in American Senator

Chapter 71 – “My Own, My Husband”


Here, Mary’s joy about marrying Reginald is likened to the entrance of the soul into Elysium.  Elysium, the happy hope of heroes, is a part of the underworld most like Christian Paradise.  In fact, Paradise is referenced in this same passage both before and after Elysium.  Throughout the novel, Mary is rarely the recipient of Classical imagery or allusion.  Even in this instance the Classical meaning of Elysium is preempted by Christian imagery.  [CD 2012]


Mary’s not unwilling face

Trollope employs the Classical device known as litotes here:  the expression of an idea through the negation of its opposite.  Litotes is particularly effective in this instance because it helps to convey Mary’s consummate modesty even (or especially) at the moment of her first kiss with Reginald.  [RR 2012]