A Pseudo-Epiphanius Testimony Book (Early Christian by Robert V. Hotchkiss

By Robert V. Hotchkiss

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Rowland, Hope’s great adversary in the village, clearly cultivates her daughter’s impractical mindset. The comical nature of this portrait becomes somber when Matilda is the sole victim of the typhus plague among Hope’s immediate friends and family members. In Martineau’s vision of social progress, women (or girls) who live only to become wives cannot survive in the modern world – or the modern novel as Martineau conceives it. While the narrowness of female lives constitutes Martineau’s principle reason for an unhealthy preoccupation with marriage, the example of Hope shows that men, too, are prone to defeatist romantic notions.

Mr. Hope soon falls in love with Margaret, the plainer but more sensible of the sisters. But Mrs. Grey, who means well but persistently meddles in others’ lives, urges him to marry the less virtuous Hester, who mistakenly believes that it is she whom Hope loves. Out of a strong sense of duty and self-sacrifice, Hope marries Hester, resolving to quell his love for Margaret. Doctoring the Marriage Plot 27 After the wedding of Hope and Hester, Deerbrook takes a darker turn, leading to a more focused analysis of Hope and his changing fortunes.

Martineau’s rendering of marriage as a civil and cooperative union complements her conception of medicine as a similarly socially conscious and service-oriented domain. Deerbrook Set in the small, Midland-shire village of Deerbrook, Martineau’s novel begins with the arrival of two sisters from Birmingham, Margaret and Hester Ibbotson, who have been welcomed after the deaths of their parents by their distant cousins, the Grey family. The Ibbotson sisters are initiated into village life and its social politics, which include a feminine preoccupation with scandal and gossip.

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