The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

30 views
The Trollope Project - Archives > Doctor Thorne: Chapters 19-24 - October 23-October 29

Comments Showing 1-47 of 47 (47 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lynnm (last edited Oct 23, 2016 05:09AM) (new)

Lynnm | 3027 comments One, Frank and others are invited to dinner with the Duke of Onnium. How is the dinner symbolic? In other words, how is the Duke and the way he treats his guests symbolic of the aristocracy? Why is Frank upset? How do his reasons echo in many ways the reasons why Mary Thorne is upset over her treatment by the Greshams?

Two, Frank tries to propose to Miss Dunstable. Why is she so upset - even cries - when Frank tries to propose to her?

Three, Frank gives Mr. Moffat a thrashing with a whip. Why? And how does he pull it off? What is the reaction of his father? Of Mary? How do the gossips get it wrong? What ends up happening with Mr. Moffat?

Four, Roger loses his seat in Parliament. Why? Why is the process a bit hypocritical?

Five, There are numerous relationship and behavioral consequences to Lady Arabella's edict banishing Mary from Greshamsbury. How does Mary's reaction to her banishment handcuff Doctor Thorne's reaction? What actions do Doctor Thorne take with regard to his relationship with the Greshams? How does her banishment change the relationship between Mary and Beatrice? Why is Mary uncomfortable when the Squire visits her? How does she overturn their roles?

Six, describe Louis Scatcherd. How is he like his father? How is he unlike his father? How do his classmates treat him at Eton and Cambridge? Who does he end up running with when shunned from elite society?


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1369 comments Mod
Frank is angry because the duke, despite his wealth, has no manners. He doesn't greet or talk to his guests. Frank is accustomed to very different behavior at his father's house. However, I felt he overreacted a bit. Why couldn't he just relax, after realizing what the situation was, and enjoy his meal and the company of his neighbor?

Annnnnddd... Frank ended up doing something stupid, as I was afraid he would. Luckily, more due to Miss Dunstable speaking out plainly than to his own merits, Frank was able to convince her that he wasn't after her money and they were able to continue to enjoy each other's company. I hope Miss Dunstable is eventually able to find love - if that's what she wants - or at least some good friends who love her for herself and not her money. We kind of see Mary Thorne, Miss Dunstable, and the DeCourcy girls (I'm thinking of the one who was talking about Augusta's wedding with Beatrice when Mary came in. Alexandrina? Margaretta?) in opposition to one another. Mary has beauty, good character, good education and manners, but no money (at least not at this point) and no blood (not legitimately). Miss Dunstable has lots of money and a good personality (but not one that is conventionally "feminine" for the times), but not much beauty. The DeCourcy girls have beauty, blood, and money, but bad character.

We've heard about another of our friends from Barchester Towers. Dr. Stanhope has died. I hope Charlotte can find a way to take care of the rest of the family.

I was wondering, does Frank really love Mary? He's young and notices the other girls too. Does he just feel like he loves Mary because everyone is against him in this, and this makes her more enticing?


message 3: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 751 comments Each section I read makes me think THIS is my favorite section. *Lols at self* I think the conversation with Miss Dunstable will be the making of Frank. (And probably the behaviors of both Omnium and Moffat) I think his friendship and affection for her is genuine and her reaction is exactly that which will turn him into the man he's meant to be, since it's hits him both emotionally and intellectually. (I, too, hope Trollope has a great life waiting for Dunstable. She's a wonderful character.) When he whips Moffat like a cur, it felt like he was doing it because of the disrespect done to his sister rather than to his pride.


message 4: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2205 comments Mod
it seems realistic to me that Frank , as such a young man, would notice other women besides Mary, and would have his pride hurt that Miss Dunstable seems to prefer his cousin (which is not true). And he wants to be able to tell his family he tried. It is true that money as such isn't important to him, it's his family that requires it.
This is a lot like Barchester when Bertie Stanhope proposes to Mrs. Bold, almost certain she will reject him. The funny thing is that the suitor has to say he loves the woman, thinks only of her, etc. Mr. Moffat is the same when he absolutely has eyes only for her fortune.


message 5: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Lori wrote: "
I was wondering, does Frank really love Mary? He's young and notices the other girls too. Does he just feel like he loves Mary because everyone is against him in this, and this makes her more enticing?"


