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Dombey and Son > Dombey, Chapters 60 - 62; and Ideas on the Novel as a Whole

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Tristram Shandy Dear Fellow Pickwickians,

this is the thread to comment on the final chapters of the novel as well as on the novel as a whole. From what I have gathered from some comments in the preceding thread I think it best next time to deal with the last few chapters in one single thread because it is maybe not necessary to leave two weeks' time when everybody just wants to read on through the end.

Chapter 60 is one of those typical mopping-up chapters in that we learn that Mr. Toots has got married to Susan Nipper, and also Mr. Feeder, B.A., has taken over Dr. Blimber's school in the quality of his son-in-law. Not that it is of any consequence to us ;-) We also learn that Captain Bunsby's ship has been influenced in its course by a siren called Mrs. Mac Stinger and finally found its marital (I just noticed that if you switch two letters in that word, it'll give you "martial", but that's of no consequence) haven.

Chapter 61 is more interesting in that it brings back Edith and shows us what has become of her. In her last interview with Florence, she still shows her old dignity and pride but all in all, she also has a resignedly conciliatory attitude. I must say that I like her much better as the eager-to-please Florence, who bursts into the room calling her "Mama!" and is all tears and hugs. The novel is about the fateful consequences of pride but still a little bit of pride is nice in a person, and I think Florence is just too ready to forgive and forget, but maybe you see it differently.

The most important thing that happens in the final chapter is probably that the last bottle of Madeira is finally opened and drunk by Solomon Gills, Walter, the Captain, Toots, Susan and Mr. Dombey ... and probably also Florence ;-)

As to reflexions on the novel as a whole, I'll step aside and let you throw in your first suggestions!


message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim

Another Wedding

Chapter 60


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

Kim


“Old Sol and Captain Cuttle,” the fifth plate in the second series of extra-illustrations for Dombey and Son drawn by Hablot K. Browne.


message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim

“Miss Nipper,” the seventh plate in the second series of extra-illustrations for Dombey and Son drawn by Hablot K. Browne.


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

Kim Extra illustration by Fred Barnard, Chapter 61

"No, no!" cried Florence, shrinking back as she rose up, and putting out her hands to keep her off. 'Mama!'




message 6: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim "Captain Cuttle gives them the Lovely Peg."

Chapter 62 by Fred Barnard




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

Kim "Dear Grandpapa, why do you cry when you kiss me?"

Chapter 62 - Fred Barnard




Linda | 712 comments Joy wrote: "Toots and Npper? Was he serious?

And what was that "Remember the Medical Man" thing about?"


I kind of thought Mr. Toots and Miss Nipper would be good together. Even Mr. Toots could see that Susan would have enough sense for the both of them, which I give him credit for even having enough sense to see that in the first place.

I thought the "remember the medical man" meant that Susan was expecting so she needed to not overexert herself.


Everyman | 2034 comments Tristram wrote: "Chapter 60 is one of those typical mopping-up chapters in that we learn that Mr. Toots has got married to Susan Nipper, and also Mr. Feeder, B.A., has taken over Dr. Blimber's school in the quality of his son-in-law. Not that it is of any consequence to us ;-) "

I saw the Toots/Nipper marriage coming a mile off, but it seems so sad that both of them are so committed to a third party that it's hard to imagine them having any sort of real marriage.

Chapter 61 is more interesting in that it brings back Edith and shows us what has become of her.

It's unclear to me, though I was reading very rapidly* and may have missed it, what she's living on.

But does anybody really believe that she is permanently out of Florence's life? I don't. She will perpetually be the bad penny who keeps turning up when least wanted (though Florence will pretend she i -- that's just who Florence is).

And we even have Feenix come back, though to what point I have no idea, and would have been quite content if he had stayed on the continent and out of the book (in fact, I wouldn't have minded if he had never intruded into the book in the first place; I never saw any particular use for him).


* At this point, nothing really of any interest was happening and I just wanted to get through it and on to the next book.


Everyman | 2034 comments Tristram wrote: "As to reflexions on the novel as a whole, I'll step aside and let you throw in your first suggestions!
"


I will overcome my natural shyness and offer a thought. This seemed to me a richer, more developed novel than our earlier reads. The plotting was more unified (didn't go herky-jerky all over the place like Pickwick and NN), most of the characters seemed as realistic as any Dickens character are (he does tend to throw very off the wall characters at us, but not in this novel), and I did find a depth of understanding of human nature that was stronger than in the earlier books we've read.

Florence was, as Tristam has said numerous times, a bit too good to be true, and some of the twists and turns were eye-rollers (Sol showing up just at the right moment with this unrealistic matter of letters not getting delivered, Carker stepping onto the tracks as the train was bearing down, Edith and Alice being related, to name just a few), but the major events seemed to flow reasonably realistically.


Linda | 712 comments Everyman wrote: "It's unclear to me, though I was reading very rapidly* and may have missed it, what she's living on."

Cousin Feenix said he was to put Edith "under his protection", and that they were going to the South of Italy to "establish themselves" until they went to their "long home". I took this to mean he would take care of Edith financially as well. (I think that's why he was put in the book, to help tie up Edith's loose ends)

I saw the Toots/Nipper marriage coming a mile off, but it seems so sad that both of them are so committed to a third party that it's hard to imagine them having any sort of real marriage.

Yes, I also suspected they would marry, and although I think they do suit themselves, I was SOOOOO annoyed at Mr. Toots as he went on and on and on about how Miss Dombey was as bright as ever to him, and that he was ever so devoted to her. And he went on about this just after announcing the birth of his daughter! I liked Mr. Toots, but at this point he went down a few rungs on his ladder for sure. A married man with a new baby, and he is going on and on about his past love of his life. Ugh.


Linda | 712 comments Everyman wrote: "Florence was, as Tristam has said numerous times, a bit too good to be true

I especially agree with this given at the end when she meets Edith for the last time, Florence keeps asking Edith if she can tell Papa that Edith asks for his forgiveness. I suppose she sees Edith at fault for running off, but even after Florence had been struck by her own father, she didn't have any sort of inkling that perhaps her father had some fault of his own in the matter? That perhaps her father needed to also ask for forgiveness from Edith? This was just a little too much for me.

"and some of the twists and turns were eye-rollers (Sol showing up just at the right moment with this unrealistic matter of letters not getting delivered, Carker stepping onto the tracks as the train was bearing down, Edith and Alice being related, to name just a few)"

Sol showing up just at the right moment - check!

Edith and Alice being cousins - check!

Carker being run down by a train - I'll actually take this as a great death scene. He deserved it. :)


Linda | 712 comments This is only the second Dickens I've read, and the earliest. I wish I had been with the group for the earlier reads so I could have seen the progression of Dickens' writing. It will be odd to loop back to the beginning once we finish with the rest of the books.

All in all, I did enjoy this book for all the anticipation of the storyline, figuring out all the characters' motives, watching their paths cross, seeing Uncle Sol come back just in time for the wedding... ;) Although I have say that little Paul was my absolute favorite, and to have him die so early on was such a disappointment. No other character came even close to taking place of little Paul for the remainder of the story.

I agree with Tristram that perhaps combining the last two weeks into one thread? Or perhaps posting both threads at once? At least for this book, the climax felt like it happened in the second to last installment and I didn't want to lose my interest in reading the last installment by waiting a week.


Linda | 712 comments Oh! I almost forgot. Concerning Edith, I did appreciate that she admitted that perhaps there is something in Dombey's past to make him act the way he did, and that she has no knowledge or understanding of it, just as he doesn't know of Edith's past:

I will be repentant too—let him know it then—and think that when I thought so much of all the causes that had made me what I was, I needed to have allowed more for the causes that had made him what he was. I will try, then, to forgive him his share of blame. Let him try to forgive me mine!'

This sure speaks for the power of communication in a marriage. If they could have only spoken to each other instead of walking around in silent pride and resentment, the latter half of the book may have never happened. Or, they may have not gotten married in the first place, for that matter!


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Kate All I can add is that I really feel for Edith. Again, she has come off far worse than anyone.

I agree with Everyman, in that I can't see Edith having no more to do with Florence. However, Florence forgiving her father seems to me that she hasn't learnt from the years of neglect and that she will allow Edith to pass out of her life to keep her father happy. I don't quite understand that.

My hope is that Florence is keeping up appearances for her father's sake and will be reunited with Edith one day. It seems even more heart wrenching that Florence has someone who has loved her and now she is shunning Edith, just like her father did to all the females in his life.


Everyman | 2034 comments Linda wrote: "Although I have say that little Paul was my absolute favorite, and to have him die so early on was such a disappointment. "

Dickens apparently felt the same way, as I think Tristam noted in an earlier thread.

But it sort of makes the title of the book inappropriate. I thought early on either that Edith would have a son and there would be a son to follow up, or that Dombey would take Florence into the firm with him so it would really be Dombey and daughter. But neither, of course, happened, so the title wound up being inappropriate.


Linda | 712 comments Everyman wrote: " But neither, of course, happened, so the title wound up being inappropriate."

Yes. Either the title was meant to throw us all off when Paul's death came, or Dickens had a different story in mind, then made some major changes well into the book but after it already had a title? I'm assuming the title was chosen and printed at the first published installment.

Perhaps the title should have been "Dombey and (Grand)son"? After all, Dombey finally treated Florence's son the way he should have treated his own. Allowing the child to run and play on the beach as a child should (and not hurrying his "useless" childhood along) and in doing so, loving and caring for him as a father should.


Tristram Shandy I actually cannot really imagine that the title was a misnomer because in the edition I was reading (Oxford Classics) it is said that this was the first novel that Dickens carefully planned in advance. The notes Dickens made for each chapter are also added in an appedix, and it appears that little Paul's death was a thing Dickens had in mind from the very start.

Maybe the title is meant to show that "Dombey and Son" are not actually supposed to refer to real human beings but to the principle on which the firm ran, i.e. that the son takes over from the father, and that from that moment on the Son is the representative of the House. Just remember Dombey's lack of interest in Paul's childhood fancies and pastimes and his impatience to see him a grown man and ready to step into his shoes. He was not interested in Paul as a child, or as a son, but simply in Paul as "Son".

From this perspective, the title makes sense to me. Furthermore there is Miss Tox's statement that Dombey and Son is a Daughter after all. At first, it might seem like cruel irony - the cruely not intended by Miss Tox -, but when we remember what Kim said about the male-female contrast in the novel, it also makes sense in that at the end of his live, Dombey softens and becomes human by embracing Florence's love and accepting her interest in human relations.


Tristram Shandy Thanks again to you, Kim, for posting all those illustrations. Once again they show that Browne rules.


Tristram Shandy As to Mr. Toots going on and on and on about Florence, that's really hard to bear but, as Everyman said, Susan apparently shares this fixation and so she will not take it ill. My wife already scowls at me when we are watching a film starring Barbara Stanwyck, my favourite actress, and I start raving about Missy. I mean, B.S. would be 107 years old now, so how jealous can you get?


Linda | 712 comments Tristram wrote: "Maybe the title is meant to show that "Dombey and Son" are not actually supposed to refer to real human beings but to the principle on which the firm ran, i.e. that the son takes over from the father, and that from that moment on the Son is the representative of the House."

Ah yes, this makes sense. It's also interesting that you point out that Dickens had it all planned out in advance. It's always something I wonder about in these serializations which take so long to publish the entire book from start to finish - how much was planned, how much was changed during writing from the original plan, how much was spur of the moment writing during each installment.


Tristram Shandy I think as a general rule, with Dickens you can say that "Dombey and Son" was a kind of watershed in that Dickens started his novels with a more careful planning phase in advance. In "Pickwick" he reacted to the responses of the reading public, e.g. by introducing Sam Weller into the novel; and in "Martin Chuzzlewit" he had his hero embark for the United States when he noticed that instalment sales were dwindling. On the one hand, this procedure allowed Dickens to react swiftly to what people thought about his novels, but on the other hand, it meant writing under a very serious strain because there were always deadlines to consider.


Linda | 712 comments Tristram wrote: "My wife already scowls at me when we are watching a film starring Barbara Stanwyck, my favourite actress"

Yes, but she is just an actress, not someone you see in your everyday life. It is normal to have favorite actors and actresses and go on and on about them.

And I guess you're right about the Nipper also sharing this fixation. I just see it differently since Susan was not an actual suitor of Florence, whereas Toots was.


message 24: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim The original title of Dombey and Sonwas:

Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son:
Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation.


So that sounds like the book was named after the business not the actual son.

Here is the wrapper design for the monthy parts:




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Kim Tristram is correct in that this is the first novel that Dickens had planned out before he even began writing it. In a letter he wrote to John Forster he said this:

"I will now go on to give you an outline of my immediate intentions in reference to Dombey. I design to show Mr. D. with that one idea of the Son taking firmer and firmer possession of him, and swelling and bloating his pride to a prodigious extent. As the boy begins to grow up, I shall show him quite impatient for his getting on, and urging his masters to set him great tasks, and the like. But the natural affection of the boy will turn towards the despised sister; and I purpose showing her learning all sorts of things, of her own application and determination, to assist him in his lessons; and helping him always. When the boy is about ten years old (in the fourth number), he will be taken ill, and will die; and when he is ill, and when he is dying, I mean to make him turn always for refuge to the sister still, and keep the stern affection of the father at a distance. So Mr. Dombey—for all his greatness, and for all his devotion to the child—will find himself at arms' length from him even then; and will see that his love and confidence are all bestowed upon his sister, whom Mr. Dombey has used—and so has the boy himself too, for that matter—as a mere convenience and handle to him. The death of the boy is a death-blow, of course, to all the father's schemes and cherished hopes; and 'Dombey and Son,' as Miss Tox will say at the end of the number, 'is a Daughter after all.' . . . From that time, I purpose changing his feeling of indifference and uneasiness towards his daughter into a positive hatred. For he will always remember how the boy had his arm round her neck when he was dying, and whispered to her, and would take things only from her hand, and never thought of him. . . . At the same time I shall change her feeling towards him for one of a greater desire to love him, and to be loved by him; engendered in her compassion for his loss, and her love for the dead boy whom, in his way, he loved so well too. So I mean to carry the story on, through all the branches and offshoots and meanderings that come up; and through the decay and downfall of the house, and the bankruptcy of Dombey, and all the rest of it; when his only staff and treasure, and his unknown Good Genius always, will be this rejected daughter, who will come out better than any son at last, and whose love for him, when discovered and understood, will be his bitterest reproach. For the struggle with himself which goes on in all such obstinate natures, will have ended then; and the sense of his injustice, which you may be sure has never quitted him, will have at last a gentler office than that of only making him more harshly unjust. . . . I rely very much on Susan Nipper grown up, and acting partly as Florence's maid, and partly as a kind of companion to her, for a strong character throughout the book. I also rely on the Toodles, and on Polly, who, like everybody else, will be found by Mr. Dombey to have gone over to his daughter and become attached to her. This is what cooks call 'the stock of the soup.' All kinds of things will be added to it, of course."

"About the boy, who appears in the last chapter of the first number, I think it would be a good thing to disappoint all the expectations that chapter seems to raise of his happy connection with the story and the heroine, and to show him gradually and naturally trailing away, from that love of adventure and boyish light-heartedness, into negligence, idleness, dissipation, dishonesty, and ruin. To show, in short, that common, every-day, miserable declension of which we know so much in our ordinary life; to exhibit something of the philosophy of it, in great temptations and an easy nature; and to show how the good turns into bad, by degrees. If I kept some little notion of Florence always at the bottom of it, I think it might be made very powerful and very useful. What do you think? Do you think it may be done, without making people angry? I could bring out Solomon Gills and Captain Cuttle well, through such a history; and I descry, anyway, an opportunity for good scenes between Captain Cuttle and Miss Tox. This question of the boy is very important. . . . Let me hear all you think about it. Hear! I wish I could."



message 26: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim At the very end of the novel were two more paragraphs which Dickens cancelled at the proof stage, here they are:

"The voices in the waves speak low to him of Florence, day and night - plainest when he, his blooming daughter, and her husband, walk beside them in the evening, or sit at an open window, listening to their roar. They speak to him of Florence and his altered heart; of Florence and their ceaseless murmuring to her of the love, eternal and illimitable, extending still, beyond the sea, beyond the sky, to the invisible country far away.

Never from the mighty sea may voices rise too late, to come between us and the unseen region on the other shore! Better, far better, that they whispered of that region in our childish ears, and the swift river hurried us away!"



Tristram Shandy Thanks for the extra input, Kim! I actually quite like the cancelled passages because the whispering waves seem, to me, to make some reference to little Paul, whom I found one of the most interesting charcters in the novel.


Peter I enjoyed reading your various comments and final thoughts all at once. It is different and refreshing to look at a couple of weeks' comments rather than be involved in them on a frequent and ongoing basis.

I think D&S is a remarkable novel, and certainly as mentioned above the first of his mature and firmly controlled novels. Gone are many of the bumps and awkward style moments that seem to populate his earlier writing. While the final chapters did need some work, and yes Florence is a bit too sweet, too forgiving, and dare I say annoyingly good, she is a clear step up from earlier versions of similar female characters.

