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Dombey and Son
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Dombey and Son > Dombey, Chapters 20 - 22

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Tristram Shandy Dear Fellow Pickwickians,

I am sorry I did not open this thread yesterday but in fact I was cut off from the Internet for several days. By the way, if Sunday has melted into Monday and the new thread has still not been opened, feel free to do so next time ...

Now what happened in Chapters 20 - 22?

In Chapter 20 Major Bagstock and Mr. Dombey leave London to get a change of scenery, and the Major does not miss the opportunity to arouse Mr. Dombey's distrust against poor Miss Tox by intimating that she might entertain the hope of being Mrs. Dombey one day. Dombey is indignant at Miss Tox's alleged lack of humility, and he has the same feeling when he notices that Mr. Toodle dares to wear black crape around his hat in memory of Paul. Instead of being touched by Mr. Toodle's respect for his deceased son, Dombey even feels envious as this reminds him of the distance at which Paul had kept his father during his last days on earth.

In Chapter 21 we get to know two new characters, the vain Mrs. Skewton, who confines herself to being wheeled around rather than giving up a pose that earned her the epithet of the ever youthful Cleopatra - and he scornful and beautiful daugther Edith Granger. Major Bagstock shows his gallantry towards Mrs. Skewton, but he also hints to Mr. Dombey that Edith Granger would make a perfect wife. However, Edith receives Dombey's advances coldly.

Chapter 22 brings us back into London: We are left in no doubt that Carker is plotting for his own good. For example, he wins influence over Rob Toodle and introduces him as a dogsbody to Sol Gills, instructing Rob to tell him about all visitors that show up at Gills's place. Carker also rides by the Dombey mansion and witnesses Mr. Toots being attacked by Diogenes. Apparently Mr. Toots has fallen in love with Florence, and he thinks that he might advance his cause best by first winning the heart of Susan Nipper.

Again, I'd like to leave it to you which points you want to discuss. I personally find Rob the Grinder quite interesting as a character, thinking that Dickens still fails to represent his situation with the seriousness it actually deserves.

I really start to enjoy Major Bagstock and his encomia upon himself ...

... and I noticed that if you read the passage about the railroad and its resemblence to the remorseless monster, Death aloud (near the end of Chapter 20), it does sound like poetry. Peter, I'm with you when it comes to admiring Dickens's perfection as a writer in Dombey and Son.


message 2: by Kim (last edited Oct 27, 2014 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim The first of these illustrations should be, if it works that is, the illustration as it appeared, the second is the working drawing. It says we should compare the two, so go ahead and compare. They look backwards to me.

Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity

Chapter 21







message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim

Mr. Toots Becomes Particular — Diogenes Also

Chapter 22


Petra I have to shudder at the thought of Mr. Dombey and Edith Granger getting together. I think she's acting coldly as a way of being coy and alluring. When these two get together, woe to Florence, but much more woe to Mr. Dombey. There's no happiness in that union-to-be.

Carker is a nasty piece of work. The more we find out about him, the nastier he is. Such a man is hard to stop because he's so underhanded that people don't realize that he's the problem. With those teeth and the ready smiles, he comes across (perhaps) as the best friend, more than the enemy.

At the beginning of the book, I also thought that Miss Tox had her hat set for Dombey but over the past few chapters, I've come to believe that she was being more of a friend to the family and enjoyed having a young child around her. As a single woman who's not that young any more, she perhaps saw the Dombeys as an extended family with children that she could spend time with (alas, she was conditioned not to see Florence).
So, now I see the Major's interference as sad. He's planted seeds of distrust in Mr. Dombey towards Miss Tox when she could be the friend he needs and is looking for. Oy!!

Kim, thanks for the pictures. I love seeing these every week.


message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Here is a piece of trivia on the illustration "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity". I almost didn't mention it because in any image I find on the internet it is impossible to see but I can in my copy of the book, so maybe some of you will be able to if you are interested.

