Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 33

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Chapter 33

  • Daniel spends a lot of time wandering around the Jewish neighborhoods of London, half-hoping to find Mirah's family.
  • Knowing Mirah has changed Daniel's understanding of Jewish people. He used to be more critical of them, but since he thinks she's so great, he realizes that it's possible for all of them to defy stereotypes.
  • Daniel wanders by a shop and sees that the name above the door says "Ezra Cohen." That's Mirah's brother's name.  OK, so there could be a thousand guys named Ezra Cohen. But still.
  • Daniel and Sir Hugo talk about his future. Sir Hugo wants him to go into politics.
  • After this chat, Daniel goes out again with the goal of visiting Ezra Cohen's again. 
  • Daniel first goes into a secondhand bookstore where he sees a strange looking man in threadbare clothing with "yellowish" skin, a broad forehead, and "crisp black hair" who is apparently keeping track of the store. Daniel asks him the price of a particular book.
  • The man asks Daniel if he is interested in Jewish history, and then asks him, "You are perhaps part of our race?" (33.22). Daniel is like, "Uh, no."  He feels really uncomfortable.
  • Daniel moves on to Ezra Cohen's shop. Ezra Cohen is totally different from the other guy he just saw – cheerful and fat and ruddy-cheeked.  Ezra calls his mother over as he sees Daniel walk in.
  • Daniel asks to see the silver clasps in the window, which he might like to buy.
  • Then Ezra calls over his wife, Addy, who walks in carrying their baby. Then a little boy, introducing himself as "Jacob Alexander Cohen" strolls in, too.
  • Jacob shows Daniel his pocketknife and asks if Daniel has one, too.
  • Daniel asks the grandma if the three kids in the room (the boy, a little girl, and the baby) are her only grandkids. She says yes, and that Ezra is her only son. Then Daniel asks if she has a daughter. She looks down at the floor and Ezra cuts in. Daniel's like, "Whoa, it's Mirah's mom."
  • Ezra jumps in and they make small talk.
  • Then Daniel is like, "Well, I don't really want to buy these clasps, but I do want to borrow them." He asks if he can come by another time with a diamond ring to swap until he's done with the clasps. 
  • Ezra is like, "Well, sure, but if you come back it will be the Sabbath and I can't work anymore. But you should come join us."
  • The toddler, Adelaide, takes a liking to Daniel, so he figures he has to show up.
  • Daniel leaves, thinking all about how nice these people are and whether they are really Mirah's relatives.

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