The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

by

John Fowles

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The French Lieutenant’s Woman can help.

Ernestina Freeman Character Analysis

Ernestina, modeled after the conventional love interest of a Victorian novel, is Charles’s fiancée. She comes from an upper-middle-class family, and even though her family is actually wealthier than Charles’s, she feels very anxious about their status difference, since Charles’s family are aristocrats. She’s prone to be jealous in her relationship with Charles, partly because she truly loves him. She’s also an only child, which makes her rather spoiled and selfish, but her sense of irony keeps her from seeming so too often. Ernestina acts as the safe, conventional choice of a wife, as she never questions Victorian society. However, after meeting Sarah, Charles begins to realize that Ernestina is too innocent and shallow to really make him happy. It’s precisely her failure to question Victorian society that makes her too dull to keep his interest.

Ernestina Freeman Quotes in The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The The French Lieutenant’s Woman quotes below are all either spoken by Ernestina Freeman or refer to Ernestina Freeman. 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 5 Quotes

For what had crossed her mind... was a sexual thought.... It was not only her profound ignorance of the reality of copulation that frightened her; it was the aura of pain and brutality that the act seemed to require....

Thus she had evolved a kind of private commandment—those inaudible words were simply “I must not”—whenever the physical female implications of her body, sexual, menstrual, parturitional, tried to force and entry into her consciousness. But though one may keep the wolves from one’s door, they still howl out there in the darkness. Ernestina wanted a husband, wanted Charles to be that husband, wanted children; but the payment she vaguely divined she would have to make for them seemed excessive.

Related Characters: Charles Smithson, Ernestina Freeman
Page Number: 28-29
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

The master went back into his room; and there entered his mind a brief image of that ancient disaster he had found recorded in the blue lias and brought back to Ernestina—the ammonites caught in some recession of water, a micro-catastrophe of ninety million years ago. In a vivid insight, a flash of black lightning, he saw that all life was parallel: that evolution was not vertical, ascending to a perfection, but horizontal. Time was the great fallacy; existence was without history, was always now, was always this being caught in the same fiendish machine. All those painted screens erected by man to shut out reality—history, religion, duty, social position, all were illusions, mere opium fantasies.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Charles Smithson, Ernestina Freeman
Related Symbols: Fossils
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The French Lieutenant’s Woman LitChart as a printable PDF.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman PDF