Excellent question. Forbidden fruit? Rebellion for rebellion's sake?


message 6: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Robin wrote: "This is a lot like Barchester when Bertie Stanhope proposes to Mrs. Bold, almost certain she will reject him. "

Nice. Yes, it is a lot like that. Both men are set to the task by their families, and neither really wants to marry the woman but feels they have to ask.


message 7: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2894 comments Mod
I think that Frank was upset at the dinner for the following reasons:
The Duke, as the host, did not greet each guest and say his goodbyes as is done among friends who know their guests. As far as the Duke was concerned, he appeared to be above all that. Frank, modest as he is, knew that there was something wrong with that behaviour. It was demeaning for him to be condescended to in that way, and he feels insulted.
Mary is more aware of the social nuances, for lack of a better word, and is aware of Lady Arabellla's attitude to her social standing, so Mary avoids the situation. Frank is too inexperienced in the ways of the world, but he instinctively knew when it was time to leave the dinner- and that he would not go to a similar dinner again.


message 8: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Yes Lori, it's true that the duke certainly had no manners and, as Rosemarie says, Frank is demeaned by the duke's treatment of him. Frank is after all not merely a Gresham of Greshamsbury but he is also a de Courcy. His rank demands respect but the duke obviously thinks that he is above all that meeting and greeting. Mary is similarly snubbed by the Greshams, well at least by Lady Arabella. Frank's experience at the duke's dinner parallels that of Mary.

In the U.K. today the royal family take precedence over the higher tiers of the aristocracy and yet they seem (almost) always to have their manners intact. It would appear that the Duke of Omnium feels that he has something to prove or simply finds the whole business too tedious. He ought not to throw a dinner party if that is the case. His behaviour shows him not to be a gentleman no matter what Society might think.


message 9: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments I think that Frank genuinely loves Mary, but he is young and is easily distracted. I even think
that he was a little taken up with his game with Miss Dunstable. There seemed to be a little bit of playing with love. He got on so well with her on a personal level but was brought up short just in time before he led poor Miss Dunstable up the garden path. Poor Miss Dunstable was genuinely sad since she longs that something like a match with Frank could work for her but she sees it slipping more and more away. How could she ever be sure that she herself was wanted and not simply her money?


message 10: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Frank shows what he is made of in his attack of Mr Moffat. Certainly this is not acceptable, but it is understandable. Just as Frank shows his loyalty in defence of his sister so Dr Thorne defends Mary in his boycott of the Greshams. This is as it should be.


message 11: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 86 comments I'm struck by how well Trollope develops his characters in this novel. Is that a standard aspect of his novels? Besides, he has an interesting ability to blend serious aspects with comedy (it is hard to know the difference at times).


message 12: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 86 comments Hilary wrote: "Frank shows what he is made of in his attack of Mr Moffat. Certainly this is not acceptable, but it is understandable. Just as Frank shows his loyalty in defence of his sister so Dr Thorne defends Mary in his boycott of the Greshams."

True. However, in regards to Mary, is Dr. Thorne really doing the right thing in terms of shielding her so completely from Scatcherd?


message 13: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Hilary wrote: "Frank shows what he is made of in his attack of Mr Moffat. Certainly this is not acceptable, but it is understandable. Just as Frank shows his loyalty in defence of his sister so Dr Thorne defends ..."

More acceptable then, perhaps, than today. Today wouldn't it be viewed as sexist for a man to think that he had to be the one to defend the woman's honor? Aren't women today considered capable of defending their own honor perfectly well?

But in Frank's day, of course, it was different, and appropriate.


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Haaze wrote: "I'm struck by how well Trollope develops his characters in this novel. Is that a standard aspect of his novels? "

Yes. As I find Hardy more powerful in developing scene and setting than character, I find Trollope wonderful on character but less powerful on setting and scene. (For example, his geography of the Barsetshire novels is inconsistent. Hardy would never make such mistakes.)


message 15: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments I'm not sure, Haaze, whether I understand precisely what you're saying. A little bit of the sentence is missing on my iPhone but I may simply be confused when you mention Dr Thorne's defending Mary against Scatcherd.

