Study Guide

Daniel Deronda Chapter 56

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Chapter 56

  • Daniel goes to bed. Gwendolen has told him that she'll send for him the next morning.
  • The next morning, he doesn't hear from Gwendolen but hears that she was up all night so now she's finally passed out.
  • He can't help but think that Gwendolen is full of secrets.
  • Daniel (who, in case you forgot, studied law) goes to get a statement from the fishermen who rescued Gwendolen. They think Grandcourt must have been knocked over by the flapping sail. They say that they heard Grandcourt scream, and then they heard Gwendolen scream and saw her jump in the water – but they didn't actually see everything.
  • When Daniel gets back to the hotel, someone tells him that Gwendolen is up and wants to see him. He goes to see her.
  • Gwendolen is like a ghost of her former self.   She calls herself a murderess.
  • Daniel's like, that's not true. You dove in after him.
  • Gwendolen tells Daniel that she has to tell him everything and asks him if he will forsake her. Daniel says he won't.
  • Gwendolen says that some evil spirit came over her.  She's been haunted by bad feelings and she shouldn't have married Grandcourt. She knows that she has made her gain out of Lydia's loss. She says that the whole world is a punishment to her.
  • Gwendolen tells Daniel that seeing him on the stairwell gave her a kind of joy that she hadn't expected to feel. She thought maybe she could tell him everything. She tells him that that happiness was taken away from her – probably because Grandcourt made a big deal about it. Grandcourt made her go sailing with him, and she wished he would die.
  • Daniel wonders if he should leave, but Gwendolen begs him to stay. She needs to tell him what happened out in the boat.
  • Gwendolen says that she had no way of killing Grandcourt in the boat, but she killed him with her thoughts.
  • She tells Daniel the same stories as the fishermen did – the sail knocked Grandcourt overboard while he was turning it. He shouted at Gwendolen to throw him a rope. She hesitated – in her heart she said, "Die!" Then he sank, and only then did she jump in the water
  • Daniel doesn't think it's as bad as he originally suspected. He tells Gwendolen to try to sleep. She continues crying.

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