Ernestina Freeman Character Timeline in The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The timeline below shows where the character Ernestina Freeman appears in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Class Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
Charles suggests that Neptune won’t mind if they leave now, but Ernestina is surprised that he doesn’t want to take his chance of holding her arm without... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
Charles reassures Ernestina that his scientific disagreement with Mr. Freeman doesn’t matter. She points out that he hasn’t... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Charles suddenly realizes that the figure at the end of the quay is a woman. Ernestina guesses that she must be the woman nicknamed Tragedy. The fishermen call her the French... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...surrounding landscape provides for sorrow. Charles feels pierced by her gaze until she turns away. Ernestina pulls him away, and he says he wishes she hadn’t told him the woman’s story,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...conversation at Aunt Tranter’s and uncertainty whether paleontology is a good vocation for him or Ernestina will ever really understand him. He puts his dissatisfaction down to the wet afternoon. Charles... (full context)
Chapter 5
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina has the kind of delicate face that’s considered most beautiful in her time. Though she... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Aunt Tranter is persistently likable and optimistic. Even so, Ernestina tries to be angry with her about the furniture, her concern for Ernestina’s reputation, and... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina’s parents always send her to Aunt Tranter’s house to recover from the social season in... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina takes off her dress and admires her looks. She loosens her hair, feeling vaguely sinful.... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina takes out a diary and turns to the back, where she has written out all... (full context)
Chapter 8
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
That same morning, Ernestina wakes in a bad mood. When Charles calls at ten, he learns that she’s unwell... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...piece of rock with clear fossil impressions on it. He decides to give it to Ernestina that afternoon, feeling that he’ll be doing his duty by carrying this heavy stone back... (full context)
Chapter 11
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
At about the same time of Charles and Sarah’s meeting, Ernestina takes out her diary and turns to her bland entry from that morning. She stayed... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Soon after Sam left, Ernestina rang for Mary, who came in smiling with the flowers. Ernestina frowned at her. The... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...no one was around, and they get on quite well. However, Mary is jealous of Ernestina, in part because her London fashions make Mary’s clothing seem so inadequate. She also thinks... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Mary put the flowers on Ernestina’s bedside table, but Ernestina made her move them farther away. She asked where Charles was,... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina warned Mary that Sam is a womanizer and demanded that she report it if he... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
In London, wealth has begun to take precedence over good breeding. Ernestina’s grandfather grew up a modest draper, but he died very rich after founding a large... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Charles met Ernestina the previous November at the house of a woman who wanted him to marry one... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Then one January evening, Ernestina saw an old lady across the room. She went up to Charles and suggested that... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...sleeping with women. One morning everything seemed very simple; he wanted to wake up with Ernestina. (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Soon after, Charles spoke with Ernestina’s father, and then went to find Ernestina in the conservatory, where she was pretending to... (full context)
Chapter 12
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...he should remain as he is, and she shows him into the drawing room where Ernestina is lying. He tells her all about his day, omitting his encounter with Sarah, since... (full context)
Chapter 14
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Ernestina has warned Charles that visitors to Lyme are expected to allow the residents to examine... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
When Mrs. Tranter, Ernestina, and Charles are announced, Sarah makes to leave, but Mrs. Poulteney makes her stay. She... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Mrs. Tranter greets Sarah and quietly asks her to come see her after Ernestina has left. Sarah’s reserve and defiance momentarily dissolve, and she smiles and nods. Charles is... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...Mary talking to a man that morning. Charles points out that it was probably Sam. Ernestina suggests that the two servants shouldn’t be speaking, though Charles and Mrs. Tranter object to... (full context)
Chapter 15
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Once Charles and Ernestina return to Aunt Tranter’s and are left alone, Ernestina bursts into tears and throws herself... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...Tranter has been waiting outside, fearing that they’re quarrelling, but when she enters the room Ernestina is laughing and asks whether she can give one of her dresses to Mary. After... (full context)
Chapter 16
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...and archery, which is a popular pastime with the ladies. In the afternoons he and Ernestina discuss where they’ll live once they’re married. Ernestina is acting very deferentially to Charles now.... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...One evening, Aunt Tranter has gone out and Charles is lying on the sofa, watching Ernestina read a poem aloud. The poem is The Lady of La Garaye, which is a... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...disapproved of it. But this is the beginning of women’s freedom in England, and as Ernestina herself has giggled at anti-suffrage cartoons, she can’t be seen as blameless. (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Charles encourages Ernestina to continue reading, and she reads about the Lord of La Garaye coming to his... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
The next day at lunch, Charles complains when Ernestina tries to discuss furnishings for their imagined future house. He doesn’t really want to leave... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...but Sarah only shakes her head. Charles has indeed discussed her with Mrs. Tranter and Ernestina, and he’s decided to tell her what they concluded. He says that she should leave... (full context)
Chapter 17
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
That evening, Charles, Ernestina, and Mrs. Tranter go to the Assembly Rooms. The Assembly Rooms are pleasant, and will... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...for the music; it provides an opportunity for the ladies to show off their dresses. Ernestina enjoys the glances at her fashionable clothing. While Mrs. Tranter explains who everyone is, Ernestina... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...his conscience. He’s become rather obsessed with the mystery of Sarah. He meant to tell Ernestina and Aunt Tranter, in strict secrecy, about his meeting with Sarah, but he never found... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina’s humor seems rather artificial tonight, and Charles’s smiles in response are equally fake. He keeps... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...or possibility that she symbolizes. She has reminded him that his future is now set. Ernestina elbows him to get him to applaud. She pouts at him, and he thinks that... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...himself with her, and find out who she is. On the morning that Charles and Ernestina visited Mrs. Poulteney, Sam and Mary discussed the jobs they’ve had, and Sam confessed what... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...never known anyone like her before, and he’ll show her around London when Charles and Ernestina get married. Mary was thrilled. Sam bowed to her and said to meet him the... (full context)
Chapter 18
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
Over the next two days, Charles avoids thinking about paleontology or Sarah. But then Ernestina gets a migraine, so he has a free afternoon. It’s a dull, gray day, and... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...her crime. Charles wants to escape but can’t. She asks why she wasn’t born as Ernestina instead. Charles feels she has gone too far. He says he can’t help her, but... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...It can also be seen as a way of ignoring one’s own repression. Women like Ernestina encourage this distance from reality, but Sarah seems to urge a deeper kind of honesty. (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...like when he’s with Sarah, he’s blind to her danger. He knows he won’t tell Ernestina anything, and he feels ashamed. (full context)
Chapter 19
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
Charles and Ernestina have planned a surprise party for Aunt Tranter that evening. They’re all going to dine... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...evening very much, particularly since Dr. Grogan makes some comments that aren’t quiet proper. Though Ernestina seems a little shocked, Aunt Tranter doesn’t, and Charles thinks that the older generation was... (full context)
Chapter 20
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...meeting. He feels that it’s his duty as one of the fittest. Charles considered telling Ernestina about his conversations with Sarah, but he feared her questions. He didn’t think she could... (full context)
Chapter 22
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...deny her any more private meetings. Aunt Tranter will handle everything, and Charles won’t tell Ernestina what happened. He decides that Sarah’s unpredictability made her attractive. He doesn’t realize that she... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...summoning him to his estate, Winsyatt. Charles is thrilled not to have to lie to Ernestina about his whereabouts. He’ll have to leave immediately and take a train from Exeter the... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina has visited Winsyatt and didn’t much like Sir Robert, because she was being inspected, Sir... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Charles assures Ernestina that he’ll be back soon. Sir Robert has hinted that they might move into Winsyatt... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Charles tells Ernestina his suspicions and asks how he should respond. He’ll take whichever house Ernestina wants, or... (full context)
Chapter 24
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina exclaims over the horribleness of what has happened. Charles says that Cupid doesn’t care about... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...Charles will no longer be his uncle’s heir. He’s marrying the widow Mrs. Tomkins, who Ernestina points out is plenty young enough to bear sons. She says it’s particularly bad because... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina realizes that she needs to act differently. She runs to Charles and kisses his hand,... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Charles decides to change the subject, and asks what’s happened while he was gone. Ernestina reveals that Mrs. Poulteney has fired Sarah. Charles is shocked. Aunt Tranter explains that it... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Ernestina says that Sarah should never have been employed by such an awful woman as Mrs.... (full context)
