Study Guide

The Wings of the Dove Volume 1, Book 5, Chapter 3

By Henry James

Volume 1, Book 5, Chapter 3

  • It turns out that Sir Luke Strett (the doctor) has an extremely busy schedule and is only able to give Milly ten minutes in her first appointment. When she gets out of their meeting, Kate wants to know what's up. Milly simply says that she needs to come back in a few days. Milly doesn't even give a straight answer on whether she's ill or not.
  • Milly claims that she plans on coming to her follow-up visit alone, then asks Kate to keep quiet about everything. Kate, though, eventually asks what she can get in return for all this friendship. She's not totally the altruistic type, and in return for her silence, she makes Milly promise to tell her when and if she finds out she's sick.
  • Sir Luke is very surprised to find out that Milly has no living relatives to speak of. Pay close attention to this detail too, Shmoopers, because it'll be important later on.
  • Luke Strett doesn't want Milly to take any medication in particular. He just wants her to go home for a few days and follow his instructions.
  • One thing Luke says is that Milly should leave London immediately after her next session with him. She asks if she can go to the rest of Europe, and he downright encourages it.
  • She asks him if she's going to be suffering in the near future. When he denies it, she asks him whether she'll be able to live. And he, in a mysterious way, says that living is exactly what he's trying to persuade her to do.