Middlemarch

Middlemarch

by

George Eliot

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John Raffles Character Analysis

John Raffles is Joshua Rigg’s stepfather. He is an alcoholic who would beat Joshua. Raffles also worked for Bulstrode in the past; Busltrode hired him to find Mrs. Dunkirk’s daughter, Sarah, and then bribed him to pretend that Sarah couldn’t be found. Raffles returns to Middlemarch, threatening to reveal Bulstrode’s secret. Bulstrode tries to pay him off but this does not work. Raffles contracts alcohol poisoning and dies in Bulstrode’s house; Bulstrode hastens his death through improperly overseeing his medical care.
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John Raffles Character Timeline in Middlemarch

The timeline below shows where the character John Raffles appears in Middlemarch. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 4, Chapter 41
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The unkempt man’s name is John Raffles, and he is trying to persuade Rigg to give Rigg’s mother some money so she... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 53
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...Court to meet Caleb Garth, who is advising him about his improvements to the property. Raffles suddenly appears and greets Bulstrode warmly, implying that they are old friends. (full context)
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Raffles drunkenly explains that he came to Stone Court before, when Rigg owned it. He is... (full context)
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Bulstrode returns to Stone Court at 7.30am the next day. He asks Raffles why he came to meet him, and why he came back from America. Raffles says... (full context)
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Raffles mentions someone named Sarah, who is Bulstrode’s “step-daughter.” He then makes a show of struggling... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 60
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...the end, it is sold to Will for £10. As he goes to leave, the stranger—Raffles—approaches and asks Will if his mother was named Sarah Dunkirk. Will says she was. (full context)
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Raffles tells Will that he knew Sarah when she was young, and that he also knew... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 61
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...has been at the house claiming to be an old friend of Bulstrode’s. The man (Raffles) flirted with her and wouldn’t leave until she practically forced him to do so. The... (full context)
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When Bulstrode saw Raffles at the bank earlier that day, Raffles said he might leave Middlemarch the following day,... (full context)
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Bulstrode had hired Raffles to find Sarah and in truth Sarah had been found; however, Bulstrode paid Raffles to... (full context)
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...that he was using his money in service of God. He is relieved to see Raffles leaving Middlemarch after all, and he asks Will to a private meeting at 9 pm.... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 68
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Bulstrode’s sudden decision to leave Middlemarch was prompted by the return of Raffles on Christmas Eve. Raffles invites himself to stay at Bulstrode’s. As soon as he can,... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 69
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...at the bank and tells him that there is a “very ill” man at Stone Court—Raffles. Horrified, Bulstrode asks Caleb to call Lydgate. Caleb then apologetically says that he must stop... (full context)
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Later, Bulstrode goes to Stone Court, desperately hoping that Raffles’s illness might kill him before he can tell anyone else about Bulstrode’s past. However, he... (full context)
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Raffles is suffering from alcohol poisoning, and Lydgate imagines that Bulstrode is taking care of him... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 70
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Once Lydgate leaves, Bulstrode goes through Raffles’s pockets, where he finds a few bills and pennies. When Raffles wakes up Bulstrode offers... (full context)
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Lydgate returns and observes that Raffles’s condition has deteriorated, but says that he still expects him to pull through. Bulstrode comments... (full context)
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...his living room, he realizes that he didn’t tell the servant when to stop giving Raffles doses of opium, and wonders if he should correct this oversight or not. A little... (full context)
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In the morning Bulstrode prays for a while. He then goes to see Raffles, who is asleep and seems very close to death. That afternoon Lydgate comes and witnesses... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 71
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...some gossip about how Bulstrode got his wealth from an old friend of Bulstrode’s called Raffles. Hopkins exclaims that he just conducted a funeral for Raffles the day before, and that... (full context)
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The other Middlemarch doctors interview the servant who tended to Raffles in order to determine if Lydgate colluded in his death. The townspeople conclude that even... (full context)
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Lydgate himself now believes that Raffles’s death is suspicious and that the £1000 Bulstrode gave him was a bribe. After the... (full context)
Book 8, Chapter 73
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...that his whole life has turned into a disaster. Regardless of whether Bulstrode brought about Raffles’s death, Bulstrode is decidedly guilty in the eyes of the community. Lydgate curses himself for... (full context)
Book 8, Chapter 76
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Lydgate finishes by saying that it has since emerged that Raffles was given more opium than Lydgate prescribed (plus brandy, which he forbade). He doesn’t know... (full context)