Well I fear that I must be old-fashioned, Everyman. It's true that most of us females are well able to defend ourselves but we need not always insist on it. I am very happy to act the damsel in distress; well not so much of an act perhaps, I tend actually to be the 'matron' in distress. I really appreciate when a gentleman holds a door open for me. I am I confess a little like the lady in Leigh Hunt's poem 'The Glove and the Lions'. A lion fight is on show for the king. The lady in question decides that she must have her knight demonstrate his love for her. To this avail she throws her glove into the lions' ring. Her gentleman indeed jumps in among the lions, snatches her glove
and '
'Then he threw the glove, but not with love
Right in the lady's face.' ;-)


message 16: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 86 comments Hi Hillary!
It is not you - I'm probably being fuzzy in my thinking! :)
I was just pondering Dr. Thorne's dilemma in terms of protecting Mary. He doesn't want Scatcherd to be in contact with her although he made her known to him at his bedside (due to the context of the will). At the same time it seems like he is playing with the idea/hope of Mary actually inheriting Scatcherd's estate.


message 17: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 181 comments Oh I understand what you mean now, Haaze. I suppose, as with Frank and Moffat, I welcome any protection that can be offered to Mary. No doubt Dr Thorne wishes for that windfall for Mary. It would be an answer to all her problems (and probably his). She would no longer be this penniless young woman and would be financially stable once Dr Thorne moves on to a higher plain.


message 18: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Hilary wrote: "No doubt Dr Thorne wishes for that windfall for Mary. It would be an answer to all her problems (and probably his). She would no longer be this penniless young woman and would be financially stable once Dr Thorne moves on to a higher plain. "

I think it's not so much for Mary's general future that he hopes for the fortune for her, but because he realizes that without it, she and Frank, even if they managed to get married, would lose so much -- all his estate and patrimony. And probably if she really were penniless, Frank would get successfully talked out of marrying her when the reality of losing Greshambury was brought home to him, as his mother and aunt would undoubtedly do. It's nice to talk ethereally about living in poverty with your love, but it's another thing to contemplate life in a hovel with no horses to ride, no carriage for your wife, none of the things that have defined life for you.

So I think Dr. T is realistic enough to know a) that Frank and Mary love other, but b) that they cannot have a happy marriage unless she inherits the wealth.


message 19: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments I actually didn't love this section. The duke chapter seemed a bit superfluous to me. A lot of the other content seemed predictable. Roger gets unseated, ok we saw the coming. Roger is dying, yep, saw that too. Louis appears to be facing a similar demise, yep, also that. The Moffat rejection was a bit surprising and I can't wait to see how his attempts with Miss Dunstable fail. The Frank/Miss Dunstable carrying on and conclusion also seemed a bit predictable. I agree that Miss Dunstable is a great character, I like her more than Mary because despite her early signs of spirit and spunk Mary just fades into the background here and accepts the ridiculous propriety she seemed to disdain before. Frank is just a young kid, who knows what will happen with him. He's spoiled and selfish and naive, and we will see. Not much going on in this section with Dr. T, he seems like a bit of a sad sack going through the motions but we will see if the Scatcherd demise will bear fruit for Mary.


message 20: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2205 comments Mod
Everyman's comment about living in poverty for love reminds me of Snobs by Julian Fellowes, where a young woman bored with society runs off with an artist and finds it not all it's cracked up to be.

In a later age, Frank, and also Mary, could start a new life and career but they are both shackled to their places in society.


message 21: by Haaze (last edited Oct 28, 2016 11:46PM) (new)

Haaze | 86 comments Dianne wrote: "I actually didn't love this section. The duke chapter seemed a bit superfluous to me. A lot of the other content seemed predictable. Roger gets unseated, ok we saw the coming. Roger is dying, yep, ..."

Hmm, perhaps certain events are predictable. However, I find most of my pleasure in the journey itself rather than the story. Wonderful writing! Trollope is sculpting and shaping the events/characters in a delicious fashion. I find myself wanting the novel to go on forever. Then I remind myself how many more books and stories that Trollope wrote in his lifetime. So much more... :)


message 22: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments Haaze wrote: "Dianne wrote: "I actually didn't love this section. The duke chapter seemed a bit superfluous to me. A lot of the other content seemed predictable. Roger gets unseated, ok we saw the coming. Roger ..."


oh I am with you 1000% on this haaze! Trollope is newly discovered for me with this group, and how wonderful! I absolutely adore his writing, beautiful turns of phrase, remarkably clever, fantastic plot and character development, deliciously funny. I think it is fantastic this group has a long term Trollope project and I hope it continues indefinitely! I can't even believe how much he wrote either, it is just incredible!


message 23: by Haaze (last edited Oct 28, 2016 11:50PM) (new)

Haaze | 86 comments You are up late Dianne! ; -) I thought you were a morning person? Ha ha! Always fun to discover authors one enjoys! I still can't quite fathom the number of works he completed. I presume that the quality of Doctor Thorne is top notch. Did Trollope maintain similar writing quality in most of his works or is there lots of variation?


message 24: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments I have a horrible habit of waking up in the middle of the night. Hate that! Since I'm a Trollope newbie I'll leave that to the others here to answer about his consistency, I have no idea!


message 25: by Haaze (last edited Oct 29, 2016 12:01AM) (new)

Haaze | 86 comments You can always feed your newly awakened Hardy and Trollope habits in the middle of the night!!!!!




message 26: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments Exactly!!


message 27: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Haaze wrote: "Hmm, perhaps certain events are predictable. However, I find most of my pleasure in the journey itself rather than the story. Wonderful writing! ."

