Soames Forsyte Essay

290 Words2 Pages
Soames Forsyte believes in property, and, in common with Victorian law, he believes his wife is his property, just as his paintings are his property. Yet for all that he is married to her, she remains elusive and intangible. As is well known to the family (all family gossip is mediated through Soames' father's house, known as the Family 'Change) Irene is deeply unhappy with Soames. In fact, she married him only on the understanding that if she couldn't love him, he would let her go. This he steadfastly refuses to do. In desperate unhappiness, Irene embarks on an affair with a young architect called Bosinney (who, at the time, is engaged to her niece, June) and Soames is driven to a form of madness. One night, when Irene has unfortunately forgotten to lock her bedroom door, Soames 'asserted his rights and acted like a man'. As a lawyer and a husband he knows that he is quite within his rights to do so. At the same time, as he also knows, such an act is unforgiveable: Had he been right to yield to his overmastering hunger of the night before,and break down the resistance which he had suffered now too long from this woman who was his lawful and solemnly constituted helpmate? He was strangely haunted by the recollection of her face, from before which, to soothe her, he had tried to pull her hands -- of her terrible smothered sobbing, the like of which he had never heard, and still seemed to hear; and he was still haunted by the odd, intolerable feeling of remorse and shame he had felt as he stood looking at her by the flame of the single candle, before silently slinking

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