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Quotes

Quote #1

She was puritan, like her father, high-minded, and really stern. Therefore the dusky, golden softness of this man's sensuous flame of life, that flowed off his flesh like the flame from a candle, not baffled and gripped into incandescence by thought and spirit as her life was, seemed something wonderful, beyond her. (1.82)

When she first sees Walter Morel, Gertrude (Mrs. Morel) is totally swept off her feet. Walter is the total opposite of what she expects from a man. While her life has mostly been reserved and intellectual, Walter loves to dance and laugh without any kind of restraint. Unfortunately, this love of a good time will eventually be Walter's (and Gertrude's) undoing. Dun dun dunnn.

Quote #2

Whereupon he got up and went out of the house, returning presently and crossing the kitchen with averted face, hurrying upstairs. As Mrs. Morel saw him slink quickly through the inner doorway, holding his bundle, she laughed to herself: but her heart was bitter, because she had loved him. (2.247)

After Walter makes an empty threat to leave Mrs. Morel forever, he comes back into the house and slinks shamefully upstairs. Mrs. Morel can only laugh at his clumsiness. But the moment is actually super sad, because Mrs. Morel realizes that she no longer loves her husband. She still has vivid memories of loving him, though, and it makes her bitter to think of how far their relationship has fallen.

Quote #3

Nevertheless, there was a state of peace in the house for some time. Mrs. Morel was more tolerant of him, and he, depending on her almost like a child, was rather happy. Neither knew that she was more tolerant of him because she loved him less. (3.14)

As time passes, Mrs. Morel builds up a friendly tolerance for her husband. Sadly, she can only tolerate him because she no longer expects much from him. And the fact that Walter doesn't notice her dwindling love for him spells doom for the relationship. The truly tragic part is that these two people will still live another couple of decades sleeping next to one another every night, and never say a word about their misery.

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