in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 77 – The Shattered Tree

How green it all looks and how lovely

John describes his potential future with Lily as “green,” recalling the imagery of Classical pastoral poetry that was used throughout The Small House at Allington to describe his love for Lily.  [EB 2006]


But it isn’t a tree.  It is only a fragment.

Lily responds to John’s proposal by saying that she cannot be like a tree that he puts on display for others.  Her image of the “shattered” tree offers a distorted version of the pastoral scenes which John draws on to describe his love.  This imagery suggests that John Eames’ pastoral romance with Lily has been definitively ended.  [EB 2006]