Our Dear Miss Dorothea Brooke: “Surely I am in a Strangely Weak Selfish State of Mind” (MIDDLEMARCH, p. 81)

The visit to her betrothed’s estate brings up a strange restlessness in Miss Dorothea Brooke. While dressing for her first public engagement as the fiancée of the pompous (ass) Mr. Casaubon, Dorothea asks herself the million-dollar question:

How can I have a husband who is so much above me without knowing that he needs me less than I need him?

This intelligent, passionate woman then proceeds to tie her thinking up in knots, thus:

Having convinced herself that Mr. Casaubon was altogether right, she recovered her equanimity, and was an agreeable image of serene dignity when she came into the drawing-room in her silver-gray dress — the simple lines of her dark-brown hair parted over her brow and coiled massively behind, in keeping with the entire absence from her manner and expression of all search after mere effect. Sometimes when Dorothea was in company, there seemed to be as complete an air of repose about her as if she had been a picture of Santa Barbara looking out from her tower into the clear air; but these intervals of quietude made the energy of her speech and emotion the more remarked when some outward appeal had touched her.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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