basically the same kinds of people. Both are motivated by the right intentions and both are swept up into this problem, the difference of course being that Bold has a choice. I'm not convinced that Bold can keep any control over this thing now that the "press" is involved.

It is obvious that the Jupiter is a rag sheet and goes for what is sensational and most likely to please the public. They do not have any regard for accurately portraying Mr. Harding or his part in taking care of the men.

message 8: by Lynn (last edited Jun 13, 2016 05:00AM) (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments I agree, Sara. It was disconcerting when the narrator entered, without introduction or explanation as far as I remember. So I don't think that we're clear as to any relationship between him and the Grantly children.

The description of the children was rather cruel. It seems somewhat jarring that the Warden's grandchildren should be so unpleasant. Trollope was satirising the Church in his portrayal of the boys who are destined for the Church. Each of the three boys represents a Bishop of the time according to Hugh Hennedy, author of Unity in Barsetshire. The nickname of Soapy Sam, given to the particularly nasty child, is intended to refer to one Bishop Wilberforce who was a rather priggish man, opposed to the theory of evolution.

The Harding sisters seem very different from each other, Eleanor so similar to her father in her naivety and loving disposition while Susan is so worldly.

The Jupiter represents The Times, the leading English newspaper of the day. Trollope's satire on how newspapers can influence the public is savage but very convincing; just as true now as it was then.

message 9: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod
After reading the chapter "The Conference", I really sympathized with Mr. Harding. His son-in-law just can't understand his moral predicament. His concern for church revenues seems to be his ruling passion. The bishop is also overwhelmed by his son.

Here is a quote: The archdeacon's speech had silenced him-stupefied him-annihilated him; anything but satisfied him. With the bishop it fared not much better.......he saw enough to know that a battle was to be prepared for.....that would destroy his few remaining comforts, and bring him sorrow to the grave.

message 10: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2034 comments Mod
Harding wants true justice and fairness, not just the letter of the law.

message 11: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod

message 12: by aDystoPianClassic (last edited Jun 13, 2016 03:41AM) (new)

aDystoPianClassic (souveekpal) | 17 comments Both Eleanor and Mary are of the opinion that Mr. Bold should resign from his pursuit to seek justice for the bedesmen who are well off than they were ever in their life. Eleanor's demeanor seemed quite harsh when John Bold met her. Mr. Bold never got a chance to clarify his stance on the issue as Eleanor kept interrupting him and finally gave her verdict that she would believe her father to be always right, and if John attacks him in any manner, she would be forced to judge John harshly. As the narrator mentions, it was the way of young women to behave in a way that contradicted their heart. It must have taken all of Mr Bold's living spirit to see Eleanor go, whom he had loved with all his life, and to not give up the cause of the Bedesmen. The Jupiter, as is introduced in Chapter 7 seems more of popular newspaper with 200,000 readers than some small time tabloid. As Mr. Grantly points out-
"What Czar is in Russia, or the mob in America, that the Jupiter is in England"
it probably indicates that the newspaper like modern media worked on its whims and did not require evidences to criticize someone in front of its readers, and probably used lies and rumors to sensationalize a matter to its own benefit.

"He was doing nothing, thinking of nothing, looking at nothing; he was merely suffering" - how sad and troubled must Mr. Harding have been in his book room is clear in those lines along with several other lines in the chapter. Upon reading those lines, I can almost watch poor Mr. Harding, alone and hopeless sitting in the dark corner of a small room. A person can ignore sharpest and cruelest of criticisms if he has the faith that he has done no wrong, but here Mr. Harding's faith is on a shaking foundation. He is now not so sure that he had rightfully earned his salary, and that is the cause of his troubled mind. As a result, a judgement from court of law in his favor is hardly any relief to him. So the good news that Mr. Grantly shared about Mr. Haphazard's opinion could not uplift his spirits.

The dilemma in Mr Harding's mind... he never wanted anything more what he would have deserved, and he could see the easy way out - to renounce the post and the pay, and take a most where he could be happy again with his daughter, and music. Yet at the same time, he could not leave his post as a part of the clergy as that would have been against his duty towards it breathen, which would be cowardice.

