Friday, April 13, 2007

A Sentimental Education - post IV

There is a Graham Greene, End of the Affair, type moment with Madame Arnoux trading the health of her son for the potentially sinful relationship with Frederic. There are also some powerful reminders that Frederic is immature, totally inexperienced in the ways of love and prone to making the wrong decisions based on gut instinct.

Bullet points between pages 200 – 310

* Money is at the centre of a break down not just in the Arnoux marriage but also at the heart of the relationships now between the debtor and Frederic who starts to feel used by the couple as a source of credit

* Hoping to exploit the problems to split Madame Arnoux apart from her husband Frederic continues to dog her like a shadow but receives little encouragement in fact gets quite the opposite as she shares her views on the sanctity of marriage

* Elsewhere Frederic is getting entangled with Arnoux’s mistress known as the Marshal and gets caught in her company at the races by Madame Arnoux and later that evening has to watch his friend Cisy take her away and leave him with an expensive restaurant bill

* The two men fight a duel – which turns out to be a bit of a damp squib - and as a result of Frederic turning down a request from a friend to invest in a newspaper he is lampooned in the press

* With pressure mounting for him to make a choice about his career he puts things off by heading home but there the expectation is that he will marry the young neighbour who fell under his spell Louise

* Enjoying being loved for once Frederic shows off to Louise but ends up wondering if he is doing the right thing and rushes back to Paris and unbeknown to him having been told about Frederic’s marriage plans Madame Arnoux has realised she loves him

* The relationship between them increases to the point where Frederic hires a room to use as a location to make love to her but her son falls dangerously ill and she prays to God that she thanks him for sparing her and she realises the potential costs of her adultery

* In a fit of temper Frederic turns to the Marshal and takes her out and she becomes the woman taken back to the room and while he cries for what might have been the streets of Paris erupt in demonstrations and revolution as the government is overthrown

Is there any way back for Madame Arnoux and what will Frederic do next with the pressure coming from Louise, his friends in Paris, his mother and potential employment? More to come…

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