The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

by

John Fowles

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Dr. Grogan is an Irish doctor who lives in Lyme. He and Charles find common ground in their intellectual pursuits, particularly their dedication to Darwin’s theory of evolution. Grogan believes that Sarah is not only melancholic, but also psychologically twisted. According to him, she is making herself miserable on purpose in order to manipulate the people around her, particularly Charles. Grogan wants to put Sarah in an asylum, and despite Charles’s great respect for Dr. Grogan, he struggles to believe that Sarah is wicked or crazy. Later, Grogan harshly reprimands Charles for choosing Sarah over Ernestina, telling Charles that he must live the rest of his life in a way that will prove he’s made his choice with the right motives. Overall, Grogan acts as a moral counterweight to Charles; his arguments differ from Charles’s, but make just as much sense—perhaps more.

Dr. Grogan Quotes in The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The The French Lieutenant’s Woman quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Grogan or refer to Dr. Grogan. 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:
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay Books edition of The French Lieutenant’s Woman published in 1998.
Chapter 19 Quotes

It was as if the woman had become addicted to melancholia as one becomes addicted to opium. Now do you see how it is? Her sadness becomes her happiness. She wants to be a sacrificial victim, Smithson. Where you and I flinch back, she leaps forward. She is possessed, you see.... Dark indeed. Very dark.

Related Characters: Dr. Grogan (speaker), Charles Smithson, Sarah Woodruff
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
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The French Lieutenant’s Woman PDF

Dr. Grogan Character Timeline in The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Grogan appears in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
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...crying in bed one morning, the doctor gave Mrs. Poulteney a lecture on melancholia. Doctor Grogan doesn’t like Mrs. Poulteney, and he managed to make her give Sarah every afternoon off... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...for Aunt Tranter that evening. They’re all going to dine in Charles’s rooms, and Dr. Grogan is going to join them. The doctor is considered a good catch for marriage, and... (full context)
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Normally, Charles would have enjoyed the evening very much, particularly since Dr. Grogan makes some comments that aren’t quiet proper. Though Ernestina seems a little shocked, Aunt Tranter... (full context)
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Charles and Dr. Grogan escort the ladies back home, and the doctor invites Charles to his house for a... (full context)
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In this age, even though Charles and Dr. Grogan have different occupations, everyone who’s educated still knows enough to converse about common intellectual subjects.... (full context)
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Grogan says that Voltaire made him leave the Catholic Church, and Bentham made him leave the... (full context)
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...with the current one, because they think people are too jealous and rebellious now. Maybe Grogan depends too much on order and sameness. However, people of his opinion are not entirely... (full context)
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Charles asks whether Dr. Grogan is interested in paleontology, and he admits that he thinks it’s more important to study... (full context)
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Grogan says he went to see Sarah ten months earlier. He could easily tell that she... (full context)
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Dr. Grogan brings up the case of a woman whose husband died. She went into deep mourning... (full context)
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...the girl had her breakdown. Millie was moved to a room near Sarah’s on Dr. Grogan’s orders. Millie grew up in poverty as a plowman’s daughter. In the twentieth century, a... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Charles and Dr. Grogan have begun talking about paleontology. Charles says that the clergy have a battle on their... (full context)
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Charles casually asks whether Dr. Grogan has read Darwin. Grogan goes to his bookshelf and brings On the Origin of Species... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...the attitude he decided to have during the last two days. His discussion with Dr. Grogan is helping him see scientific and charitable aspects in this meeting. He feels that it’s... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Charles remembers Dr. Grogan’s comment about patients who refuse to take medicine. He says that Sarah’s intelligence should allow... (full context)
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...of a tree so that it bleeds. Charles asks why she refused to let Dr. Grogan help her, admitting that they talked about her. She says she didn’t choose to ask... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...they haven’t found anything. There’s no word of her at Mrs. Talbot’s. Charles asks whether Grogan has been called to Mrs. Poulteney’s. Mrs. Tranter says he was seen talking to the... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...walks back to his rooms, he thinks of how to phrase a note to Dr. Grogan offering his help in finding Sarah. When he gets to his sitting room, he finds... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Dr. Grogan’s housekeeper shows Charles up to the same room where they spoke before. Before long Grogan... (full context)
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Charles reveals that he’s received a note from Sarah. He tells Dr. Grogan the truth about his meetings with her, leaving out his attraction to her. He tries... (full context)
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Dr. Grogan goes to send the letter, then asks whether Charles has any idea where Sarah is... (full context)
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Dr. Grogan imagines himself in Sarah’s shoes and reviews her case, saying she’s a smart, emotional woman... (full context)
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Charles asks about Dr. Grogan’s accusation that Sarah meant to be fired. The doctor says that he was called to... (full context)
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Charles can’t believe Sarah would act this way. Dr. Grogan says that’s because he’s almost in love with her. Charles gets angry that he would... (full context)
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Charles swears that nothing improper has happened between himself and Sarah. Dr. Grogan believes him, but asks whether he wants to hear, see, or touch her. Charles buries... (full context)
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Charles asks Grogan to tell him what to do, and Grogan says he needs to hear his real... (full context)
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Charles shakes Grogan’s hand, feeling better now that he’s been told what to do. He says he’ll always... (full context)
Chapter 28
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...the desire to preserve the purity of virgins, and a lack of psychological knowledge. Dr. Grogan gave Charles a book by Dr. Karl Matthaei, a German doctor, which he wrote to... (full context)
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In the passage Dr. Grogan marked, Matthaei recalls the family of a lieutenant-general who lived six miles out of a... (full context)
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...and wonders where Sarah is. He feels very guilty and begins to suspect that Dr. Grogan will tell everyone his secrets. He feels he’s lost respect for himself and everything around... (full context)
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...facing up to her sin and now in need of help. He feels he’s allowed Grogan to mislead him because he wanted to save his reputation and because he had no... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...crime to Charles, but he feels an urge to protect her. This desire confirms Dr. Grogan’s argument that he loves her, and it’s worse because the scene is reminiscent of a... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...with two letters, one from Exeter and one from Lyme. He opens a letter from Grogan. When Charles returned after meeting Sarah, he sent Grogan a letter in which he pretended... (full context)
Chapter 44
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...one cares about Sam and Mary; they do what people of their class do. Dr. Grogan and Aunt Tranter live into their nineties. (full context)
Chapter 50
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...rings for Mary. Charles meets her in the hall, saying he’s going to get Dr. Grogan and she must not leave Ernestina. Mary goes into the room and Charles briefly watches... (full context)
Chapter 51
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Dr. Grogan meets Charles on his doorstep. Charles tells him that he has broken off his engagement... (full context)
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...night, and the vision of her helps him begin writing to Ernestina’s father. Then Dr. Grogan comes to the door. (full context)
Chapter 52
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...disaster. Mary greets her with distress, and Aunt Tranter runs upstairs, where she finds Dr. Grogan. He tells her what has happened. She can’t believe Charles would do such a thing.... (full context)
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When Grogan leaves, Mrs. Tranter goes up to Ernestina’s room, where Mary is sitting with her. Ernestina... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Dr. Grogan tells Charles that Ernestina is sleeping. He demands that Charles explain himself, and he does.... (full context)
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Grogan can’t figure out how to deal with Charles’s breach of convention. He’s an experienced man,... (full context)
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Grogan asks if Charles will marry Sarah. Charles is glad to hear his tone change, because... (full context)
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Grogan says he won’t judge Charles based on law or religion, but Charles wants to be... (full context)