Hard Times: Book 1 Chapter 13 - Summary & Analysis

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      When Stephen comes back to his house late in the evening he finds Rachael there. Rachael tells him that she was summoned by his landlady a little while before because someone in his house needs to be looked after. Somebody means Stephen’s wife who is lying in his bed in a very poor condition. Rachael finds Stephen very much sad. She consoles him saying that soon his wife would leave him and he will come into his own self. But in the meantime, he should adjust himself according to the situation. Rachael also says that she will attend upon the sick lady the whole night because she has to give the next dose of medicine to her in the early morning.

      Stephen sits into the chair and closes his eyes in order to please Rachael than to relax himself. After few minutes he falls asleep and sees a long bad dream. Rachael also falls asleep close to the bed into a chair.

      After sometimes Stephen wakes up from his terrible dream and sees the sick woman picking up a bottle lying on the table thinking it to contain liquor. But actually there was poison in the bottle. Stephen does nothing to stop her. Right this moment Rachael opens her eyes and instantly snatches away the bottle from the sick lady and throws that away.

Critical Analysis

      So for the plot is concerned this chapter is important. A very sensational incident is described in this chapter. When Mrs. Stephen was about to drink poison under the impression of liquor, Stephen does not move to stop her though he is watching everything. Rachael moves quickly to save her from poison.

      In this chapter, enough light is thrown on the character of Rachael. Stephen is very much impressed by the Rachael’s nobility of action. He says to her, “Thou art an angel, Bless thee!” Rachael replies “I’m as I have told thee Stephen, thy poor friend. Angels are not like me.”

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