11 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. the Reverend Frank Milvey and Mrs Milvey seldom hinted that Mrs Sprodgkin was hardly worth the trouble she gave; but both made the best of her, as they did of all their troubles.

      I really appreciate the word choice throughout this paragraph. The reader really gets the sense that this pompous woman is just the "Karen" of the day. Note that Mr. and Mrs. Milvey seldom hint that she was hardly worth the trouble. That is, they do hint at it.

    2. In the very act of calling this tone of levity to his aid, he felt it to be profligate and worthless, and asserted her against it.

      Dickens certainly knows how to write realistic drama. There is a certain rhythmic beauty in the conversation between Lizzie and Wrayburn that feels as though Dickens is pulling from a personal experience. In this conflict, Wrayburn goes back and forth unaware of what his heart is truly after, while Lizzie is tugging at his heartstrings. He goes through the reasoning behind his decision only to realize it brings no relief.

    3. But, here the Irrepressible skirmished into the conflict, dragging the reluctant form of Mr Sampson after her.

      This scene is hilarious. Lavinia "the Irrepressible" is bouncing off the walls out of facetiousness. Meanwhile Mrs. Wilfer is hurt by the secrecy and projecting onto her husband "the cherub" who is also shocked about the new information. Lavinia makes a mockery of the situation and stokes the fire putting George into a precarious position, which he obviously does not handle particularly well. This was very clever and realistic storytelling.

    4. laved

      This chapter is dense with rich vocabulary, particularly noticeable while reading the following chapter. I would suggest this could be one of Dickens' tools to capture the mood of the story, in this case, there is a serious feeling of graveness and mystery. I recognized the term "laved" was similar to the Spanish "lavar" and searched for it with quickfind. This is the only occurrence of the word and its conjugations in the series while those for "wash" occur 30 times. To me this indicates to the reader that this action is very important. I also happened to notice that every time the word indolent is used, it follows some mention of Mortimer Lightfoot. It is often in connection to his buddy Eugene Wrayburn, but is used ironically by Riderhood in this chapter after a smug Wrayburn got the final word in a conversation.

    5. (‘Humbugshire you mean, I think,’ interposed Miss Wren.)

      The term "humbug" in western culture now exclusively refers to its use to insult a "negative Nancy." Most think the term is derived from a nonsense word used by Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," published in 1943. "Our Mutual Friend" was published twenty-one years later in 1964. The use of the term here could indicate that the novel was so successful that it found its way into the common vernacular, but is also a funny way to self-promote his other works. The actual roots of humbug are found in 1751.

    6. And thus it soon came about that Miss Bella began to set Mrs Boffin right; and even further, that Miss Bella began to feel ill at ease, and as it were responsible, when she saw Mrs Boffin going wrong. Not that so sweet a disposition and so sound a nature could ever go very wrong even among the great visiting authorities who agreed that the Boffins were ‘charmingly vulgar’ (which for certain was not their own case in saying so), but that when she made a slip on the social ice on which all the children of Podsnappery, with genteel souls to be saved, are required to skate in circles, or to slide in long rows, she inevitably tripped Miss Bella up (so that young lady felt), and caused her to experience great confusion under the glances of the more skilful performers engaged in those ice-exercises.

      It is interesting to me to read about how the Boffins and Miss Bella are begining to show signs of a familial comfort. I can imagine from this scene that Miss Bella has taken on some of the Boffins´ ¨charmingly vulgar¨ characteristics.

      It was surprising to me to read that ice skating was a well-established and proper sport in 1864 when Our Mutual Friend was being written. It turns out that this was a very topical comparison with the times as the metal-blade skating blade was invented in 1865 by Jackson Haines. It is also interesting to discover that ice skating actually is thought to date back at least 3 millenia.

  2. Feb 2021
    1. Of him, insensible. Because he did not love Miss Peecher.

      This paragraph is fascinating. When I read, ¨for she loved him,¨ I wondered if Miss Peecher had attempted to become like Bradley Headstone at least in her refinement. Her description is so much like Mr. Headstone´s description earlier that it sets her up to be a source of potential jealousy in the story. The extra attention to the silver watch additionally places mystery on the timepiece.

    2. The fright and abhorrence that Mrs Betty Higden smoothed out of her strong face as she ended this diversion, showed how seriously she had meant it.

      I appreciate this line as it points out how ridiculously exaggerated Mrs. Higden´s response to the ¨Poor House" is. It reads to me just like any aging person who wants to hold onto their independence. Her initial response was to say that it woud be better for herself and the child to be killied publicly. She didn´t even want her corpse to be brought there. This dramatic response is contradicted in the line pointing out that it was not a genuine feeling.

    3. With the natural tendency of youth to yield to candour and sweet temper, Miss Bella was so touched by the simplicity of this address that she frankly returned Mrs Boffin’s kiss. Not at all to the satisfaction of that good woman of the world, her mother, who sought to hold the advantageous ground of obliging the Boffins instead of being obliged.

      The visit to the Wilfers is very comedic and fun. From the entrance to the property the reader can imagine that the Boffins' are not terribly impressed by the informality of their visit. Here, we get to see another funny social blunder where Miss Bella undermines her mother's sensitivity to the circumstance by returning Mrs. Boffin's kiss from earlier.

    4. Not

      Dickens' description of Mr. Wegg's approach to Mr. Venus shop is filled with negatively connotated desciptors. Some phrases are repeated to invite the reader into the mental state of disgust that Mr. Wegg is in for the duration of the scene. Mr. Wegg has clear moral distaste for the work of the shop according to the previous paragraph, and will continue to reveal specific details that reveal that the shop belongs to a taxidermist and osteopathologist. The entire scene is painted in a way that might make the reader imagine that an evil presence is near.

  3. Jan 2021
    1. ‘His will is found,’ said Mortimer, catching Mrs Podsnap’s rocking-horse’s eye.

      Dickens often includes small, almost arbitrary details that absorb the reader and help shape the imagined world's settings by giving characters human-like interactions with them. In this example, Dickens makes the character Mortimer believable as a human by showing the reader his capacity to personify the rocking-horse.