Washington Square is a short novel by Henry James. Originally published in as a serial in The book is often compared with Jane Austen's work for the clarity and grace of its prose and its intense focus on family relationships. James . Washington Square book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The plot of Washington Square has the simplicity of old-fashio. Washington Square study guide contains a biography of Henry James, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes.
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Among posthumous readers, “Washington Square” is a pronounced James's most popular book during his lifetime) and the wider public. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Washington Square by Henry James. Book Cover. Download. The fourth book that I've read from this set fits neatly between the first two categories and is Washington Square by Henry James. Washington.
As Dr. Sloper's daughter, Catherine, grows older, he begins to fear that his romantic sister will push her into romances that are inappropriate for her. This fear grows as Dr. Sloper becomes aware that his daughter is not only unattractive, but that she lacks the intelligence of her mother and himself.
Therefore when Catherine meets Morris Townsend at a party for his niece's upcoming nuptials, Dr. Sloper is not surprised by Mrs. Penniman's excitement and encouragement of the relationship. For several weeks Morris Townsend comes to the Sloper home to visit Catherine. Catherine falls deeply in love with Mr.
Townsend and is therefore pleased when he expresses a desire to marry her. However, this happiness begins to wane when Catherine becomes aware that her father dislikes Mr. Townsend and has no intention of giving his blessing to their nuptials. Penniman suggests to Mr.
Townsend that he prove his devotion to Catherine by eloping with her. Penniman insists this will prove he does not care for Dr. Sloper's money, therefore causing the doctor to like Mr.
Townsend and give his consent to the union. Townsend suggests eloping to Catherine and is surprised when she quickly agrees. Townsend worries, however, that by eloping he will be forced to accept Catherine with only the inheritance from her mother and nothing more. As Mr. Townsend waffles in his promises, Dr. Sloper suggests that he take Catherine to Europe for six months before she elope.
Catherine agrees. The trip, which is extending to a year, does nothing to change Catherine's determination to marry Mr. Townsend, however, comes to the conclusion that Dr. Sloper will never give his consent to his union with his daughter and will cut her out of his will.
This makes Mr. Sloper died soon after her birth.
Sloped never really loves Catherine; he thinks she is neither pretty nor clever. When young Catherine was ten, Dr. Sloper brought his widowed sister, Mrs. Penniman, to live with them and look after Catherine. Catherine was plain and quite ordinary and conventional. As she grew up, she attracted little attention from the eligible bachelors. Then a Morris Townsend made her acquaintance and with the encouragement of Mrs.
Penniman, began courting Catherine. Catherine soon believed herself in love with him and agreed to marry him. Now as I mentioned, Dr. Sloper, through his wife and from his profession, was very wealthy. Sloper was convinced that Morris was merely a fortune hunter, and not genuinely in love with Catherine.
This makes no difference to Catherine; she is determined to marry Morris. One could construe that the doctor took out all his grief and anguish at the loss of his wife and son on the little girl.
Or perhaps he is merely a control freak. But he actually takes pleasure in Catherine's broken heart, merely because it proves he was right about Morris. Penniman: "It seems to make you very happy that your daughter's affections have been trifled with. It's a great pleasure to be in the right.
When the breakup comes and Catherine is forced to admit it to herself, she does one thing that I did indeed admire: she determines that she will not let her father see that her heart is broken. She knows that he would have absolutely no sympathy about her pain and instead, would crow over the fact that he was right.
This does cause the doctor some puzzlement and disappointment. None of the characters are very likeable. Morris is shallow and mercenary; Catherine is dull and conventional; Mrs. Penniman is a silly, flighty troublemaker; but the doctor is worst of all. I dislike Morris for hurting Catherine, but I find the doctor outright abhorrent.
If I had been Catherine, I could have cheerfully murdered him, father or not.