Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Education

Advertisement - Guide continues below


"There you are, Charley, working your way, in secret from father, at the school, and you get prizes." (1.3.159)

Lizzie likes to predict her brother's future by staring into the flames of her fireplace. In this scene, she predicts that Charley will raise himself in the world by getting into a good school and winning prizes for his hard work and intelligence.

"You come to be a pupil-teacher, and you still go on better and better, and you rise to be a master full of learning and respect." (1.3.161)

Lizzie is glad to think that her brother Charley will become a big success by getting an education. The only sad part is that he'll have to leave home to do it, because his dad Gaffer has a real hate-on for education. He doesn't want his children thinking they're too good for him and for the life he's provided.

"Don't be angry, dear. It seems, father, that he has quite a gift of learning." (2.6.147)

Lizzie doesn't want her father to get angry, but she's got her work cut out for her. Once he learns that his son Charley has run off to school, Gaffer Hexam practically disowns the kid and says he never wants to see the boy again. As you can imagine, the dude is really insecure about his own lack of education.

"Unnat'ral young beggar!" (2.6.148)

Gaffer Hexam thinks it's " unnatural" for his son Charley to run off and get a good education. For him, people are born into a certain position in life and they should stay there.

"—And that having this gift, and not being equally good at other things, he has made shift to get some schooling." (2.6.149)

Lizzie tries to explain Charley's desertion as lightly as possible, but Gaffer Hexam is having none of it. For him, the whole thing's pretty clear. If Charley gets an education, then he thinks he's too good for his dad. And Gaffer is a proud, proud man.

"He went away this morning, father, and he cried very much at going, and he hoped you would forgive him." (2.6.151)

The truth is that Charley didn't cry at all when he left home. In fact, he practically danced his way out the door when he realized he wouldn't have to deal with his dad anymore. But Lizzie says he cried so that her father won't be hard on Charley. Unfortunately, the effort fails and Gaffer never wants to see Charley again.

"I don't want, as I raise myself, to shake you off, Liz. I want to carry you up with me." (6.1.162)

Charley Hexam doesn't want to abandon his sister Lizzie, but he'll do it if he has to. He was hoping that by raising himself with education, he could raise her too. But when he hears that she's rejected a marriage proposal by his respected schoolmaster, he pretty much gives up on her.

"I'll get a school, and then you must come and live with me, and you'll have to control your fancies then, so why not now?" (6.1.169)

Charley makes one last appeal for Lizzie to let go of her "fancies" and marry for status instead of love. He plans on running a school someday and having Lizzie live with him, but he can't do that if she insists on following her heart and marrying for love.

"You know that it's good to have it, or you would never have so devoted yourself to your brother's having it." (6.2.40)

Eugene isn't convinced when Lizzie Hexam turns down his offer to become her personal tutor. He knows that she cares about education because she has gone to such trouble to make sure her brother has one. She's just holding out on him because she's suspicious of his motives.

"How to your father? Can you ask! By perpetuating the consequences of his ignorant and blind obstinacy." (6.2.42)

For Eugene, Lizzie owes it to herself not to continue her father's terrible policy of no education. If she doesn't try to educate herself, she's allowing her father (who's already dead, btw) to keep ruining her life from beyond the grave.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...