Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 21

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Chapter 21

  • OK, so now we're back in the present where we left off before getting Gwendolen's and Daniel's backstories. Gwendolen has gambled everything away and has found out that her family has lost all of their wealth.
  • Gwendolen arrives at the train station with nobody to meet her. From there, she's going to head over to Offendene. 
  • As she rides to meet her family, Gwendolen figures that the family will just go abroad again – they've got to have some cash left. She thinks about how it's really going to stink to have to travel like poor people and to have to hang out with her sisters.
  • Gwendolen feels angry with Grandcourt for having such a ridiculous past, which is what has kept her from marrying him.
  • When Gwendolen gets home, reality hits. She realizes that poverty isn't just something she's been told about – it's something that she has to live with.
  • Mrs. Davilow tells Gwendolen that they can't stay at their home. They own nothing but their clothes. Gwendolen doesn't really get it, and Mrs. Davilow points out that she's never really had to think about income or expenses in the past.
  • We learn that they're going to move to Sawyer's Cottage. Gwendolen is ticked off and says that her uncle should have come up with something better. Mrs. Davilow retorts that Mr. Gascoigne has his own family to worry about.
  • Mrs. Davilow also mentions that she and the girls are going to start working. 
  • It's obvious that none of these details are getting through to Gwendolen.
  • Mrs. Davilow says that she delayed telling Gwendolen everything because she didn't want to spoil her trip. Gwendolen flips out because she wouldn't have gambled everything away if she knew that they really didn't have anything.
  • Gwendolen gets into the "Everyone is against me! Boo hoo!" mode. She includes Daniel Deronda in her list of people who are against her.
  • Mrs. Davilow tells Gwendolen that she has a few opportunities. One of them is that she can go tutor a bishop's daughters. Another option is that she can go teach at a school.
  • Gwendolen doesn't want to be in position in which she has to work for someone else and be looked down upon.
  • Gwendolen has a light bulb moment and tells her mom not to worry – she's going to fix everything herself, yes she is!
  • Gwendolen writes to Klesmer and asks him to come see her the next day.

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