in American Senator

Chapter 66 – “I Must Go”


Lord Rufford has just completed his letter to Arabella, which entails his apology for the money that he sent her.  Lord Rufford seeks advice and comfort from his “mentor,” Sir George.  In Homer’s Odyssey, Athena takes the guise of Mentor, an old friend of Odysseus, and helps prepare Telemachus to set sail to look for Odysseus.  Trollope seems to be utilizing Homer here as he has an older man, Sir George, helping the younger one, Lord Rufford, which is reminiscent of Mentor/Athena’s assistance to Telemachus.  [KS 2012]

Source:  Homer, Odyssey 2.


Arabella as Medea

At various points throughout the novel, Trollope’s portrayal of Arabella has been reminiscent of Medea.  In this chapter, Trollope explicitly compares Arabella to Medea on more than one occasion.  Medea, in Euripides’ tragedy, is both grieved and angered over the loss of her husband, Jason, who has taken a new wife.  Similarly, Arabella’s grief and anger over the loss of Lord Rufford begin to reach their most strenuous moments.  However, the analogy will fall short:  Medea ends up killing Jason’s new wife and her own children so that Jason will not have a family.  Arabella will overcome her own grief and anger, which allows the reader to see her in a much more sympathetic light.  [KS 2012]

Source:  Euripides, Medea.


a sprightly unwooed young fawn

Arabella does not feign youthful naiveté to Mounser Green; she does not pretend to be “a sprightly unwooed young fawn.”  This image perhaps recalls Horace’s ode to Chloe, in which the poet tells the girl that she should not flee his erotic advances as if she were a young deer, shy, frightened, and separated from its mother.  [RR 2012]

Source:  Horace, Odes 1.23.