in American Senator

Chapter 03 – The Masters Family

Mr. Masters

Until nearly the end of the novel, Mr. Masters’ name is ironic.  “Master” is ultimately derived from the Latin magister, “master, leader;” however, Mr. Masters is head of his family only in name.  His wife exercises often domineering control in the treatment of Mary, his daughter, and berates Mr. Masters about the manner in which he does business.  [CD & RR 2012]


Any man is my client, or any woman

Mr. Masters is discussing with Mrs. Masters what sort of clientele he should be accepting.  In this instance, Trollope seems to not be invoking the Roman system of patron and client.  The patron/client system would have connotations that implied that there was a certain social hierarchy among men and that there was some sort of social system of support and favors at play.  However, Mr. Masters states that he is willing to take on any person as a client with no care of their personal status.  They are discussing business matters in a more economical sense, rather than a social one, but the Roman sense of patron/client relationship will be at play elsewhere throughout the novel.  [KS 2012]


a deal of tyranny

Mr. Masters, Mrs. Masters, and Larry Twentyman are discussing Lord Rufford’s behavior towards Goarly.  In a Classical sense, “tyranny” refers to behavior that is above the law. “Tyranny” now carries connotations of a utilization of excessive power due to status. Trollope employs both connotations as Mrs. Masters expresses her belief that Lord Rufford and his sport place him in a situation where he is above the law and exercises his power unfairly.  [KS 2012]