The Rainbow: Chapter 10 - Summary and Analysis

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      Ursula Shouldering Responsibility. Ursula who was now growing up found herself increasingly incharge of the younger children and the representative of the Brangwen family. It was irksome to her that she was unable to have any privacy and that she was never considered as an individual. She often shut herself away to read or think quietly. She lived in a world of her own imagination. Gurdun was more attached to her and depended upon her to face the realities of life.

      Ursula and the Young Brangwens. Since the Brangwen children were rich and had an easy access to the Marsh farm. The school teachers were almost respectful to them. Even the vicar spoke to them on equal terms. This was enough to arouse the jealousy of other children and they jeered at her and Ursula hated their jeering. She was quite proud of her family.

      The Turbulent Household. The house at this time was a storm of movement, since the children would not allow her to indulge in reading, then she would go to the parish room, to indulge in her fancies undisturbed. Once she forgot to lock the room, the children entered in and created havoc in the room. The father was angry and struck a duster at the face of Ursula. The cloth stung and for a moment she was as if stunned. She felt the injustice of it and "her heart burnt in isolation, like a watchfire lighted. She did not forget, she never forgot. When she returned to her love for her father, the seed of mistrust and defiance burned unquenched though covered up far from sight."

      Ursula’s Education. When Ursula was twelve. She was sent to Nottingham Grammar School and for a while escaped the burden of home. From the Grammar School she went to the High School. There each girl was a lady and she too wanted to become a lady. "At learning she was quick, intelligent, instructive, but never thorough. If a thing did not come toiler instinctively, she could not learnt it. Then she loathed her lessons and felt contemptuous of all teachers and school mistresses.”

      Ursula was like a free, unbeatable animal. There was no law for her nor any rule. Gudrun went to school together with her but they did not have the same attitude toward their studies. At school Gudrun found herself to be at the bottom of the class and thus she decided to give up her studies. Thus, Ursula continued her studies alone.

      Ursula’s Mystic Temper. During week days, she was constantly haunted with the menace of authority, and fear of a fight with it; or Sundays she experienced a feeling of security and relaxed. She felt lifted up in a world of dreams where her spirit wandered at last. Christ, Paradise, Sin and Fall floated in the vision, but they remained above her actual life. In Church, the voice sounded, re-echoing not from this world, as if the Church itself were a shell that still spoke the language of creation. When winter came, they were filled with expectations of Christmas and threw themselves heart and soul, into preparations for celebrating it. There was a pride and thrill to imagine that Jesus had suffered for her, had died for her. She had inherited from the Brangwen this typical mystic temper though it had never touched her mother Anna who, unaffected by the mysteries of the Absolute, remained contented in her fecundity.


      We now come to the third generation of the Brangwens and get a detail of the various growing members of the Brangwen household at the Yew cottage. The parents, Will and Anna are pushed to the background. The main attention is focussed on Ursula because Lawrence moves into the consciousness of Ursula and uses her as a mouthpiece for the wonder and doubt of her own mysticism. The story stands still while Ursula explores her own mind. Though the ideas are very true to the thoughts of a serious adolescent girl, the self-absorption of this chapter verges on the tedious.

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