Chapter 26
Class Theme Icon
...future, but no matter what happened, his uncle would help him. He wanted Charles and Ernestina to live in the Little House. Charles said they had decided to live in the... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...Tomkins are separate from general womankind. Charles could tell that Mrs. Tomkins would easily overshadow Ernestina. He congratulated his uncle, who said Charles would be jealous and made him come see... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Charles knew that Sir Robert didn’t like Ernestina’s London habits or her family origins. Perhaps Sir Robert got the idea of marrying because... (full context)
Chapter 27
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...that’s because he’s almost in love with her. Charles gets angry that he would insult Ernestina that way, but Dr. Grogan points out that Charles is the one insulting her. Charles... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...his hands. He laments that his life is a waste because he has no purpose. Ernestina doesn’t really understand him. Grogan points out that she’s much younger and has hardly known... (full context)
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...he has business in London, and Grogan advises him to go once he has told Ernestina everything. Charles agrees. Grogan says that his nonappearance might make Sarah’s melancholia worse, but it’s... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...says he’ll always be in debt to Grogan, but Grogan only wants him to treat Ernestina well. Charles promises to do. Grogan says she’ll improve over time. He marks a passage... (full context)
Chapter 32
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina wasn’t able to sleep that night. She saw the light on in Charles’s window late... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina felt that she had reacted in a very middle-class way to Sir Robert’s news. She... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
...Mary weeping and soon found out the reason. She gave Mary the morning off until Ernestina woke up. Five minutes later, Sam fell in the street because he was running to... (full context)
Chapter 34
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina can tell that Charles has been walking. He says he slept badly, and she says... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Finally, Charles sits and takes Ernestina’s hand, asking forgiveness and saying that he’s going to London to see his lawyer. She... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Charles stands and pastes a fake smile to his face. He doesn’t like it when Ernestina is obstinate, because it contrasts too much with her beautiful but ridiculous clothes. Mrs. Bloomer... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina stands to be kissed, but Charles can’t make himself kiss her mouth, so he kisses... (full context)
Chapter 37
Class Theme Icon
Though Ernestina’s father, Mr. Freeman, secretly despises the aristocracy, he’s so careful to act like a gentleman... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
...annoyed, but also amused. Mr. Freeman is thinking that Charles might want in increase in Ernestina’s dowry, which isn’t so bad, but he’s worried that Charles might have known all along... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...of his own, and points out that Sir Robert might not have an heir. Besides, Ernestina is bringing a large dowry, and one day Mr. Freeman himself will die. He admits... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Mr. Freeman opens Ernestina’s letter. Charles stares out a window into Hyde Park. He sees a girl sitting on... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...useless, and guesses that Mr. Freeman thinks he’s lazy. He essentially wants Charles to earn Ernestina’s dowry. Charles feels like he’s emerged onto a view of the rest of his boring... (full context)
Chapter 38
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...business contract, but now there’s more emphasis on the sanctity of a marriage for love. Ernestina will constantly demand that Charles love her, which will also require him to be grateful... (full context)
Chapter 39
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Sir Tom asks what Charles is doing out of Ernestina’s prison, and Charles jokes that he’s on parole. Sir Tom says Nathaniel, the bishop’s son,... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...Nonetheless, he still feels like he has failed in some way. When he thinks of Ernestina, it’s as though he’s pulled back into prison. The streets are crowded, and Charles watches... (full context)
Chapter 42
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...what happened when he met Sarah, and admitted that he hadn’t yet come clean to Ernestina, but that he would do so. Grogan now replies that Sarah never turned up when... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Downstairs, Sam reads Charles’s telegraph to Ernestina, announcing his return to Lyme. Earlier that morning, Sam used steam to open the letter... (full context)
Chapter 43
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...night with the prostitute, Charles has decided that he’ll go through with his marriage to Ernestina, though he never really doubted he would. The prostitute Sarah has stood in for Sarah... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...a despicable willingness to accept fate. He knows he’ll eventually go into commerce to make Ernestina happy. It’s drizzling, and Charles would usually let Sam sit inside the carriage with him,... (full context)
Chapter 44
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...Charles goes to Aunt Tranter’s house. Everyone is thrilled to see him, and he finds Ernestina in the back drawing room. She gives him a reproachful look, and he apologizes for... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Charles gives Ernestina a small box. When she opens it she finds a brooch, and she kisses him,... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...narrator doesn’t know what happens to Sarah, but Charles never sees her again. He and Ernestina have, perhaps, seven children. Sir Robert has two sons, so Charles goes into business and... (full context)
