The Custom of the Country

by

Edith Wharton

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Representative James J. Rolliver Character Analysis

Representative James J. Rolliver is a major figure in a minor subplot about corrupt business dealings in the Midwestern town Apex. These shady dealings help both Mr. Spragg and Elmer Moffatt become wealthy, as well as enriching the reputation of Representative Rolliver himself. James J. Rolliver’s presence in the novel helps highlight how many wealthy people built their fortunes on shaky moral ground and how rather than fighting corruption, many politicians used it to their advantage.

Representative James J. Rolliver Quotes in The Custom of the Country

The The Custom of the Country quotes below are all either spoken by Representative James J. Rolliver or refer to Representative James J. Rolliver. 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:
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
).
Chapter 24 Quotes

“If you’d only had the sense to come straight to me, Undine Spragg!

There isn’t a tip I couldn’t have given you—not one!”

Related Symbols: Apex
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
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Representative James J. Rolliver Character Timeline in The Custom of the Country

The timeline below shows where the character Representative James J. Rolliver appears in The Custom of the Country. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...business dealings in Apex. Mr. Spragg himself was involved in these dealing but got out—but Representative James J. Rolliver is still involved, and he’s now a rival to the Driscolls. (full context)
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...shows up at the Driscoll office before 5 PM and tells what he knows about Representative James J. Rolliver . Mr. Spragg refuses at first, so then Elmer asks him questions about his daughter’s... (full context)
Chapter 18
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...Elmer. They walk more, and Elmer mentions some Apex gossip about how Indiana Frusk got Representative James J. Rolliver to abandon his family for her. Undine marvels at this, thinking Indiana was lucky to... (full context)
Chapter 24
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
Still in Paris, Indiana Frusk (newly married to Representative James J. Rolliver ) tells Undine that she should’ve come to her first for advice. It’s been a... (full context)
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...she’s newly divorced. Undine remains set on Peter, and it turns out that Indiana’s husband, Representative James J. Rolliver , knows Peter and has seen him recently. Undine thanks Indiana and offers to introduce... (full context)
Chapter 34
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...about his meeting with Elmer. He says it seems that Elmer has some connection to Representative James J. Rolliver , who runs things in Apex. Clare doesn’t care about the details—she’ll give him money... (full context)
Chapter 35
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...Mr. Spragg stepped in with his lawyers to undo the marriage, with some help from Representative James J. Rolliver . Ralph thinks back to all the ways Undine has lied to him about Elmer.... (full context)
Chapter 41
Marriage and Divorce Theme Icon
Materialism and Ambition Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...she often gets lonely at Saint Desert. Elmer gives some details about how he and Representative James J. Rolliver finally pulled off the Apex deal. Undine asks what he has planned next, other than... (full context)