December 4, 2014
“At another moment Alexander might have observed that nothing would give more pleasure to the eldest Miss Blount than knowing that she was to be sold to a rich husband.”
At this time in the novel, Alexander and the girls are about to head to London. Alexander is talking to Anthony about the girls in the situation above. Anthony has just told Alexander that the girls have been solely relying on their brother’s income to stay healthy and not completely poor. However, Anthony fears that when the brother of the Miss Blount’s gets married, he will not have enough money to provide for his sisters and his mother. It comes across his mind that the girls may think they are being sold to rich husbands in London. Then Alexander thinks that nothing would please Teresa more than to marry a rich husband. This makes him upset and motivated at the same time because he has always been in love with her. This gives him motivation to try and become rich through his writings so he can ultimately marry her.
Throughout this course, we have been talking about all sorts of odd types of Romance. In each scenario, the character has had to change his or her appearance or something else about them to try and be with the person who they want to be with. Alexander thinks that he must become rich to win Teresa. It is funny to see in all the novels how far characters are willing to go just to be the one whom they think that they love. For example, in Fantomina, she completely changes her appearance multiple times just to try and please and get the acceptance from the man she loves. The course has shown so many interesting ways that love is attempted and most of the time achieved.
December 4, 2014
”And yet it is held that the greatest pleasure is to be derived from the chase itself, not from the value of the spoils,” was he reply. “Perhaps you should attempt it, as a matter of investigation.”
In the immediate context of the novel, Arabella is discussing with Petre the thrill of hunting as a thinly veiled analogy for having an affair with her.
The context of the passage with regards to the world at large is that, especially in the 18th century, the attraction of having an affair was not the acquisition of the woman herself, but rather the excitement of the affair itself, and cladestine meetings with someone who was already married.
December 4, 2014
Deeply shaken, he thought for a moment to stay safe in Binfield, but he knew that he must go forward. For better or for worse, his future awaited him in London; it was there that he must put his talents to the test. He wanted the elation of success; it was time at last to confront the terrifying possibility of failure.”
The passage is about Pope and his decision on whether to go to London or not to advance his career. The immediate significance to the novel is that this is an important decision for Pope because he is deciding if he is going to take the risk of going to a big city and trying to make it there. Pope knows that an easy decision would be to “stay safe in Binfield”, but he had a future awaiting him in London. Pope also had to decide between leaving his old life behind for a new and possibly better one. Pope had to weigh the risks and rewards of this decision, which was a very important one for the plot of the novel.
A broader significance of this passage is the promise and future that a big city can hold. For Pope, it was always an easy option to stay in Binfield, but London offers so much promise for Pope as a writer. This shows how much promise a city like London in the 18th century had. Making it in London was the dream for a lot of people during these teams, especially the ones living in places like Binfield. For people like Pope, London is a place where someone of his class and upbringing can become something, and that is why the promise of the big city meant so much for people in 18th century England.
December 4, 2014
“Arabella understood well that situation in which she found herself was fraught with uncertainty. Like Teresa and Martha, she was Roman Catholic. Against that, she was and she was rich-but she knew she was not rich enough for her or beauty surmount every obstacle that lay before her.”
In the moment this is important because Arabella like Lord Petre, yet she knows she is not of enough wealth to stand a chance with him. She still tries to get him, and admires him, but she knows that she will most likely be unsuccessful in her chase.
Overall this is important because it shows the mind-frame of the time. Money rules everything, money dictated who you were close with, what you did, and even who you married. Teresa and Martha are especially affected by this because there estate is running out of money. Therefore they are, unbeknownst to them, moving lower and lower down the marriage ratings, and soon will struggle to find a husband at all if they lack a dowry.
December 4, 2014
“Take care, madam.” He said to Teresa. “The handsome fellow who adored you for a few months will neglect you for many years together. The fawning servant turns the haughty lord.”
The immediate context of this passage in the novel shows the readers how Alexander Pope feels to Teresa’s treatment towards him in the beginning of the book. He seems to be very drawn into this woman as he says by both her beauty and clever wit and has obvious feelings for her that he has expressed openly. She, however, seems to not be too keen into him and hopes to meet the lord on her trip. Pope takes a jab at her by saying that the man that once adored her will no neglect her.
The broader significance of this passage is that it shows what seems to be the thinking of many women back in the day and even in today’s society. Both men and women seem to most often be more intrigued by someone’s status and wealth rather than those who actually care for them despite whether or not they obtain this image. It’s safe to say that even in society now a days there are people who want to be with that person who has all the money or is popular among their peers without really knowing their personality. People like Pope, who both have a great personality as well as compassion for that someone, are simply turned away.
December 4, 2014
“Take care, madam,” he said to Teresa. “The handsome fellow who adores you for a few months will neglect you for many years together. The fawning servant turns the haughty lord.” (p. 12)
This passage occurs during one of the first encounters we see between Alexander and Teresa. Alexander seems to be infatuated by Teresa, but she is not interested in him as a husband, because he is not as well off financially as she wants her dream spouse to be. Teresa is fond of Alexander, but she has decided to chase after what she sees as grander prizes, more worthy of someone like her. In the above quotation Alexander warns Teresa of the realities of this sort of relationship, which are almost never favorable towards the wife. Alexander is implying that while he is not as successful financially at the moment as she wants him to be, he would be better to her in the long run than some wealthy noble would be.
