Babylon Revisited

Marion Peters Character Analysis

Marion Peters is Charlie’s sister-in-law, and the legal guardian of his daughter Honoria. She despises Charlie, seeing him as an irresponsible alcoholic who not only made Helen unhappy in life but who also bears responsibility for her death. Although her thinly-concealed resentment of Charlie causes her to act bitterly toward him and makes her a deeply unsympathetic character, Marion holds the power to decide whether to allow Charlie to take Honoria back to Prague with him, and in this way she also acts as the moral judge of Charlie, evaluating whether or not he has really changed. Marion’s resentment of Charlie stems not only from his treatment of her sister, but also from his wealth and the lifestyle it allows him to lead, which she sees as an injustice because her own family struggles to get by. At the end of the story, when Lorraine Quarrles and Duncan Schaeffer barge into the Peters family’s home, the intrusion causes Marion to fall suddenly ill, suggesting that she has a nervous condition that worsens in stressful situations—and around Charlie in particular.

Marion Peters Quotes in Babylon Revisited

The Babylon Revisited quotes below are all either spoken by Marion Peters or refer to Marion Peters . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Babylon Revisited published in 1995.
Section 3 Quotes

As I told you, I haven't had more than a drink a day for over a year, and I take that drink deliberately, so that the idea of alcohol won't get too big in my imagination. You see the idea?"
"No," said Marion succinctly.
"It's a sort of stunt I set myself. It keeps the matter in proportion."
"I get you," said Lincoln. "You don't want to admit it's got any attraction for you."
"Something like that. Sometimes I forget and don't take it. But I try to take it.”

Related Characters: Charlie Wales (speaker), Marion Peters (speaker), Lincoln Peters (speaker)
Page Number: 624
Explanation and Analysis:
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"I don't blame Marion," Charlie said slowly, "but I think she can have entire confidence in me. I had a good record up to three years ago. Of course, it's within human possibilities I might go wrong any time. But if we wait much longer I'll lose Honoria's childhood and my chance for a home." He shook his head, "I'll simply lose her, don't you see?"

Related Characters: Charlie Wales (speaker), Marion Peters (speaker), Lincoln Peters (speaker)
Page Number: 626
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Marion shuddered suddenly; part of her saw that Charlie's feet were planted on the earth now, and her own maternal feeling recognized the naturalness of his desire; but she had lived for a long time with a prejudice—a prejudice founded on a curious disbelief in her sister's happiness, and which, in the shock of one terrible night, had turned to hatred for him. It had all happened at a point in her life where the discouragement of ill health and adverse circumstances made it necessary for her to believe in tangible villainy and a tangible villain.
"I can't help what I think!" she cried out suddenly. "How much you were responsible for Helen's death, I don't know. It's something you'll have to square with your own conscience."

Related Characters: Marion Peters (speaker), Charlie Wales, Helen Wales
Page Number: 626-627
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Marion Peters Character Timeline in Babylon Revisited

The timeline below shows where the character Marion Peters appears in Babylon Revisited. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 1
Home and Family Theme Icon
...then she leads him into the home’s salon, where Charlie’s brother-in-law, Lincoln Peters, his sister-in-law, Marion Peters, and their two children are all waiting. When Charlie greets Marion, he’s careful to... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Marion Peters is “a tall woman with worried eyes” who was once quite attractive, though Charlie... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
...that he was at a bar earlier in the afternoon, but immediately realizes his mistake. Marion quips that she thinks Charlie would have “had enough of bars,” and he explains that... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Charlie reacts to Marion’s harsh treatment simply by smiling. He can’t afford to react temperamentally—he came here to accomplish... (full context)
Section 2
Home and Family Theme Icon
Charlie asks Honoria whether she likes her aunt and uncle, Marion and Lincoln, and she replies that she does, but then asks if the reason she... (full context)
Section 3
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Lincoln and Marion Peters are waiting anxiously in the salon of their home for Charlie to ask the... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...his sister is coming from Burlington to keep house, and he wants Honoria. He reminds Marion and Lincoln that even when he and Helen were not getting along, they didn’t let... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Lincoln begins by saying that he and Marion have been discussing the matter since they received Charlie’s letter a month ago. He goes... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Marion states that her duty is to Helen, and that ever since the night Charlie “did... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Lincoln chimes in to suggest that the real question is whether Marion has enough confidence in Charlie to give him legal guardianship of Honoria. Charlie says he... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Marion takes issue with Charlie’s use of the word “damn,” which startles Charlie. He realizes the... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Marion admits that Charlie can give Honoria “more luxuries,” recalling that while Charlie and Helen were... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Marion suddenly shudders. She can see that Charlie has his “feet planted on the earth now,”... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
...Charlie was responsible for Helen’s death, and Charlie states that Helen died of heart trouble. Marion repeats Charlie’s words as though “the phrase had another meaning for her.” In the moments... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Lincoln explains that Marion has had a hard day, as if apologizing on her behalf. He says that Marion... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...down with pneumonia and barely survived. It had been the beginning of the end, and Marion had never forgotten. (full context)
Section 4
Home and Family Theme Icon
...able to take Honoria back to Prague with him, and Lincoln says yes, but that Marion would like to keep legal guardianship over her for another year, to be safe. Charlie... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Charlie goes to lunch with Lincoln, where he bemoans the fact that Marion has held such a grudge against him since the night he locked Helen out. Lincoln... (full context)
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Charlie arrives at the Peters’ home with presents for all of them, and sees that Marion has “accepted the inevitable.” Although Honoria has been told she is leaving, she conceals her... (full context)
The Peters’ house is warm and feels like a home. Marion and Lincoln are “not dull people,” but they are “very much in the grip of... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...to move them toward the door, but Lorraine sits down and begins talking to Richard, Marion’s son. Duncan and Lorraine are slurring their words. Charlie says that they should go have... (full context)
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
...I haven’t seen in two years having the colossal nerve—” but before he can finish Marion has stormed out of the room, furious. Lincoln sends the children into the other room... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Lincoln comes back into the room and tells Charlie that Marion is in bad shape, and he thinks it best to call off dinner. Charlie asks... (full context)
Section 5
Wealth and Poverty Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Transformation and Redemption Theme Icon
Alcohol, Immoderation, and Collapse Theme Icon
Charlie calls Lincoln to ask if Marion has said anything, and Lincoln responds that Marion is sick, and that he’s afraid they’ll... (full context)