Study Guide

Middlemarch Book 5, Chapter 47

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Book 5, Chapter 47

  • Will has trouble falling asleep after his argument with Lydgate – he's thinking about whether he's made a mistake in settling in Middlemarch as a newspaper editor.
  • He doesn't want Dorothea to think he's making a fool of himself.
  • And speaking of Dorothea, Eliot reassures us that Will has no fantasies about marrying her after Casaubon dies.
  • He has her on a pedestal. She's like a saint to him, and who can imagine marrying a saint? That would be sacrilege.
  • The next day is Sunday, and he decides to go to church at Lowick. Why shouldn't he? The church is open to anyone who wants to go, and he knows other people in the neighborhood besides the Casaubons.
  • He tries to convince himself that he's not doing it out of spite for Mr. Casaubon.
  • Really, he's not. He's going to catch a glimpse of Dorothea, but it'll annoy the heck out of Casaubon to see him there.
  • When he arrives at the church and takes his seat, he looks for Dorothea.
  • She comes in by herself (of course, because Mr. Casaubon is the minister).
  • But she sits off to the side, and looks uncomfortable when she sees him, and hardly gives him a head-nod.
  • And then Will is forced to sit and watch Mr. Casaubon during the service, and can't turn his head to stare at Dorothea without Casaubon seeing him.
  • Will's miserable. He thinks that he's seriously annoyed Dorothea.
  • He watches the Casaubons leave together after church is over.

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