Study Guide

Dorothea in Hush, Hush

By Becca Fitzpatrick

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Dorothea is the Greys' housekeeper, whom Nora thinks her mother has hired not only to keep their home tidy, but also to keep an eye on Nora when she's out of town. Dorothea's role is pretty limited and kept to the early chapters of the book. She kind of serves as one of those warning signs, like the ones at hotel pools broadcasting, "No lifeguard on duty swim at your own risk." Most people pay no attention to those signs and go swimming anyway, but it's there to cover the bases. There's a similar thing going on in one of the few conversations we get between Nora and Dorothea. Dorothea comments:

"I hope you do not do stupid things for a boy, Nora." (7.12)

It's an endearing moment and sage advice—but it comes on the heels of Dorothea saying she's going to a conference with one of those life-coaching, pep-talking doctors who argues that "you think your way to a sexier you" (7.8) and advises women to write mantras in lipstick on their mirrors. So, while sweet and wise, Dorothea's speech is also comical and dated and kind of perfunctory. Like the hotel pool signs, Nora's not really going to take it seriously, and she's going to do what she wants regarding Patch.

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