I agree with both Dianne and you. Yes, a lot of it was predictable (and indeed pretty much foretold; Trollope does that, as he did at the very beginning when he said "He would have been the hero of our tale had not that place been pre-occupied by the village doctor. As it is, those who please may so regard him. It is he who is to be our favourite young man, to do the love scenes, to have his trials and his difficulties, and to win through them or not, as the case may be. I am too old now to be a hard-hearted author, and so it is probable that he may not die of a broken heart. Those who don't approve of a middle-aged bachelor country doctor as a hero, may take the heir to Greshamsbury in his stead, and call the book, if it so please them, "The Loves and Adventures of Francis Newbold Gresham the Younger.""

So we're pretty much told that this is going to turn out okay for Frank, so it's just a matter of enjoying watching it happen. Not what modern readers are used to, but very much in line with the very early novels where the chapter titles gave virtually everything away and it was just the writing which retained, or didn't retain, the reader's interest.

If you haven't read the sort of book I'm referring to, take a gander at Tom Jones. A typical chapter title is "The reader's neck brought into danger by a description; his escape; and the great condescension of Miss Bridget Allworthy." Or, for a more extensive example, Paradise Lost where each book starts out with a complete summary of the action: as "This first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole Subject, Mans disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac't: Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his side many Legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. Which action past over, the Poem hasts into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell, describ'd here, not in the Center (for Heaven and Earth may be suppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurst) but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonisht, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in Order and Dignity lay by him; they confer of thir miserable fall. Satan awakens all his Legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded; They rise, thir Numbers, array of Battel, thir chief Leaders nam'd, according to the Idols known afterwards in Canaan and the Countries adjoyning. To these Satan directs his Speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new World and new kind of Creature to be created, according to an ancient Prophesie or report in Heaven; for that Angels were long before this visible Creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this Prophesie, and what to determin thereon he refers to a full Councel. What his Associates thence attempt. Pandemonium the Palace of Satan rises, suddenly built out of the Deep: The infernal Peers there sit in Councel. "

So before you start the poem, you know exactly what's going to happen, and it's the characterization and writing that matter, not any chance to be surprised by the plot or events.


message 28: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Haaze wrote: "You can always feed your newly awakened Hardy and Trollope habits in the middle of the night!!!!!

"


That's how I ruined my eyes. That was me for years. My parents did me no good making me hide under the covers with a flashlight to read at night.


message 29: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2894 comments Mod
I find that if I know that things are going to turn out all right for the characters I find sympathetic, I tend to pay more attention to the little details, such as the sad Christmas of Doctor Thorne because Mary is with Patience, so as to avoid seeing Frank in church. As for the rest of Frank's family, Mary and Doctor Thorne will still encounter them elsewhere, other than the Gresham estate.
Miss Dunstable and Frank have reached an understanding, and I am sure they both enjoyed watching Lady de Courcy trying to figure out what they were up to.
Were they laughing at her? The nerve of those two!
I feel sorry for Sir Roger, but especially for his wife, who will be all alone when Roger dies. Her son will not be much company for her, and as Trollope says, she loves her son, but she is fond of Frank.


message 30: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments Everyman wrote: "Haaze wrote: "Hmm, perhaps certain events are predictable. However, I find most of my pleasure in the journey itself rather than the story. Wonderful writing! ."

I agree with both Dianne and you. ..."


thanks so much for sharing this everyman. Even though I have read paradise lost years ago I must not have read too much that is similar in terms of plots revealed in advance, and it is interesting to me how the novel has evolved. So it seems that the predictability was totally intentional, which makes a big difference to me in terms of understanding the author's objectives!


message 31: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments Everyman wrote: "Haaze wrote: "You can always feed your newly awakened Hardy and Trollope habits in the middle of the night!!!!!

"

That's how I ruined my eyes. That was me for years. My parents did me no good mak..."


this was me too! man what bad kids we were, sneaking around reading and stuff.


message 32: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I find that if I know that things are going to turn out all right for the characters I find sympathetic, I tend to pay more attention to the little details, such as the sad Christmas of Doctor Thor..."