The novels controlled power, its organized and clear mandate are, however, very clear. Greed in the pursuit of wealth, at the expense of family, will not pay dividends. The relentless march of Victorian industrialization and expansion is powerfully symbolized by the presence of the railway. Whether that march is a good or bad one is left unresolved, and I think Carker's death is emblematic of this question. The grisly death of Carker is just one of a series of "bad guy" deaths that Dickens has provided, and will continue to provide, for his eager readers. The larger value of that scene resides in the question of what more appropriate punishment/death could Carker have than to be killed by a train?

Edith is the first of the rounded female characters in Dickens' novels. While Dickens may not have provided many effective female characters in his novels (and that is a statement that we can debate more and more as we read into his next novels) Edith is a wonderfully crafted character. While she is psychologically complex, proud, and haughty, Edith does know goodness and a kind and loving heart when she sees one, and her tenderness and love for Florence is both wonderful to watch develop and painful to watch be dissolved. Whenever Edith seems to cold and distant, we need only remember how much she loves Florence, and how much she is willing to suffer and lose to protect Florence. Dare we think that Edith was, in her own way, as loving towards Florence as Florence is loving towards her father?


Everyman | 2034 comments Peter wrote: " The relentless march of Victorian industrialization and expansion is powerfully symbolized by the presence of the railway. Whether that march is a good or bad one is left unresolved, and I think Carker's death is emblematic of this question."

I like that thought.

P.S. Hope your vacation was enjoyable. But no Starbucks where you went with free wifi???


Everyman | 2034 comments Peter wrote: "Edith is the first of the rounded female characters in Dickens' novels. While Dickens may not have provided many effective female characters in his novels ... Edith is a wonderfully crafted character."

I must admit that I found her less than convincing. For me, she was dishonest, manipulative, incapable of forming healthy relationships, and self-centered. She could perfectly well have run away without Carker, but chose to involve him in a completely dishonest and grossly manipulative way which led directly to his death. I didn't like him much, but he deserved better.


Linda | 712 comments Everyman wrote: "P.S. Hope your vacation was enjoyable. But no Starbucks where you went with free wifi???"

No kidding. There are Starbucks everywhere. :) They've also invaded my workplace, which is actually surprising it's taken this long given I work in Seattle...

Glad to have you back Peter! For some reason I thought you were going on a shorter holiday and I started to worry. I've been looking forward to your summary post.


Peter Linda wrote: "Everyman wrote: "P.S. Hope your vacation was enjoyable. But no Starbucks where you went with free wifi???"

No kidding. There are Starbucks everywhere. :) They've also invaded my workplace, whic..."


Linda/Everyman

Not to sound uppity, but my wife and I have done a winter cruise for some years now, and frankly we don't get off the ship for more than a short walk to seek out a wi-if for sending the kids pictures of us spending their inheritance.

We then hop back on the ship and head for a chair to sit and read or stretch out by the empty pool.

I'm excited to begin our reading of David Copperfield which was a good companion aboard the ship.

It's good to be back home and with my Goodreads friends again.


Everyman | 2034 comments Peter wrote: "Not to sound uppity, but my wife and I have done a winter cruise for some years now, "

Not uppity at all. Glad people enjoy cruises. We enjoy watching the cruise ships going up and down the strait outside our house, though fewer now since more are moving to base in Vancouver than in Seattle. But still, there are a number that go up and down, and we enjoy watching them without any desire whatsoever to actually be on one.

Though I'm surprised they don't have Starbucks on them. Or maybe they do, but they don't allow free wifi because it would compete with the ship's profit center.


Linda | 712 comments Peter wrote: "We then hop back on the ship and head for a chair to sit and read or stretch out by the empty pool."

Now that sounds like a great vacation. :)


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Welcome back, Peter! Glad that you had a lovely time! :-)


Peter Thanks all for the welcome back. No matter where I go it is always best when I come home.

Before I put D&S on the shelf a couple of thoughts. I really enjoyed D&S and think it is Dickens great sleeper/overlooked novel. For all its flaws, I think it is his first mature novel. The plot is tighter, the characters broadly and more deeply evolved and the theme tightly handled.

