Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 4, Part 17, Chapter 5

By Charles Dickens

Book 4, Part 17, Chapter 5

Concerning the Mendicant's Bride

  • When Mr. Wilfer gets back from the wedding, his wife is out of bed and she wants to know where he's been. She also finds it weird that he doesn't ask where Bella is. She definitely smells something fishy about his disappearance, but he fibs his way out of the conversation.
  • Mrs. Wilfer takes the opportunity to tell Mr. Wilfer that he no longer has a daughter named Bella because Bella is now dead to them. Yeah, she's a pretty harsh lady.
  • Eventually, Bella comes home with Mr. Rokesmith to face her mother. She's actually pretty casual about the whole thing, saying that Mr. Rokesmith has made her a better person. They explain how they're going to get by financially and how they'll have everything they need.
  • When they leave the Wilfer house, Bella asks John what's on his mind. He says he's been thinking about whether she misses being rich.
  • Let's not forget that this is John Harmon speaking, and he could step up and claim his family fortune at any moment if he wants to. But Bella says she'll have everything she wants if they can just be together.
  • And so Mr. and Mrs. Rokesmith begin their married life. But as months go by, John keeps asking Bella if she'd like to be rich. When she asks why, he dodges the question. Then one day, Bella tells John that she's pregnant.