"In the illustrated plate, "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity," the lettering "HOTEL" on the central building in the background is written in mirror-writing. Phiz, the illustrator, evidently forgot to reverse the lettering so that it would read correctly when the plate was printed. (However, strangely, he got the other lettering in the same plate correct.)"


message 6: by Peter (last edited Oct 28, 2014 06:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peter Kim wrote: "Here is a piece of trivia on the illustration "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity". I almost didn't mention it because in any image I find on the internet it is impossible to see..."

The world of illustrated plates in Dickens' novels is a life's study in itself. First edition plates, first issue plates, the binding of books using both the first and second issue plates swirl about in profound confusion to all us mortals.

I'm just glad they exist and appear in most of Dickens' novels. I really enjoy looking at the pictures, seeing the characters, and feeling the incredible atmosphere the plates are able to create.

What a pity the first edition of GE does not have plates! Wouldn't it be great to see how Pip and Joe and Estella and Miss Havisham would have been imagined, and just in time for Halloween it would have been perfect to see Miss Havisham and the buggy wedding cake.


message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Peter wrote: "Kim wrote: "Here is a piece of trivia on the illustration "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity". I almost didn't mention it because in any image I find on the internet it is impos..."

I also love the illustrations. I wish all books were illustrated, that would be so much fun. Ok, maybe not all. I wonder why GE wasn't, I'll have to go look.


Linda | 712 comments Joy wrote: "What does it mean in chapter 22 when Carker tells young Toodle, "There's hemp-seed sown for you"?"

My edition has a footnote for this phrase "There's hemp-seed sown" which says "Hemp is used for making rope, hence 'you're on you way to the gallows'."


Linda | 712 comments Kim wrote: ""In the illustrated plate, "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity," the lettering "HOTEL" on the central building in the background is written in mirror-writing. Phiz, the illustrator, evidently forgot to reverse the lettering so that it would read correctly when the plate was printed."

Thanks for that bit of trivia, Kim! I actually did notice in the illustration in my book that the lettering on the building looked odd, but could only make out a couple of the mirror-image letters. I couldn't tell that it actually spelled HOTEL, no matter how long I stared at it.


Linda | 712 comments The references of Mr. Carker to a conniving cat were numerous this week, as seen in this first quote:

And although it is not among the instincts wild or domestic of the cat tribe to play at cards, feline from sole to crown was Mr Carker the Manager, as he basked in the strip of summer-light and warmth that shone upon his table and the ground as if they were a crooked dial-plate, and himself the only figure on it. With hair and whiskers deficient in colour at all times, but feebler than common in the rich sunshine, and more like the coat of a sandy tortoise-shell cat; with long nails, nicely pared and sharpened; with a natural antipathy to any speck of dirt, which made him pause sometimes and watch the falling motes of dust, and rub them off his smooth white hand or glossy linen: Mr Carker the Manager, sly of manner, sharp of tooth, soft of foot, watchful of eye, oily of tongue, cruel of heart, nice of habit, sat with a dainty steadfastness and patience at his work, as if he were waiting at a mouse's hole.

And the "cruel of heart" reference certainly applies to Mr. Carker as we learn of his disowning his sister Harriet as John Carker relates that "she tried in vain to plead for me with you, on your first just indignation, and my first disgrace; and when she left you, James, to follow my broken fortunes, and devote herself, in her mistaken affection, to a ruined brother, because without her he had no one, and was lost; she was young and pretty". I wonder when/if Harriet will come back into the picture. I can't imagine her character being introduced without having her see James in person again in the future.

And then it seems Dombey has had a change of heart, possibly, about sending Walter out to see although it is too late. I wonder why he may have had a change of heart? Something that has happened since leaving London? But Mr. Carker is more than pleased to have Walter already sent off to sea, for some reason.

Dombey's letter: 'I find myself benefited by the change, and am not yet inclined to name any time for my return.' 'I wish, Carker, you would arrange to come down once and see me here, and let me know how things are going on, in person.' 'I omitted to speak to you about young Gay. If not gone per Son and Heir, or if Son and Heir still lying in the Docks, appoint some other young man and keep him in the City for the present. I am not decided.' 'Now that's unfortunate!' said Mr Carker the Manager, expanding his mouth, as if it were made of India-rubber: 'for he's far away.'

Mr. Carker is surely up to something, but I can't quite figure out what it might be. First is to set up Rob in Sol's establishment as a spy to keep tabs on Sol, but then we find out he's actually more interested in when Florence visits, and what she's up to.

And then we have this feline description of Mr. Carker: And in some sort, Mr Carker, in his fancy, basked upon a hearth too. Coiled up snugly at certain feet, he was ready for a spring, Or for a tear, or for a scratch, or for a velvet touch, as the humour took him and occasion served. Was there any bird in a cage, that came in for a share of his regards?

He is ready to spring into action or at something. Is the bird in a cage referring to a particular bird who Mr. Carker is to prey upon?

And then immediately following there is this passage:

'A very young lady!' thought Mr Carker the Manager, through his song. 'Ay! when I saw her last, she was a little child. With dark eyes and hair, I recollect, and a good face; a very good face! I daresay she's pretty.'

Frankly, this creeped me out a bit. Why is Mr. Carker spying on Florence, and why is he thinking about how pretty she is? What does he have in store for her? I'm a bit afraid to find out.


Peter Linda wrote: "The references of Mr. Carker to a conniving cat were numerous this week, as seen in this first quote:

And although it is not among the instincts wild or domestic of the cat tribe to play at cards,..."


Great observations and comments Linda. Carker, a cat with teeth, quiet, watchful and waiting. His patience. Waiting to pounce. But on how many people, and when? It is creepy.


Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "Kim wrote: "Here is a piece of trivia on the illustration "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity". I almost didn't mention it because in any image I find on the internet it is impos..."

Peter,

what you say about the illustrations I find absolutely true! As powerful and distinctive as Dickens's style may be, the illustrations, above all those made by Phiz, just add that extra something that makes many Dickens characters so vivid for me. Just think of Mr. Pickwick with his glasses and his tummy, or of the characteristic pear-face of Mr. Pecksniff with his three wisps of hair. Whenever I buy a new Dickens edition, I always make sure it has got the illustrations (if illustrations there are).


Tristram Shandy Linda wrote: "Frankly, this creeped me out a bit. Why is Mr. Carker spying on Florence, and why is he thinking about how pretty she is? What does he have in store for her? I'm a bit afraid to find out."

It seems as if the bird in the cage is none other but poor Florence, who is caged in her solitude. Maybe Carker intends to inveigle Mr. Dombey into letting him marry Florence when she is old enough, thus making him the new "Son" of the firm. Dombey should be careful of this, all the more so as he himself has found out earlier that Carker has no respect for anyone. - Carker's schemes related to Florence might also be a reason for his keeping Walter at bay and for his spying on what is going on at the Midshipman's.

And yes, I also was quite surprised that Dombey seemed to have had second thoughts on Walter's being sent abroad. I'm still in the dark as to his motives, though.


Tristram Shandy Edith Granger strikes me as a very ambivalent character. Whereas I like her streak of wry humour, I cannot help noticing that the scorn with which she looks at everyone around her also seems to extend to herself as well so that she may well have a tendency to do harm to herself.


Linda | 712 comments Tristram wrote: "Maybe Carker intends to inveigle Mr. Dombey into letting him marry Florence when she is old enough, thus making him the new "Son" of the firm."

This had crossed my mind last night after I had written my post. Then it makes sense that he is more than happy to have Walter sent across seas.

Anyway, the thought of Mr. Carker and Florence is "ewww" in my mind. She is still a girl, really. I don't know how old he is, but he's got to be significantly older than Walter, right? Although age aside, just the fact that he might be preying on her young innocence for financial gain is repulsive.


Linda | 712 comments Tristram wrote: "Edith Granger strikes me as a very ambivalent character. Whereas I like her streak of wry humour, I cannot help noticing that the scorn with which she looks at everyone around her also seems to ext..."

Yeah, I wasn't quite sure what to think of Edith. My first impression, I think, is that she acts like one of the "cool kids". Nothing interests her (that is her outwardly appearance, at least), but sure, she'll show off that she can play harp and piano if someone asks.


message 17: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Tristram wrote: "Maybe Carker intends to inveigle Mr. Dombey into letting him marry Florence when she is old enough, thus making him the new "Son" of the firm."