The broader significance of this passage pertains to the marriages of the time. These relationships were almost exclusively focused on improving a person’s class and or wealth. A person’s stature in society was incredibly important and more or less set in stone what a person could do in their life. In some ways it is understandable why love would take the back seat when it came to marriages, as these marriages were often the only way a person could move up in society. However, one of the many problems with this system was that men would often profess to be madly in love with the women they were courting, even though they were really only after the money. Women would be tricked into marrying these men, thinking they were getting themselves involved in some wonderful candy land relationship. However, as Alexander mentions in the above passage, shortly after being married most wives would become irrelevant to their husbands, as the husbands had gotten what they wanted and were no longer dependent on their ‘lover’s’ opinion of them, and the wives would be stuck with these husbands for potentially the rest of their lives.
December 3, 2014
“Do not forget that I am lucky to have him as my husband,” she replied seriously. “I could not have you in my bed if I were unmarried. I should be bent entirely upon safeguarding my reputation from attack.” p. 105
This passage is important to the novel because it shows the difference between Petre’s relationship with Charlotte and with Arabella. The nature of his relationship with Charlotte, while undeniably friendly, is predominately sexual. With Arabella, whom he might have feelings for, he must stay formal and distant. Ironically, Petre is freer to have an affair with the married Charlotte than with the unmarried Arabella because, as Charlotte states, Arabella must focus on “safeguarding [her] reputation”. Although Arabella is renowned for her beauty and is well-off, she is not wealthy enough to escape the concerns of finding security through marrying a wealthy husband.
In the context of the whole course, it emphasizes the difference between men and women in society. Petre is unmarried and yet is as free to pursue an affair as the married Charlotte -perhaps even freer. Arabella, however, must focus on maintaining her “honor” and “value” until she is wed. Petre’s value is his financial situation. While it is part of Arabella’s as well, there is a greater value placed on her “honor.” It also encourages the idea that the most powerful woman in 18th century England is the widow -or maybe just one whose husband in absent more often than not.
December 3, 2014
” When you find yourself doing the portrait of some vain, idle whimperer do you not want to crush him with the strokes of your brush?…I am not a judge, Pope,; I am a painter. Thank Heavens! What right have I to determine the merits of those I paint?” pg. 128
This quote is right after Pope has been informed of Petre’s real family status and Jervas and him are discussing the differences between their work of art. All Pope wants to do is use his poetry to expose Petre for who he really is, the grandson of a traitor. Jervas does not understand the point of why Pope would want to do that. The men get in a heated discussion where they accuse each other of not using art to its full potential but later on decide to leave the conversation behind because each man is successful the way they are.
The broader significance of this quote is that both men see a different reason to use the art they do for the society. Jervas believes his job is to portray his “muse” exactly as they see themselves. He does not see why he needs to judge the people because that is not his job. He believes artists have a job and it is to portray what is in front of them. Pope believes that his art is the way that he communicates with the audience and the society. If he sees fault in society he finds a way to satirize the situation to call into question the actions of that audience. I would have to agree with Pope in this argument because I believe artists create their voice through their works and if they feel a specific way towards their subject they should reflect that in their work.
December 3, 2014
“She wanted to think of Alexander merely as a friend from her past…she was determined to make a splendid match in London. But how funny Alexander had seemed when they were younger! His jokes, his letters, his amusing gallantries – all so delightful to her. If only he was successful, she reflected.” (15)
The immediate significance of this passage is that it displays Teresa’s affection for Alexander, but she believes that his economic background was not sufficient. He and his family did not have enough money to meet her needs and in general, the society’s needs. Teresa seemed skeptical of how successful he was going to end up as a poet. She felt that he was just writing freely with no deadline or intent to finish. She believed that he might be “worth a good deal” one day, but as of then, he did not prove to be successful or determined. Although, this passage did show that she still feels “a lurch in her heart” when she sees him, but she cannot count on his income being enough.
The significance of this passage to the whole novel and the 18th century is that it shows how important money and social significance is in the society. In order for a woman to be eligible to marry a man, her family money must be enough for her and her husband to be elite. The man also must be successful in business and have enough money in order to support him and his wife. This quote reveals that, in this time period, marriage was not always about love because the issue of money and social ranking was always a factor.
December 3, 2014
“When I marry, it must be to a woman whose dowry is enough to give importance even to our estates” (57)
In the above passage, Lord Petre is explaining to Douglass why he may never marry Arabella. Being the “seventh Baron Petre” (56), Lord Petre’s family money is not what it was several generations ago. Therefore, Lord Petre must marry a woman as wealthy as he in order to receive a large sum of money from her dowry. Arabella, while well off, does not have as much money as Lord Petre would need.
The above quotation and its significance within the novel do well to encompass marriage customs in 18th century England. While people would obviously try to find a companion that they got along well with, the first priority in marriage was always to find a companion who benefitted one and their family financially. It would therefore be very rare for people from different classes to marry each other, even if they felt true love for each other. Lord Petre laments over the fact that he is “‘not rich enough to be carried away by emotions'” (57). Although he feels a clear attraction towards Arabella, Lord Petre knows that her family is not rich enough for the two to ever become married.