Lady Scatcherd is an interesting character. I can't imagine the torment she must go through living with such a raging alcoholic spouse. Yet she loves him, she respects him, she does what she can for him. She is dutiful and hard working, and her husband probably owes much of his success to her support behind the scenes.


message 33: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 751 comments I like Lady Scatcherd a lot. She tries so hard to do the right thing, the kind thing, make the best if every situation no matter how difficult for her.


message 34: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments She does and I have no idea how! She has the patience of an angel! I would be full of resentment and anger and terribly sad. She however is a perfect caring partner.


message 35: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2894 comments Mod
On a visit of Mary's to Boxall Hill, Lady Scatcherd mentions the fact that Sir Roger had a sister named Mary, and then stops the story and starts thinking of who Mary Thorne's father might be.....


message 36: by Haaze (last edited Oct 31, 2016 08:45AM) (new)

Haaze | 86 comments Dianne wrote: "She does and I have no idea how! She has the patience of an angel! I would be full of resentment and anger and terribly sad. She however is a perfect caring partner."

Maybe she is stuck in some conventional template of the time? Granted - she is the incarnation of kindness and loyalty, but in modern terms she seems a bit codependent to say the least.


message 37: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 86 comments Rosemarie wrote: "On a visit of Mary's to Boxall Hill, Lady Scatcherd mentions the fact that Sir Roger had a sister named Mary, and then stops the story and starts thinking of who Mary Thorne's father might be....."

It seems odd that Lady Scatcherd never had considered the question over the past couple of decades..... Perhaps the parish as a whole had no sense of the Thorne family? It just seems a bit strange that she never thought about it.


message 38: by Dan (new)

Dan | 86 comments Haaze wrote: "Dianne wrote: "I actually didn't love this section. The duke chapter seemed a bit superfluous to me. A lot of the other content seemed predictable. Roger gets unseated, ok we saw the coming. Roger ..."

This was the section where the book grew on me. There is a depth here that I didn't feel in the two earlier books. Trollope, like Frank, was once young with little experience, too.

The first two books were narrower. There was depth to the characters but the canvas was small. Here he is dealing with a larger society. I expect Omnium will reappear. and of course the Duke IS quite superfluous.


message 39: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 91 comments Good points Dan, I shall stay tuned to see what happens next!


message 40: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2894 comments Mod
If I remember correctly, after reading the novels many years ago, the Duke of Omnium appears in other novels, but I don't remember in which ones.


message 41: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 751 comments He's in most of the wonderful Pallisers novels.


message 42: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1871 comments Mod
I interpreted the Duke of Omnium's actions differently. I thought he was probably a shy or introverted man who had a social obligation to entertain the county and was very uncomfortable doing so, and so the dinners evolved into this form. Most of the county was quite happy to come and partake of his excellent food and wine, and his social duty was discharged for another year. I hope we'll find out later (or maybe we will find out when we move to the Palliser novels next!)


message 43: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Frances wrote: "I interpreted the Duke of Omnium's actions differently. I thought he was probably a shy or introverted man who had a social obligation to entertain the county and was very uncomfortable doing so, a..."

I think you've got it pretty much right. His role as an important duke essentially forced him to be a political animal. But really, I think he would have been happier if he could have just lived a quiet (though very wealthy!) life with a few well chosen friends.


message 44: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) I am very behind in my reading but I have managed to get up to chapter 31. My thoughts on the chapters discussed here:

I am not sure if anyone pointed this out but Trollope himself was in many ways the character Roger Scratcherd. He was a man who struggled to make a living by his own merits and also after making his mark tried to gain a seat in parliament. He lost the election. This failure haunted his novels and his private life. He continued to be interested in politics and such was found in his writings.

I wonder if 'Scratcherd' is a play on words as to how Trollope made his living; scratchings is a colloquial word for writing.


message 45: by Frances, Moderator (new)

Frances (francesab) | 1871 comments Mod
Interesting theory! I did feel that Trollope had considerable sympathy for Scatcherd, much less so for his son (and gave a fine example how parents can ruin their children by overindulgence).


message 46: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Frances wrote: "Interesting theory! I did feel that Trollope had considerable sympathy for Scatcherd, much less so for his son (and gave a fine example how parents can ruin their children by overindulgence)."

Affluenza.


message 47: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) Everyman wrote: "Frances wrote: "Interesting theory! I did feel that Trollope had considerable sympathy for Scatcherd, much less so for his son (and gave a fine example how parents can ruin their children by overin..."

lol. good word play!


back to top

37567

The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Snobs (other topics)