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Mr. Allworthy, the baby and Mrs. Wilkins
Transcript of Mr. Allworthy, the baby and Mrs. Wilkins
very concerned with outside appearances of things-- her hair before she goes into her master's room
she judges the baby because it is an illegitimate child "better for such creatures to die in a state of innocence, than to grow up and imitate their mothers, for nothing better can be expected of them"
flips back to acting caring-- her previous words seem like a facade to mask her "weakness" for the baby
"And was become incapable of shocking the pure eyes of Mrs. Deborah Wilkins, who, though in the fifty-second year of her age, vowed she had never beheld a man without his coat..."
"She had spent many minutes in adjusting her hair at the looking-glass, notwithstanding all the hurry in which she had been summoned by the servant, and though her master, for aught she knew, lay expiring in an apoplexy, or in some other fit."
master of the house
characterized as a wealthy man "He then rang his bell, and ordered an elderly woman-servant to rise immediately, and come to him"
very kind and caring
completely in awe of this child
seems religious "here, having spent some minutes on his knees-- a custom which he never broke through on any account"
Innocence! this poor baby is being judged because no one is sure of it's origins
this baby is the victim of the harsh words of Mrs. Wilkins but receives kind comfort from Mr. Allworthy
There is a shift in tone from Mrs. Deborah in the last paragraph of the passage; she goes from saying "perhaps, better for such creatures to die in a state of innocence, than to grow up and imitate their mothers" to "declaring it a sweet little infant." This shift in tone makes it apparent that she was just trying to act disgusted in front of her master.
The passage starts out with a tone of pity and compassion from Mr. Allworthy's side then switches to a tone of superiority and arrogance when Mrs. Wilkins comes into the picture. Mr. Allworthy changes the tone for the better when he feels the infant gripping his finger, asking him for help.
"he soon began to be touched with sentiments of compassion for the little
"it goes against me to touch these misbegotten wretches, whom I don't look upon as my fellow-creature."
"without any apparent disgust at the illegality of its birth; and declaring it was a sweet little infant, walked off with it to her own chamber."
Analyze the techniques employed in this scene to characterize Mr. Allworthy and Mrs. Deborah Wilkins
In order to characterize Mrs. Wilkins and Mr. Allworthy in this passage, the author employs contrasting tones of compassion and arrogance, powerful diction and details which reveal the personality of the characters