| Quote #7
Zeena's native village was slightly larger and nearer to the railway than Starkfield, and she had let her husband see from the first that life on an isolated farm was not what she had expected when she married. (4.7)
Again, the path of the train determines so much. Zeena is too good for Starkfield, but, because she's married to Ethan (who is poor) she's not good enough for her hometown, or any town above it, at least in her mind. This class anxiety paralyzes her, and Ethan too.
| Quote #8
Ethan was aware that, in regard to the important question of surgical intervention, the female opinion of the neighbourhood was divided, some glorying in the prestige conferred by operations while others shunned them as indelicate. (7.14)
This passage speaks to the medical side of technology. We have made incredible advances in medical science since those days, though much of the workings of the human body and mind remain a mystery.