Soames Essay

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Duty versus Desire: Young Jolyon was the favourite of the family until he left his wife for his daughter's governess. He eschews his status in society and in the Forsyte clan to follow his heart. Soames, though it seems he is the polar opposite of Jolyon, has those same inclinations toward doing what he desires. For example, instead of finding a wife who is rich, he marries Irene and then Annette, who have neither money nor status. When he takes Irene to a play about a married woman and her lover, he ironically sympathizes with the lover and not the husband. However, most of his decisions are on the side of duty. Generations and Change: The many generations of the Forsyte clan remind everyone of what has come to pass over the years. However, as the old ranks begin to die, people are able to change. For example, after a few generations, the fact that they are nouveau riche does not matter as much. This is also the case with Soames and Irene's marital problems. Once they grow old and their children can overcome their parents' past, Soames can finally let go of the past. Mortality is an important issue because it forces people to let go. Another change with generations is the diminished number of Forsyte offspring. Many of the second generation have fewer children. Summary: It’s some twelve years since The Man of Property, and all is not well in the Forsyte clan. Although Soames and Irene are still legally married, they haven’t seen each other since the death of her lover all of those years ago. Soames is feeling the effect of the years, however, and his father’s ailing health has him thinking about his own legacy, and longing for a son of his own. He has his eye set on a pretty young French waitress, so he finally overcomes his fear of having the Forsyte family name splashed across the papers, and begins proceedings to divorce Irene – while similarly encouraging

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