Literature Study GuidesDaniel DerondaVolume 3 Book 6 Chapters 44 46 Summary

Daniel Deronda | Study Guide

George Eliot

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Daniel Deronda | Volume 3, Book 6, Chapters 44–46 : Revelations | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 44

Gwendolen attempts to follow Deronda's advice and begins reading some philosophy to improve herself. But she has little time for such pursuits. The more Grandcourt notices her will opposing him, the more he demands her submission. Grandcourt strictly limits the visits of her mother and uncle, referring to them as "those people." Gwendolen lives in the shadow of humiliation of Grandcourt's finding out she knows about Lydia and her children. She harbors a secret hatred for her husband who has "from the very first ... cowed her," yet she always returns to "the spiritual pressure which made submission inevitable."

Chapter 45

Both the Grandcourts and the Mallingers are in town, and Sir Hugo invites his nephew for a musical party at which Mirah will play. While Gwendolen looks around, hoping to see Deronda, she lights upon Mr. Lush, who has suddenly reappeared and is now talking to her husband. One of Mrs. Mallinger's friends makes a snide remark about Deronda's "Jewess," which makes him indignant and angry. Nonetheless, Mirah's singing is well received in the Mallinger drawing room, and she is complimented by the maestro Klesmer. When Gwendolen speaks to Mirah, she alludes to how Deronda saved her and gave her "the best friends in the world" in the Meyricks. Soon, Gwendolen gets an opportunity to speak to Deronda, and she compliments Mirah but ends up sounding condescending. He responds to her coolly, and she is upset by his displeasure. He must not give up on her, she says: "If you despair of me, I shall despair." Hans Meyrick notices some words of feeling have been exchanged between Deronda and Gwendolen, and he later jokes about their "quarreling." Toward the end of the party, Grandcourt informs Gwendolen that Lush will be dining with them the next day and she must treat him with civility.

Chapter 46

With Mrs. Meyrick's help, Deronda has secured lodging for Mordecai not far from her. She is disappointed Deronda has found a brother who will "dip Mirah's mind over again in the deepest dye of Jewish sentiment," but she reconciles herself. When Deronda tells Mordecai about his sister, he is quietly overjoyed. He reiterates he is not related to the Cohens, although they share a last name, and that his name is Ezra Mordecai Cohen. He agrees to move closer to his sister, and the other Cohens accept Mordecai's good fortune gracefully.

Analysis

Gwendolen continues to fight for a connection with Deronda, who has become her only hope in a world in which she feels hemmed in on all sides. Eliot never specifies whether Gwendolen is in love with Deronda, and perhaps her protagonist cannot separate feelings of sexual attraction from her need to have an imagined sympathetic consciousness. Deronda's presence is like a talisman to ward off Gwendolen's worst fears about herself. He serves as a role model for right thinking. Nonetheless, the narrator seems to have a blind spot when it comes to what can reasonably be assumed as romantic feelings toward Deronda on Gwendolen's side, even if these feelings are unconscious. Gwendolen is appealing to an archetypal sense of male devotion and duty to the "fairer sex," which is very strongly manifested in Deronda. He is the white knight in this romance, and as Sir Hugo teases him on more than one occasion, he is prone to rescuing damsels in distress. This is an unconscious type of flirting, in which Gwendolen calls out to him in her time of need and he feels helpless to refuse.

In Chapter 46 Deronda's revelation that Mordecai is on the brink of being united with his long-lost sister is only further confirmation of God's plan in Mordecai's mind. "And you would have me hold it doubtful whether you were born a Jew!" he says to Deronda. Mordecai's connection with Deronda is validated by his serving as the conduit for a family reunion, and for this reason he does not argue about moving near his sister. For him, it is a given that Deronda has become part of his life, and Deronda's connection with his sister serves to secure the bond that has developed.

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