So at the moment in seems there is no easy way out for poor Mr. Harding, and he has to suffer the pain for now.

message 13: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) What is sad to me is that the true care and concern that Mr. Harding has always shown for the men and his willingness to increase their stipend long before there was any question of his entitlement to the money is lost on the men themselves. Only Bunce is able to see that they have a champion and a true man in the Warden. The only person likely to be hurt in this situation is Mr. Harding and the people least likely to be helped, the bedesmen. The church is not going to suffer, the Archdeacon will see to that.

I admire Eleanor for sticking to her father, to her own detriment. She knows the man he is and she knows Bold knows the man he is, so it hard for her to imagine Bold doing something of this nature that would hurt her father (and I do not mean hurt him monetarily).

As for the Jupiter, I see the modern press portrayed here to perfection. We have this same situation now, Liberal bias, Conservative bias, but where lies the truth. I would never take any media story as factual anymore, you have to read both sides and try to find the truth if you can. But I do think in the 1960s most media stories would have been taken as facts. My parents would have been accepting of the information that came from Huntley and Brinkley or Cronkite. People accept the Jupiter perhaps in that same way, but they should be as leery as I am of the modern newscasters.

message 14: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4455 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "What is sad to me is that the true care and concern that Mr. Harding has always shown for the men and his willingness to increase their stipend long before there was any question of his entitlement..."

Re the news of the 60s. It was then an inbiased reporting of facts. The news was not a profit center for the network - it is now.

message 15: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod
I am glad that Mr. Harding and Eleanor had the conversation which revealed their inmost feelings to each other-- and that they support each other.
I like this quote about the situation, from near the end of chapter ten:

They spoke together of the archdeacon, as two children might of a stern, unpopular, but still respected school-master, and of th bishop as a parent kind as kind could be, but powerless against an omnipotent pedagogue.

I wonder if John Bold, who is so busy in London, is aware of just how much pain he is causing Mr. Harding?

message 16: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod
Souveek, I agree with your comments on the misunderstanding between John and Eleanor. They had to make some very difficult decisions about their future together.

aDystoPianClassic (souveekpal) | 17 comments Even though for most of the part between Chapter 6 - 10 I was feeling bad for Mr Harding, the conversation between Mr. & Mrs. Grantly was so funny in a sense, the way, she stopped Mr. Grantly from explaining things to her and the way she says. The funniest piece was how the narrator mentions that it was the tact and taken of women, that in the presence of a third person she acted meekly, and it was difficult to guess that the same women was not allowing Mr. Grantly to speak while in private.

aDystoPianClassic (souveekpal) | 17 comments Tact and Talent* (sorry for the typo... Using unofficial Goodreads app on microsoft phone

message 19: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Thanks, Robin and Lynn, on the information that the Grantly's children satirize real life church figures. I didn't come across that in my research so great to know.

I thought of them as representing class figures because he talked about how they treated people who were lower on the social and economic ladder.

I'm going to have to reread that section so I can read properly.

Also, agree with those who posted that bringing in the narrator like that was jolting. I had to look back to see if I missed the narrator's voice earlier in the book; I couldn't see the narrator earlier than that section but I might have missed it.

I don't think of the narrator as Trollope. It is another person who is telling the story. Which brings in the question on whether or not the narrator is reliable or not.

message 20: by Lynnm (last edited Jun 13, 2016 11:43AM) (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments Souveek wrote: "Even though for most of the part between Chapter 6 - 10 I was feeling bad for Mr Harding, the conversation between Mr. & Mrs. Grantly was so funny in a sense, the way, she stopped Mr. Grantly from ..."

That was one of my favorite scenes in this section.

Very amusing. Although, on the other hand, sad that women could only speak their mind in private and had to act meek in public. Of course, better than having to act meek both privately and publically.

message 21: by Lynnm (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments As for Dr. Grantly and Mr. Harding, I thought that Trollope did a wonderful job in bringing in the gray areas for both of their arguments.

Dr. Grantly is both right and wrong. Indeed, it is important for the church to be able to maintain their authority, and to make sure that outsiders do not sway their decisions. They have their mission and need to maintain their sovereignty.

Yet, history tells us that the church (or churches, looking at different sects) has overstepped its authority on many occasions. And when they do, we need those outsiders to call them out on it.

Mr. Harding is both right and wrong. A legal opinion does not put the church's decisions in the right. And if the church - and therefore, himself as a beneficiary of the church's decision - is doing something wrong, the wrong needs to be rectified.

