Chapter 50: “Esther’s Narrative”; Chapter 51: “Enlightened”
Summary: Caddy has taken ill after giving birth to a sickly looking baby, so Esther goes to her every day to take care of her. Allan Woodcourt is also called upon to be her doctor. Esther finally tells her friends that she is engaged to Jarndyce and she senses that they disapprove for some reason. Then Esther goes to see Richard and takes Ada with her. At Richard’s, Ada reveals that she’s been married to Richard for a couple months and that she’s going to stay with him for now on.
Reaction: Easter put me behind, but luckily naptime helped me catch up today. I was a little surprised that people seem to be against Esther’s engagement–not because I especially approve of it but because everyone but Richard loves the two of them and loves everything they decide to do. I don’t think Ada actually cares, but I get the feeling Caddy does. I also found the point of view starting 51 interesting–it was still Ester’s first person, but she was describing a conversation that she didn’t witness, between Woodcourt and Vholes.
Prediction: I’m guessing that Caddy has seen the attraction between Woodcourt and Esther while they cared for her. Esther still shyly skips around descriptions involving him–unreliable narrator, shame on you! 🙂 –so I’m guessing there’s more to their interactions than she’s willing to reveal, like that he’s not just feeling sorry for her all the time and still likes her.
Why This Book Is a Classic: Classic elopement. Ada and Richard do the poor-man’s, classic version of running off to Vegas to get married. “It was easy,” Ada said. Too bad Richard did it just to get at Ada’s money.
Our Lesson: Even sweet girls who seem completely selfless can get a little egotistical–no, not everyone is thinking about your engagement, Esther, but if you’re so caught up on what people are thinking, maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you that it’s a bad idea!