in Bertrams

Chapter 42 – Mrs. Wilkinson’s Troubles

the more prudent Sophia

Now that Arthur has returned home with renewed strength and resolve, he prepares to face his mother and pursue his love for Adela.  Arthur asks his sisters if they think that Adela would come to visit them if invited.  While Mary thinks she would, the “more prudent” Sophia doesn’t.  “Sophia” comes from the Greek word, sophia, “wisdom.” Sophia seems to know that Adela has affection for Arthur and for that reason would not come to visit.  [KS & RR 2012]



Arthur receives Adela’s acceptance letter and arms himself with it against his mother, but he is afraid of Mrs. Wilkinson’s “Stapledean panoply.”  The notion of arming oneself resonates with the cry of vae victis and Classical theme of battle established in the opening chapter.  Although Arthur started the novel as one of the “conquered,” he ultimately prevails in his desire to marry Adela and in his contest with his mother.  [KS & RR 2012]