At the same time, he does need to fight and stand tall. Just wanting to hide from the world, listening and playing music, isn't practical. If everyone did that, there would be no one to stand up for the people without a voice or power.

We feel sorry for Mr. Harding - Trollope makes him a sympathetic character who has our empathy - but it is the Dr. Grantly's and Mr. Bold's who do the work to keep the world running, just justly and orderly. Reminds me of Machiavelli. A leader has to be strong and tough.

message 22: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 570 comments And we have to remember that in England at this time, the church was an arm of the state, so it was an institution invested in the status quo and had authority beyond the voluntary participation of adherents. That power was eroding by the time Trollope was writing, but just that history of the state establishment of the Church of England (with the temporal monarch also the head of the church) makes it even more important to stand up to it when standing up is called for.

message 23: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Robin wrote: "Harding wants true justice and fairness, not just the letter of the law."

Correct. I agree totally. He is lead by his conscience because he is at heart a humble man.

message 24: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) According to the notes in the back of the Penguin Classics I have, The Jupiter is based on The Times which was called 'The Thunderer' because of it's generally reformist pronouncements of it's leader columns. So not a rag paper at all but a serious and widely regarded paper.
This paper states that there is 'a state of moral indifference' amongst the priest of the Church of England, and this will hit Mr. Harding very hard as he is concerned about this very thing in himself. Has he innocently being taking recompense for his services that he was not morally due?

I noted that Mary Bold was described as being, 'guided by a high principle of right and wrong.' She tries to take John out of his campaign with no success. He is a man of strong feelings but also not sufficiently occupied so looks for these campaigns to exert all his energy and intelligence. If he was otherwise occupied, as Mrs. Grantly rightly says, with a wife and family, this would not be the case. Basically he is a good man with too much time and energy on his hands right now.

The little tête-à-tête between the Grantlys is amusing; who is the real head of the home?

I was a little unsure what to make of the sudden long description of the boys and the almost zero referral to the girls in the Grantly family coming after the female dominance in the bedchamber of the older Grantlys. Any thoughts?

message 25: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2771 comments Mod
I wonder if the children will appear in future novels? Considering the fact that he has three strong female characters-Mrs. Grantly does not appear often but I think she rules the house, Mary Bold and Eleanor-he gives short shrift to tne two little girls.

message 26: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Rosemarie wrote: "I wonder if the children will appear in future novels? Considering the fact that he has three strong female characters-Mrs. Grantly does not appear often but I think she rules the house, Mary Bold ..."

I wondered if he was saying that females are born submissive but some choose and learn to be dominant. Was there some female controversy at the time of rights for women? He seemed to me to be making a comparison.
'she (Mrs. Grantly) stoutly held her ground...hardly allowing him (Dr. Grantly) to open his mouth in his own defence...But such is the tact and talent of women!'

message 27: by Lynn (new)

Lynn B | 17 comments The Grantly children, or at least some of them, do appear in future novels when they are adults. Trollope may have been typical of Victorian men in seeming to see small children as uninteresting and the province of mothers and females; young children rarely appear in his books. The boys appear here as they are destined to follow their father into careers in the Church and their descriptions are intended to satirise some Bishops in power at the time ( see Robin's message no 3).

message 28: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2034 comments Mod
We'll see some more powerful women in Barchester Towers.

message 29: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I'm busily working to catch up to the group. Loved all the comments so far. The scene between Eleanor and her father in chapter ten struck me as particularly poignant. And yes, the Grantlys are an amusing picture of married life in the time period, especially since Grantly is shown to be a bit of a bully in the world where his views are concerned.

Although, not really a bad guy. He truly seems to believe he is doing right by the church and by extension all the good of which the church is capable. I know from other reading that this was indeed a time of upheaval for the Church of England. But I haven't yet sorted through all the details.

message 30: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Rosemarie wrote: "John Bold is a man of action who sometimes leaps without looking. He thinks that he is going to help the old men get a fair deal, but he has only looked at numbers and papers, not at the real situation..."

Excellent post. I think Trollope is giving us a very clear picture of how blind adherence to an abstract principle and true caring for the best interests of individual people can sometimes be in almost reconcilable conflict.

message 31: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Robin wrote: "The press wants to show good guys and bad guys but there really aren't any bad people in the situation. "

Well, maybe except for the lawyers, who seem to do whatever they are paid to do without any particular concern for how it may affect innocent people.

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