I find myself once again unfortunately agreeing with Tristram, it's just awful when that happens, that Carker is perhaps planning on marrying Florence as soon as her father will agree to it. I can't quite remember how old she is by now.

I also can't remember why Dombey changed his mind about sending Walter to wherever Walter was sent, I'll have to go look it up again, that is if it's there.

I also can't think of a reason why Carker seems to hate Walter so much, unless it is because he considers him a rival for Florence. I'm going to have to go back over the chapters and check.

Edith's harp and piano playing made me smile. When I was a kid I wanted to play three instruments, first, the piano, second, the harp, and third, the cello. The piano lessons began when I was six and after a few years when I asked about the other two my father replied "Where in the hell am I supposed to get a harp and a cello?". When my mother said she was sure we could find one in the city somewhere he responded "Where in the hell am I supposed to find a harp and cello teacher?. I never got the lessons. :-}


message 18: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I have come across something that to me is a bit of a mystery, therefore it is also annoying. When looking for the illustrations for Dickens books I sometimes come across illustrations or paintings that were done by other artists not in the original editions. One of these artists was Charles Green, this is what I found out about him:

"Charles Green was a watercolour painter of genre and historical subjects and an illustrator. He started under Whymper, working for "Once a Week" and other periodicals and became one of the most successful of the black and white draughtsmen of his time, especially in his illustrations to Dickens. Some of these were turned into watercolours, for example "Little Nell", found in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
As a watercolour painter, he became an Associate of the Royal Institute in 1864 and a Member in 1867. He exhibited from 1862-83 at the Royal Academy. Titles included "The Rivals", "The Letter Bag", "Ruin" and "The Girl I left behind me". He also exhibited 150 works at the New Watercolour Society.
His elder brother was H. Towneley Green (1836-99) who also drew in black and white and painted in watercolour."


What puzzles me is why these other illustrators and artists bother when Dickens books are already illustrated. However, here is Green's illustration then turned into a painting titled "Captain Cuttle and Florence Dombey":




message 19: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Here we have "Florence Dombey in 'Captain Cuttle's Parlour'" by William Maw Egley. 1826 – 1916 Egley was a British artist of the Victorian era. The son of the miniaturist William Egley, he studied under his father.



This next one is "Captain Cuttle" by Joseph Clayton Clarke. Clarke who worked under the pseudonym 'Kyd', was a British artist best known for his illustrations of characters from the novels of Charles Dickens. Clarke's Dickens illustrations first appeared in 1887 in Fleet Street Magazine, with two published collections appearing shortly after as The Characters of Charles Dickens (1889) and Some Well Known Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens (1892).




message 20: by Peter (last edited Nov 01, 2014 08:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peter Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Maybe Carker intends to inveigle Mr. Dombey into letting him marry Florence when she is old enough, thus making him the new "Son" of the firm."

I find myself once again unfortuna..."


Kim

Walter was sent to the Carribean, specifically Barbados. Florence is now in her early teens, but I am not sure exactly how old. I think Carker wants an open field when he decides it is time to pounce on a weakened Dombey. The cat-like description is really great isn't it?

The illustrations you provided of other artists' works were wonderful. Thank you, as always.

As for playing the cello and the harp. Well, most Christmas carols sound really good, and recognizable, on a piano. Just imagine an entire evening of carols played on a cello!


Peter Kim wrote: "Peter wrote: "Kim wrote: "Here is a piece of trivia on the illustration "Major Bagstock is delighted to have that opportunity". I almost didn't mention it because in any image I find on the intern..."

I believe the reason there are no illustrations in GE is because that novel was published weekly. There would have been no time to work out the details, tinker and correct them and then get them into the parts each week.


Peter Diogenes is a loveable dog and a great companion for Florence. Is it any wonder he barks at Carker? Carker the cat; Diogenes the dog. I'll cheer for Diogenes!


