The Golden Bowl - Volume Two, Book Fourth, Chapters 1-3 Summary & Analysis

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This section contains 516 words
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Volume Two, Book Fourth, Chapters 1-3 Summary

In the first chapter of this second volume James describes Maggie's coming to terms with the developing relationship between Charlotte and the Prince. On the day that the Prince is to return from Matcham with Charlotte, she decides to do something that will strike him as unusual. Where generally she had arranged to be at her father's when he arrived home, today she plans to be at home, waiting for him. When he does arrive Maggie tells him how much she loves and needs him. The Prince briefly tells her of his and Charlotte's cathedral hunting adventure then goes upstairs to bathe and dress before dinner.

In the second chapter Maggie recalls a conversation she had with Fanny at Fawns. In this conversation Fanny had compared the relationship of Maggie, the Prince, Mr. Verver and Charlotte to a wagon, a wagon that works smoothly when all four wheels work together. Maggie realizes that for a long time she and her father have not been pushing or pulling but instead sitting inside the wagon letting the Prince and Charlotte do all the work. At the conclusion of the chapter Maggie decides to meet also with Charlotte and hear all about the visit to the cathedrals. After this initial re-introduction, Maggie and Charlotte become the friends they once were in school. Maggie knows all the while she must carry out her plan to separate Charlotte and the Prince without her father knowing what is happening. At the end of the chapter it is learned that Maggie feels very alone in her situation.

In Chapter three Maggie tries to devise a plan to keep from going out of town with her father on a promised journey. At a dinner party six guests strike Maggie's fancy as being able to be used by her in her plan. She begs these six to come to a party at her own home. In light of the pleasant manner life at home has taken on, Maggie's father states they will not go on their trip as planned. On their way home Maggie suggests her husband propose a trip to her father, a trip that her father and the Prince will take together. Although Maggie believes this plan would work out beautifully, the Prince startles her by suggesting that Charlotte be the one to introduce the idea to Mr. Verver.

Volume Two, Book Fourth, Chapters 1-3 Analysis

In these chapters Maggie responds to her crisis just as Fanny forecast she would. Although Maggie is not in the habit of using people, she tries to learn to do so in order to get information about Charlotte and the Prince's relationship. All the time she is doing this, she feels false and alone but she knows she must put a stop to what is happening and she must do so before her father finds out about it. Notice that Maggie tries to arrange things so that she and Charlotte can have some time alone without the Prince and her father present.

This section contains 516 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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