The Blithedale Romance

by

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Blithedale Romance: Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After Coverdale’s interview with Zenobia and Priscilla, he admits that it would be reasonable for him to find new places to go and new people to spend time with, since they don’t want him around. Instead, Coverdale decides to seek out Moodie and get more information about Priscilla from him. Coverdale goes to Moodie’s usual bar to wait for him. Moodie isn’t there, but Coverdale enjoys watching the barkeepers and drunk patrons. Coverdale thinks about how people turn to alcohol to feel young again and he wonders if anybody has poured alcohol into the fountain full of fish. Coverdale finally sees Moodie and offers to buy him lunch and a drink, which he accepts. Moodie talks about how wine reminds him of his youth and Coverdale says he’d love to hear some of Moodie’s memories. Moodie is reluctant at first, but after a few glasses of wine, he shares his life story.
Coverdale’s renewed determination to find out the truth about Zenobia and Priscilla’s pasts is rooted in his belief that if he discovers the whole truth, he can somehow use it to save them from Westervelt. Moodie himself seems afraid to share what he knows about their pasts because it will reveal more about his own (as Coverdale has already discovered, Moodie is one of the ties that binds Priscilla to Zenobia).
Themes
Progressive vs. Traditional Gender Roles Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon