Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 27

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Chapter 27

  • The next day, Mrs. Davilow helps Gwendolen get gussied up for her date with Mr. Grandcourt. Gwendolen doesn't want to make too much of a fuss, though – she's made up her mind to refuse Grandcourt if he asks her to marry him.
  • Even so, we find out that she's spent the better part of the last day going back and forth on the decision.
  • Gwendolen wonders about what's up with Lydia Glasher and her kids. She feels like she made a promise not to marry Grandcourt, but she's also not sure what the harm would be.
  • But, the narrator points out, "Gwendolen had about as accurate conception of marriage […] as she had of magnetic currents and the law of storms" (27.9). That is, Gwendolen doesn't know the first thing about what marriage is like.
  • Gwendolen starts worrying about what other people would think if they knew about Lydia Glasher.
  • We learn that Gwendolen has never really thought about marriage as the result of love.  We also learn that Grandcourt's advances kind of disgust her.
  • Grandcourt shows up. He tells her that he was disappointed not to have seen her at Leubronn.
  • Gwendolen is short with him.
  • Grandcourt asks her if there is another man who might be coming between them. Gwendolen is really tempted to tell him that she knows about Lydia Glasher, but she doesn't even know where to begin with that one.
  • Grandcourt is like, "Hey, if you don't want me, just let me know and I'll leave." Gwendolen realizes that she doesn't exactly want him to leave, because she doesn't know what she'll do then.
  • Gwendolen blames her behavior on being preoccupied about her family's financial straits.
  • Then Grandcourt asks if he can help the family out. Gwendolen is like, "Oh, that's generous of you." And then Grandcourt is like, "Oh, so you'll marry me then?"
  • Gwendolen accepts, although the narrator tells us that she says "yes" the same way that she would say it if she were identifying herself in a courtroom.
  • Grandcourt tells her she'll get whatever she likes. She tells him that she can't stand Lush. Grandcourt says he'll get rid of him.
  • Gwendolen tells Mrs. Davilow that she is engaged. Mrs. Davilow doesn't sound too jazzed.
  • Gwendolen tells her that everything is going to be great – they won't have to live at Sawyer's Cottage, and Gwendolen won't have to be a governess.

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