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Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda


by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda Chapter 11 Summary

  • Gwendolen isn't startled to hear that Grandcourt is waiting to meet her, but she does get all flushed when he asks to meet her. He's totally unlike what she had imagined.
  • The narrator starts describing Grandcourt, but then interrupts herself; after all, impressions of people can change quickly, so it's impossible to give an apt description of Grandcourt up front.
  • Gwendolen's impression of Grandcourt? He's "not ridiculous" (11.3). Sounds promising.
  • Grandcourt and Gwendolen start a conversation that is full of quiet pauses. As she asks him questions and waits for answers, Grandcourt's silence makes her think about what she says and what he must think about her.
  • Gwendolen sees Grandcourt as being calm and cold, but not totally disagreeable.
  • Mr. Gascoigne comes over and tells Gwendolen that Juliet Fenn just beat her for the gold arrow.
  • A "middle-aged man with dark full face and fat hands" introduces Klesmer to Grandcourt. Then Gwendolen sees this guy and Grandcourt join the Arrowpoints.
  • Gwendolen is really interested in seeing how Grandcourt acts around other people other than herself. She notices that Grandcourt looks less at Catherine and more at Klesmer.  
  • Grandcourt walks Mrs. Davilow to her carriage; she proposes that they should all meet up in the ballroom later. Grandcourt says yes.
  • Mrs. Davilow tells Gwendolen that she was wrong for once about someone – there's nothing ridiculous about Grandcourt.
  • The men and the ladies dine separately. In the ladies' dining room, it's pretty clear that Gwendolen isn't everyone's favorite. She hasn't started up any close friendships with anyone. It's possible, the narrator tells us, that she's not really interested in them, either.  The one exception is Catherine Arrowpoint, who is pretty friendly with Gwendolen.
  • Later on, while they're changing for the ball, Mrs. Davilow remarks to Gwendolen that Catherine has great manners.  Gwendolen says she wishes she were more like Catherine because she seems contented with things, whereas Gwendolen is dissatisfied with her life.
  • The narrator tells us how pretty Gwendolen looks.
  • Mrs. Davilow, looking for reasons why Gwendolen should be happy, tells her to look forward to the dancing. Gwendolen replies by saying she doesn't intend to dance, besides the quadrille that she promised to Mr. Clintock. She refuses to waltz or polka with anyone. We can only imagine that this is akin to refusing to dance the Electric Slide or Macarena at a high school homecoming dance.
  • Mrs. Davilow tells her sister, Mrs. Gascoigne, that Gwendolen refuses to do the waltz or polka. Mrs. Gascoigne thinks that Gwendolen should behave like other young ladies, who would by all means polka their hearts out on an occasion such as this one.
  • The guys at the party are disappointed that Gwendolen won't do the waltz or the polka. They think she is cruel.  
  • Grandcourt hasn't asked Gwendolen to dance with him yet. He asked Catherine Arrowpoint to dance the quadrille, which is apparently a big deal, and he so far hasn't seemed to want a different dance partner.
  • Gwendolen figures that Grandcourt intends to marry Catherine. She does notice, though, that he keeps positioning himself so that he can look at her.
  • Gwendolen dances with Klesmer. He points out that Grandcourt likes to watch her dance.
  • Klesmer and Gwendolen banter a little bit.
  • Gwendolen asks Klesmer who that dark-haired friend of Grandcourt's is – the guy who was on the archery field. Klesmer replies that his name is Mr. Lush.  
  • Later on, Grandcourt comes up to Gwendolen and asks her to save him a dance. She's like, "Oh, well, I actually am booked for the rest of the night with the other guys here. Your loss." She isn't sorry to punish him for making her wait.
  • They get a little flirtatious.
  • Lady Brackenshaw comes up and says that Mr. Clintock had to leave because he got an important message from his father. Grandcourt is like, "Score!"
  • Gwendolen and Grandcourt dance.
  • Gwendolen realizes that it is now in her power to reject Grandcourt. She likes the feeling of power that it gives her.
  • After they dance, Grandcourt and Gwendolen run into Catherine Arrowpoint. She asks them to vote on a picnic archery meeting. Gwendolen sees herself and Grandcourt as Robin Hood and Maid Marian.
  • Gwendolen decides she's seriously averse to Lush and never wants him to come near her.
  • Grandcourt asks her if she likes "this kind of thing."  Gwendolen feels like she never has before – for the first time, she's afraid of offending someone that she's speaking to. She tells him that she does.
  • They walk over to where Mrs. Davilow has been sitting all evening but has since left. To Gwendolen's annoyance, her mom comes back – with Lush. Great.
  • Gwendolen tells them that she wants to put on her cloak. Lush tries to help her, but she tells him no thanks.
  • Grandcourt helps her instead. Then he asks Mrs. Davilow if he can swing by their house the next day.

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