Linda | 712 comments Peter wrote: "Is it any wonder he barks at Carker? Carker the cat; Diogenes the dog."

Ha! Nice, Peter! :)


Tristram Shandy Linda wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Edith Granger strikes me as a very ambivalent character. Whereas I like her streak of wry humour, I cannot help noticing that the scorn with which she looks at everyone around her ..."

However, she immediately broke off playing when Dombey and the Major first arrived. I'd say that had she been intent on showing off, she would have played some more, then pretended to have noticed that visitors had arrived, and stopped. I would think she is rather sick of her life, travelling from town to town with her shallow mother. And then there is this:

" 'Edith Granger, Sir,' replied the Major, shutting one eye, putting his head on one side, passing his cane into his left hand, and smoothing his shirt-frill with his right, 'is, at this present time, not quite thirty. And damme, Sir,' said the Major, shouldering his stick once more, and walking on again, 'she's a peerless woman!'

'Was there any family?' asked Mr Dombey presently.

'Yes, Sir,' said the Major. 'There was a boy.'

Mr Dombey's eyes sought the ground, and a shade came over his face.

'Who was drowned, Sir,' pursued the Major. 'When a child of four or five years old.'"


So there is some kind of similarity between Florence and Edith in that both have lost their infant brothers. Remarkably, Edith's brother was drowned, which might be interpreted as yet another link to the water motif standing for death. In a way, even Edith has an unfeeling mother but whereas Florence still vies for the love of her father, from the goodness of her heart, Edith has taken refuge to bitterness and scorn. It might be interesting to see how Edith will react to Florence.


Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "I find myself once again unfortunately agreeing with Tristram, it's just awful when that happens,"

Who's being grumpy now? ;-)


Peter Tristram wrote: "Linda wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Edith Granger strikes me as a very ambivalent character. Whereas I like her streak of wry humour, I cannot help noticing that the scorn with which she looks at everyo..."

Good points Tristram. The importance of water imagery seems everywhere.


message 27: by Tristram (last edited Nov 02, 2014 11:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "Edith's harp and piano playing made me smile. When I was a kid I wanted to play three instruments, first, the piano, second, the harp, and third, the cello. The piano lessons began when I was six and after a few years when I asked about the other two my father replied "Where in the hell am I supposed to get a harp and a cello?". When my mother said she was sure we could find one in the city somewhere he responded "Where in the hell am I supposed to find a harp and cello teacher?. I never got the lessons. :-} "

Ah, talking of musical lessons, I got my son to learning to play the guitar. He wanted to play the drums, and I told him that in order to be really good at the drums, he should pick up some guitar playing first. Hmmmm, five-year-olds are sooo naive, I can tell you ... he might still believe now that he is preparing himself for the drums with his guitar lessons. Before you start throwing stones at me now, my wife and I are thinking about having him start playing the drum next year when he is a bit older, because the drums are more difficult than the guitar.

In his first guitar lesson the teacher asked him why he wanted to play that instrument, and he looked at me and said in a merry voice, "Because my Dad forces me to". I looked at him from over the rim of my glasses and said that we had actually agreed on the word "motivated" when we made up our story in the car.

The harp is a surprisingly loud instrument, by the way. One of my wife's friends is a professional harp-ooner, and in her flat she had to make one of the rooms sound-proof so that she could play without disturbing the people living on the other end of the town.


Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "Diogenes is a loveable dog and a great companion for Florence. Is it any wonder he barks at Carker? Carker the cat; Diogenes the dog. I'll cheer for Diogenes!"

I'll join you!


Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "Here we have "Florence Dombey in 'Captain Cuttle's Parlour'" by William Maw Egley. 1826 – 1916 Egley was a British artist of the Victorian era. The son of the miniaturist William Egley, he studied ..."

Maybe these other painters made pictures on Dickens novels because there were different editions of the novels. Peter also pointed out that there were the weekly or monthly instalments first and later there were the complete novel editions.

