in American Senator

Chapter 79 – The Last Days of Mary Masters

the triumph of Mary Masters

Mary Masters and her engagement were a thing of wonder to the people of Dillsborough, especially considering how she had so refused Larry Twentyman.  Here, “triumph” is being used in the Classical sense.  The connotation of splendor surrounding the first sentence of the chapter where the reaction of Dillsborough is described alerts the reader that this is a triumph for Mary both personally and in the Classical sense of a public spectacle celebrating a victory.  [CMC 2012]


honour and Larry Twentyman

In contemplating whether or not Larry Twentyman would come to her wedding, Mary Masters reflects on how she had heard that he had gained honour for himself in a recent hunt.  Gaining honour and having it heard by others is a heroic ideal found in Greek epic poetry.  Typical of Trollope in The American Senator, there is also slight humor in this Classical reference.  Larry gains his kleos, his epic glory, not on the field of battle, but on a hunt.  [CMC 2012]


jovial and saturnine

Larry Twentyman is not obligated to go to the wedding by the letter written to him by Reginald Morton.  Trollope explains that this is because there are some instances where a man quite simply does not know how to behave.  Trollope asks rhetorically whether Larry should be jovial (and happy) or saturnine (and somber) at the prospect of going to the wedding of a woman he had also pursued.  Both “jovial” and “saturnine” are English adjectives related to the names of Roman gods, Jupiter and Saturn.  This use of Classics in the last pages participates in the crescendo of Classical references encountered at the end of the novel.  [CMC 2012]