Chapter 45
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...is ending in a disappointing way. Some hostile, indifferent power has lent its weight to Ernestina, and Charles feels he can’t escape it. (full context)
Chapter 47
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...feels horrified; everything he knows has been destroyed. He’s vaguely aware of the judgment of Ernestina and Mr. Freeman. He stares at the ceiling and pulls Sarah closer, and she takes... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...unfit to be his wife. He would lose everything. But Charles says he doesn’t love Ernestina. Sarah says that she herself isn’t worthy of him. Charles starts to take her seriously... (full context)
Chapter 48
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...doesn’t know why. He doubts Sarah’s love. He thinks he must keep his vow to Ernestina, though he’s already broken it in some sense. His duty is clear, yet duty can... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...He feels mistreated by her, but he has no right to be alive and rich. Ernestina will not be happy in a marriage based on deceit. Charles feels that his indecision... (full context)
Chapter 49
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...not her fault. He’s been doubting its wisdom for a while, and he can’t marry Ernestina because he doesn’t agree with the state of society. Once he goes to Lyme and... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...to the letter, saying that he’s including a brooch (which he intended to give to Ernestina). If she accepts his apologies, she should keep the brooch. If she refuses, she should... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...Tranter’s kitchen, talking to Mary, who’s flabbergasted by what he’s telling her. She asks what Ernestina will do, and Sam asks what they’ll do, because he loves her. Mary begins to... (full context)
Chapter 50
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...Charles arrives in Lyme, he goes to his room and paces, preparing to talk to Ernestina. He’s terrified, but he can’t turn back now that he’s sent his letter to Sarah.... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina begins to accept Charles’s words. Charles fears that she’ll faint or become hysterical, but she... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Ernestina asks why Charles has suddenly come to this conclusion, and he replies that he was... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina covers her ears, then says she realizes she has many faults, but she thought she... (full context)
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina begins to weep but continues to look straight at Charles. She falls to her knees,... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Ernestina asks what she’s supposed to tell other people. She rips her father’s letter in half.... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Ernestina guesses that this unknown woman is an aristocrat. She says aristocrats like Charles are no... (full context)
Chapter 51
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...Charles on his doorstep. Charles tells him that he has broken off his engagement and Ernestina needs him. Grogan is astonished, but he gets his medical bag and they start walking.... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
...doesn’t like being an outcast. He doubts his decision; he almost wants to beg for Ernestina’s forgiveness. But then he thinks that he’ll see Sarah that night, and the vision of... (full context)
Chapter 52
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...He tells her what has happened. She can’t believe Charles would do such a thing. Ernestina refuses to say what he told her. Aunt Tranter begins to cry, and Dr. Grogan... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
When Grogan leaves, Mrs. Tranter goes up to Ernestina’s room, where Mary is sitting with her. Ernestina is asleep, looking very peaceful. Mrs. Tranter... (full context)
Class Theme Icon
...his engagement, but they were too scared to tell Mrs. Tranter. Mrs. Tranter checks on Ernestina. She asks whether Sam and Mary love each other, and Mary confirms that they do.... (full context)
Chapter 53
Storytelling and Morality Theme Icon
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Dr. Grogan tells Charles that Ernestina is sleeping. He demands that Charles explain himself, and he does. He says he deceived... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...but he’s lived in Lyme for a long time now. He likes Charles and thinks Ernestina shallow, and he, too, has been lustful in the past. He says that suffering is... (full context)
Chapter 56
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...the waiting room and read the document. It says that he broke his contract with Ernestina without reason; she was entirely truthful about her wealth and social position. He had a... (full context)
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...argue it was too harsh, if necessary. Charles agrees, but he wants to know how Ernestina is. They return to Mr. Freeman’s party and sign the document. Mr. Freeman starts to... (full context)
Chapter 58
Convention vs. Freedom Theme Icon
Religion, Science, and Evolution Theme Icon
...that he’s proven his uniqueness and become an outcast. He doesn’t really regret not marrying Ernestina. (full context)
Chapter 60
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...says someone told his lawyer where she was, and he reveals that he never married Ernestina. She clearly didn’t know. He says he’s searched for her everywhere. She says she has... (full context)
Fiction and History vs. Reality Theme Icon
Sexuality and Gender Theme Icon
...the newspaper and had to hide from him. She found out that he hadn’t married Ernestina. She seems rather smug at keeping this information from him. Charles is frightened by her... (full context)