In reacting to the long letter that Brehgert sends her explaining his post-Melmotte financial circumstances, Georgianna defines herself, once again, as a person:

She could understand that it was a plain-spoken and truth-telling letter. Not that she, to herself, gave it praise for those virtues: but that it imbued her unconsciously with a thorough belief. She was apt to suspect deceit in other people; — but it did not occur to her that Mr. Brehgert had written a single word with an attempt to deceive her. But the single-minded genuine honesty of the letter was altogether thrown away upon her. She never said to herself as she read it, that she might safely trust herself to this man though he were aJew, though greasy and like a butcher, though over fifty and with a family, because he was an honest man. She did not see that the letter was particularly sensible; — but she did allow herself to be pained by the total absence of romance. She was annoyed at the first allusion to her age, and angry at the second; and yet she had never supposed that Brehgert had taken her to be younger than she was. [Chapter 79, "The Brehgert Correspondence," II, 273]

Considering this passage from the point of view of its novelistic function, determine how many different effects it has. For example, how does this letter relate to others in this novel and in Jane Austen's and other works of fiction?

What other characters does the novel show to be honest?

Why does he show an honest financier? foreigner? Jew?


Victorian Web Overview The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope

Last modified 23 December 2006