in Bertrams

Chapter 34 – Mrs. Madden’s Ball


While at a ball, Caroline and George dance together and afterwards carry on a conversation about their lives since they broke their engagement.  George states that Fortune, the Roman personification of chance, is crushing him while being kind to Caroline.  In Classical literature, Fortune is often described as being inconsistent, alternately blessing people and beating them down with no overarching organization or equal distribution.  This reference allows George to communicate his feelings about his and Caroline’s respective circumstances.  Caroline has married well and seems to be living a charmed, happy life, while George is unsure of his future and miserable in London.  [CD 2012]


Lord Echo

Though only a passing reference, the choice of naming this character “Echo” probably describes some quality he holds.  Echo was a mythological figure, a nymph who could talk only by repeating the words of others.  Trollope, in naming the character Lord Echo, focuses on the Lord’s lack of originality, either in thought or word.  Lord Echo probably repeats much of what he hears from others.  [CD 2012]

Source: OCD.