I noticed some other inconsistency, though, in the illustrations posted by you, Kim, but also in most of those by Phiz. In Chapter 9, when Walter turns to the Captain for help, it says,

"Accordingly, when Walter knocked at the door, and the Captain instantly poked his head out of one of his little front windows, and hailed him, with the hard glared hat already on it, and the shirt-collar like a sail, and the wide suit of blue, all standing as usual, Walter was as fully persuaded that he was always in that state, as if the Captain had been a bird and those had been his feathers."

Later on, we have:

"The Captain was dining (in his hat) off cold loin of mutton, porter, and some smoking hot potatoes, which he had cooked himself, and took out of a little saucepan before the fire as he wanted them."

So apparently, Captain Cuttle hardly ever takes off his hat, and yet most illustrations show him ... topless ;-)


Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Linda wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Edith Granger strikes me as a very ambivalent character. Whereas I like her streak of wry humour, I cannot help noticing that the scorn with which sh..."

Thank you, Peter! It's this water imagery being linked with death that makes me rather nervous for Walter.


Tristram Shandy I just started to ask myself why Mr. Dombey's eyes should meet the ground and a shadow should fall on his face at the Major's mentioning that there was a boy. Is his obvious interest in Edith motivated by inheritence hunting?


Peter Perhaps in this case similarities, not opposites, will attract. Both Edith and Dombey are cold, impervious souls who seem aloof, abstract and above the world around them. Add to this the fact that they have suffered a similar loss (by water, no less) and you have the possible makings of a match made, if not in heaven, then in some place cold, lonely and full of shadows, both real and symbolic.


Linda | 712 comments Tristram wrote: "However, she immediately broke off playing when Dombey and the Major first arrived. I'd say that had she been intent on showing off, she would have played some more, then pretended to have noticed that visitors had arrived, and stopped. I would think she is rather sick of her life, travelling from town to town with her shallow mother."

Your interpretation does make more sense, Tristram.

So there is some kind of similarity between Florence and Edith in that both have lost their infant brothers.

Oh, I didn't realize it was Edith's brother who drowned. From the conversation, I took it to mean it was her infant son who drowned since Mr. Dombey asks the Major if there was family after he finds out she had been married. I'll have to go back and reread that part.


Peter Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "Edith's harp and piano playing made me smile. When I was a kid I wanted to play three instruments, first, the piano, second, the harp, and third, the cello. The piano lessons began when..."

Tristram

I am sure you know, but in case you do not ... They do make drum kits with all the drums and symbols but they are pads, so when a person drums only the drummer wearing headphones hears anything. The rest of the house remains quiet. That is, of course, unless your son wants to sing too!


message 35: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Tristram wrote: "Ah, talking of musical lessons, I got my son to learning to play the guitar."

You are forcing him to play the guitar? Can't you force him to play the piano instead? My mom forced me to play the saxophone in school, it gave me a headache, of course so do drums and bass guitars. At least I still get to tell people I was the best tenor saxophone player in our high school band. Yes, I was the only tenor saxophone player in our high school band but they don't need to know that.


message 36: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "I find myself once again unfortunately agreeing with Tristram, it's just awful when that happens,"

Who's being grumpy now? ;-)"


Just consider yourself lucky that I'm agreeing with you at all. :-}


message 37: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate Tristram wrote: "Peter wrote: "Diogenes is a loveable dog and a great companion for Florence. Is it any wonder he barks at Carker? Carker the cat; Diogenes the dog. I'll cheer for Diogenes!"

I'll join you!"


I'm normally a cat lover but I don't like this cat - Carker. If only Diogenes could talk!

Again, I'm behind and playing catch up!


Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "Edith's harp and piano playing made me smile. When I was a kid I wanted to play three instruments, first, the piano, second, the harp, and third, the cello. The piano l..."

Peter,

that is exactly the sort of thing we are going to buy for our son. Although I am not too much of a friend of young people wearing those headphones too often, they have the advantage of being able to simulate different sets of drums as well.


Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "
Just consider yourself lucky that I'm agreeing with you at all. :-}"


That is what's worrying me: It's a sign I might be wrong after all ... ;-)


Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Ah, talking of musical lessons, I got my son to learning to play the guitar."

You are forcing him to play the guitar? Can't you force him to play the piano instead? My mom force..."


