Washington Square

by

Henry James

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Washington Square: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next day Morris comes to the Slopers’ house as expected. Having told Catherine that he loves her, he now tells her that they must settle things. Catherine knows he is right, though she dreads the prospect of a conflict with her father. She says she will speak to Dr. Sloper first, since she’s able to be more tactful and conciliating. Morris warns her that Dr. Sloper will say he is mercenary. He asks Catherine if she will be faithful to him even if Dr. Sloper forbids their marriage, and Catherine wordlessly agrees.
Morris wants to move ahead toward marriage. Catherine is bravely willing to face her father, though she shrinks from the likely confrontation and still finds it difficult to assert herself verbally. Morris anticipates what Dr. Sloper’s biggest objection is likely to be and warns Catherine of the fact in advance. Though Morris has shown affection to Catherine, it’s difficult to fully guess his motives.
Themes
Gaining Independence Theme Icon
Loss and Idealization Theme Icon
Class, Wealth, and Social Status Theme Icon
Women’s Limited Freedoms Theme Icon