The Return of the Soldier

by

Rebecca West

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Dr. Gilbert Anderson Character Analysis

Dr. Anderson is the last of the several doctors who visit Chris in an effort to cure him. Jenny is surprised by his comically plump, “unmedical” appearance; he sports a catlike moustache and amspotted tie. He accurately diagnoses the suppressed longing at the root of Chris’s amnesia, leading Margaret to come up with a cure.

Dr. Gilbert Anderson Quotes in The Return of the Soldier

The The Return of the Soldier quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Gilbert Anderson or refer to Dr. Gilbert Anderson. 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:
Nostalgia, Escapism, and Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Return of the Soldier published in 1998.
Chapter 6 Quotes

“Effort!” He jerked his round head about. “The mental life that can be controlled by effort isn’t the mental life that matters. You’ve been stuffed up when you were young with talk about a thing called self-control— a sort of barmaid of the soul that says, ‘Time’s up, gentlemen,’ and ‘Here, you’ve had enough.’ There’s no such thing. There’s a deep self in one, the essential self, that has its wishes. And if those wishes are suppressed by the superficial self […] it takes its revenge.

Related Characters: Jenny Baldry (speaker), Dr. Gilbert Anderson (speaker), Christopher (Chris) Baldry
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Gilbert Anderson Character Timeline in The Return of the Soldier

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Gilbert Anderson appears in The Return of the Soldier. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Nostalgia, Escapism, and Reality Theme Icon
Social Class, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
Women’s Roles Theme Icon
...after Chris’s reunion with Margaret, Kitty, still bedridden, declines a walk and reminds Jenny that Dr. Gilbert Anderson is coming that afternoon—their last hope. Everyone must see him, she adds, including “that woman.”... (full context)
Chapter 6
Nostalgia, Escapism, and Reality Theme Icon
Social Class, Beauty, and Humanity Theme Icon
When they reach the house, they see Dr. Gilbert Anderson , and Jenny feels a chill of premonition. He has a surprisingly “unmedical” appearance, including... (full context)
Nostalgia, Escapism, and Reality Theme Icon
The Traumas of Modernity Theme Icon
...grief-stricken gestures as she sets the photograph aside give Jenny a foreboding feeling. They find Dr. Anderson in the drawing room, cheerfully discussing amnesia. He explains that Chris’s unconscious self is refusing... (full context)
Nostalgia, Escapism, and Reality Theme Icon
The Traumas of Modernity Theme Icon
Kitty suggests that if Chris would just make an effort, perhaps he’d be cured. Dr. Anderson reacts sharply to this. He explains that the “controlled” mental life isn’t the one that... (full context)
Nostalgia, Escapism, and Reality Theme Icon
The Traumas of Modernity Theme Icon
Kitty argues that Chris lacks for nothing, but Dr. Anderson responds that there must be some discontentment in his life—people forget only those things they... (full context)