My wife was forced to play the organ when a child since she was the Reverend's daughter and therefore required to actively participate in services. Since I have always wanted to play the guitar, I thought it would enable me to live through my child by making him play that instrument ... and play it good ;-)


message 41: by Tristram (last edited Nov 04, 2014 12:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tristram Shandy Linda wrote: "Tristram wrote: "However, she immediately broke off playing when Dombey and the Major first arrived. I'd say that had she been intent on showing off, she would have played some more, then pretended..."

Linda,

you are absolutely right: The little boy that drowned was indeed Edith's son rather than her brother. I quote the full passage:

"'Edith Skewton, Sir,' returned the Major, stopping short again, and punching a mark in the ground with his cane, to represent her, 'married (at eighteen) Granger of Ours;' whom the Major indicated by another punch. 'Granger, Sir,' said the Major, tapping the last ideal portrait, and rolling his head emphatically, 'was Colonel of Ours; a de-vilish handsome fellow, Sir, of forty-one. He died, Sir, in the second year of his marriage.' The Major ran the representative of the deceased Granger through and through the body with his walking-stick, and went on again, carrying his stick over his shoulder.

'How long is this ago?' asked Mr Dombey, making another halt.

'Edith Granger, Sir,' replied the Major, shutting one eye, putting his head on one side, passing his cane into his left hand, and smoothing his shirt-frill with his right, 'is, at this present time, not quite thirty. And damme, Sir,' said the Major, shouldering his stick once more, and walking on again, 'she's a peerless woman!'

'Was there any family?' asked Mr Dombey presently.

'Yes, Sir,' said the Major. 'There was a boy.'"


Thanks for pointing that out: It tones down the similarity between Edith and Florence but in a way it increases that between Edith and Florence's mother.


message 42: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Tristram wrote: "My wife was forced to play the organ when a child since she was the Reverend's daughter and therefore required to actively participate in services ..."

Well go get him an organ, that's a lot closer to a piano than a guitar and your wife can teach him.


Everyman | 2034 comments Tristram wrote: @25 "So there is some kind of similarity between Florence and Edith in that both have lost their infant brothers."

I read that passage (in chapter 21) to say that it was Edith's son, not her brother. Was I wrong?


Everyman | 2034 comments Tristram wrote: "I just started to ask myself why Mr. Dombey's eyes should meet the ground and a shadow should fall on his face at the Major's mentioning that there was a boy. Is his obvious interest in Edith motiv..."

I thought he was reprising his own grief at losing his son.


Everyman | 2034 comments Kim wrote: "Just consider yourself lucky that I'm agreeing with you at all. :-} "

Well, there's good luck, and there's bad luck. Fortunately, you don't suggest which.


message 46: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Everyman wrote: "Kim wrote: "Just consider yourself lucky that I'm agreeing with you at all. :-} "

Well, there's good luck, and there's bad luck. Fortunately, you don't suggest which."


Ok that was funny. For once.


Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "and your wife can teach him."

She actually can hardly stand the sight of that instrument nowadays ;-)


Tristram Shandy Everyman wrote: "Tristram wrote: @25 "So there is some kind of similarity between Florence and Edith in that both have lost their infant brothers."

I read that passage (in chapter 21) to say that it was Edith's so..."


No, you weren't. I was, at first thinking that the dead boy was Edith's brother.


Tristram Shandy Everyman wrote: "I thought he was reprising his own grief at losing his son. "

This would have been very nice in him, but the shade came over his face before he was told that the boy was dead. On the other hand, he might have guessed by the Major's saying that there was a boy.

Another interpretation of the shade may be that Mr. Dombey is feels grief or chagrin at the notion of anybody but himself having a boy. I don't know for sure.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) I had thought that the shadow over Dombey was the stinging remembrance of his own dead son. It's unlikely that he felt sympathy for Edith. This ought to provide common ground between Dombey and Edith, but then it IS Dombey. At present Dombey and Carker seem to be two sides of the one coin; or cat. Each in his own distinctive way seems to be entirely consumed with self-centredness; hence the very apt cat analogy.


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