Is it me or are there slight shades of Shakespeare's King Lear in the novel. Tenuous, I confess, but I see Dombey as rather like Lear. Both men have created an empire, and both want that empire to be passed to a child, but the conditions of this transfer are rather warped. Both men want their legacy to be one where the child is beholden to the parent. Granted, we do not see this played out at all in D&S but I feel Dombey would have expected much from Paul on an emotional level. We know Dombey is capable of ignoring the love of Florence because she was not a male, and we know Dombey was fully capable of demanding attention, respect and deferment to his will from his dealings with his wife Edith, so I do not think it such a stretch to see Dombey as at least containing the seeds of Lear's grand designs.

I see Florence reflecting some of the characteristics of Kent, the Fool, and of course, Cordelia. All three of Shakespeare's characters love Lear in spite of his epic and tragic flaws. While Florence may appear to be too compassionate and forgiving of Dombey's abusive treatment of her, does not Florence exhibit the love, compassion and even the wisdom of Shakespeare's loyal friends and daughter?

Is not Dombey's house after Edith leaves with Carker much like the Heath in they play? Barren, empty, eerie in its power of nothingness.

In Chapter 59 Dickens writes that Dombey " knew now what he had done. He knew, now, that he had called down that upon his head ... He knew now what it was like to be rejected and deserted ..." Here is Dickens at his finest bringing a character to a painful but necessary insight. Here, too, I think are whispers of Shakespeare.


Peter One final, final thought.

I liked the way Dickens completes the cycle of the sound and the presence of the ocean and waves in the book. On Paul's death early in the novel we have Dickens using the sound of the water, the waves, the ocean as a lament and background symbol for the death of Paul. At the end of the novel we have Florence and Walter coming from a voyage on the sea and she brings back her infant son, also named Paul, to meet his grandfather. Thus, what Mr Dombey had lost represented by the sounds of the sea, he now gains back from the sea. His ship The Son And Heir, lost at sea, now, in a new form, and with a much more valuable cargo, does return safely to him.

The sea, and what it had originally taken from Dombey, both literally and symbolically, is thus re-arranged to turn loss into gain, pain into pleasure, and death into life.


Linda | 712 comments Peter wrote: "The sea, and what it had originally taken from Dombey, both literally and symbolically, is thus re-arranged to turn loss into gain, pain into pleasure, and death into life."

I like this, Peter! Very nice.


Everyman | 2034 comments Peter wrote: "Thanks all for the welcome back. No matter where I go it is always best when I come home."

And as far as I'm concerned, better not to have gone in the first place.


Everyman | 2034 comments Peter wrote: "Is it me or are there slight shades of Shakespeare's King Lear in the novel. Tenuous, I confess, but..."

I would have to say nice try, but I think it's not so much a reflection of Lear as that both are from much earlier story lines. Oedipus and Antigone, for example, are also a story of a powerful man brought down by pride and rescued from despair by a daughter who remained faithful through it all. And that is probably an echo of an earlier motif from before the day of writing, when storytellers would sit around the fire after dinner entertaining with stories whose origin is lost far back in the mists of time.

So yes, there may be threads linking Dombey to Lear, but those threads do not originate with Lear, but Lear, Dombey, and many other adaptations come from some distant shared origin.


Peter Everyman wrote: "Peter wrote: "Is it me or are there slight shades of Shakespeare's King Lear in the novel. Tenuous, I confess, but..."

I would have to say nice try, but I think it's not so much a reflection of Le..."


Yes. Intertextual links take us both backward and forward. I love the patterns, don't you?


Tristram Shandy Peter, I like what you said about the loss of the "Son and Heir" and the other ship bringing back a son in a different form! As to Lear, I can see your point and would like to add that there is probably just a handful of story motifs that account for about 80 % of all great literature. We are retelling the same stories over and over again, and it is the details as well as the style and the poetry in which we can find variations.

And yes, I, too, do love these patterns!


Peter Tristram wrote: "Peter, I like what you said about the loss of the "Son and Heir" and the other ship bringing back a son in a different form! As to Lear, I can see your point and would like to add that there is pro..."

While there are many "schools of thought" I find myself returning, again and again, to Karl Jung and The Monomyth. There are seemingly an infinite number of ways to play the same notes, to tell the same stories, and it is a joy to discover each separate one.


message 44: by Tristram (last edited Feb 18, 2015 01:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tristram Shandy These patterns can also be found in movies, and I really enjoyed reading Will Wright's study Sixguns and Society A Structural Study of the Western, where he examines the different patterns of westerns. It's only that he pressed some points too hard with a view to the social and political needs that these westerns supposedly fed.


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