This is a story of a woman who suffers a lot in her life trying to find her way to peace. Her name is Kitty Fane. The main characters of the book are Kitty an Walter Fane. They are married. Tuis is how their story started. Kitty’s mother was hard,cruel,managing,ambitious,parsimonious,stupid woman. She married her husband because he seemend then a yong man of promise and her father said he would go far ,but he didn’t. He was industrious and capable ,but he didn’t have the will to advance himself.
Mrs. Garstin despised him,but she recognized that she could only achieve success through him,and she set herself to drive him on the way she desired to go. She tried to cultivate people, who might be useful to her husband. She nagged him without mercy. But this were vain efforts. So having been planned as a marriage of convenience it turned out to be a complete failure. As for their daughters (Kitty and Doris) ,they have never looked upon their father as anything but a source of income.
It had always seemed perfectly natural for them ,that he should lead a dog’s life ,in order to provide his family with boards and lodgings, clothes ,holidays and money for odds and ends. It never occurred to them to ask themselves ,what were the feelings of that subdued man who went out early in the morning and came home at night only in time to dress for dinner. He was a stranger to them ,but because he was their father they took it for granted that he should love and cherish them. When Kitty’s mother realized that her husband had not been able to promote himself ,it was on her daughters she set her hopes.
By arranging good marriages for them, looking for someone who would be well off and in a sutable profession ,she expected to make up for all her disappointments. As for Doris ,she gave no signs of good looks,Mrs garstin could not hope for her. But Kitty was a beauty. She had large dark eyes,vivacious,brown,curling hair in which there was a redish tint, exquisite teeth and lovely skin. Mrs. Garstin sent her daughter to dances where she could meet eligible man. Kitty was a success. Very soon she had a dozen of men in love with her,but none was sutable,because her admirers were either penniless or too old.
Mother always reminded her daughter that she would not be any longer pretty in a year or two and she could miss her market. And that was exactly what happened. Kitty reached the age of 25 and was still unmarried. Meanwhile Doris became engeged to Geoffrey Dennisson,the only son of a prosperous surgeon who had been given baronetcy during the war. So kitty in panic decided to marry Walter Fane. Kitty never loved Walter and she had never taken much notice of him. They were inroduced at some party but kitty didn’t even remember his name.
She married him because he proposed her,as she understood that it wouldn’t be very nice to be a bridesmaid at Doris’s wedding, as all girls of her age were already married. And of course she was afraid of her mother’s bitter tongue. As for Waltre he was deeply in love with her. walter was a bacteriologist, a penniless yong doctor. After their wedding he took her to Hong-Kong,where as a wife of the government bacteriologist she was of no particular consequence. Her social position was largely determined by her husband’s occupation which made her very angry. From a social standpoint the man of science does not exist”. But she understood it too late. So within three months of her marriage she knew that she had make a mistake. And Kitty felt that it was her mother’s fault even morec than hers. The novel starts with a scene describing Kitty’s infidelity. Kitty has a lover Charlie Townsend. Kitty is having an affair with a man who has a wife and three kids. He works as an Assistant Colonial Secretary in Hong Kong. He’s 41 but he has a nice figure ,and the spring step of a boy .
He’s a kind of person who can never resist the temptation to flirt. Kitty’s deeply in love with him. Now she wants to do nothing with her husband. She realizes that Walter is not her type at all. He’s short,but not thick-set; dark and clean shaven,with very regular clear features. His eyes are almost black,he has a straight delicate nose ,fine brow,well-shaped mouth. Judging by the discription he seems to be good-looking,but he has such good features only when he taken by one. In spite of Charlie’s deep love ,his delicate and tender attitude towards Kitty (“+he was very nice.
He was constantly giving her little presents. He gave her his hand to helpher out of car. He never came in to her bedroom without a knock. He treated her not as most men treat their wives,but as though she were a fellow-guest in a country house. She would have felt more at home with him if he had been more casual”). Kitty is not in the least in love with her husband ,and she doesn’t know why she hesitated to refuse him at once. Having lived together for 2 years she hardly knew him well. With Charlie Kitty looked 18 once more. She was a rose in full bloom.
She worshipped Charlie. As for Walter ,he knows that Kitty is unfaithful to him. He saw her and Charlie in his house . But he is the type of man,who can’t bear scenes and who has enough sense to know that there is nothing to be gained by making a scandal. So he just tells his wife that he knows everything ,and Kitty does not deny anything,she says she loves Charlie. Walter had the following plan. He told Kitty that he was going to Mei-Tan-Fu,the place ,where the worst epidemic of cholera was,to take a position of missionary doctor,who had died.
As fo Kitty she had a chance to go with Walter,or to divorce him,but on one condition, that Charlie’s wife should give Walter the assurance that she would divorce her husband and Charlie should give written promise to marry Kitty. Walter was sure that Charlie would never do that,as he depended on his wife and could ruin his career. So Kitty had nothing to do but go to Mei-Tan -Fu together with her husband. Of course,she was deeply hurt by Charlie. She had never known that one could suffer so much,and she asked herself desperately what she had done to deserve it. I think,she deserved it as she was betraying husband,who loved her so much,and she’ll understand that people need to suffer to be able to understand what is right and what is wrong. ) In Mei Tan Fu Kitty meets W. Waddington ,who lived in Hong-Kong for some time,and knew Charlie very well. From him one more time she gets proof That Charlie was a stupid and dependent man,besibes she finds out that Charlie’s wife (Dorothy) was aware of Charlie’s small flirtations’ and never took them seriously .
Kitty feels miserable ,she even wants to run away ,but does not know how. As for Walter he works devotedly since morning till evening. One day waddington takes Kitty to convent,where she meets Mother Superior and other nuns. They show her the convent ,she sees people suffering from cholera. From the nuns she finds out how they admire her hsband. They say he’s the nicest and cleverest person on the earth. She finds out about his love to children(p. 132). Since That moment she starts thinking about life.
Kitty decides to work with nuns ,to help them at the convent. She found her work a refreshment to her spirit. She began to forget about Charlie. One day she finds out she’s pregnant(p. 155-157). Not long after she knows that Walter’s dying of cholera,she begs him to forgive her,but his answer was The dog it was that died’. Kitty does not understand . (This is the last line of children’s verse about a man and a dog ,who lived in peace but one day the dog has bitten the man and the man was dying. But the miracle has happened the dog died and the man recovered+. He compares their situation with this verse You must know that by bringing you here I’ve condoned (?????????,???????? ?????? ??????) the offence’-he said once to Kitty. Walter dies,Kitty doesn’t know what to do,but Mother Superior makes her go home to her parents. In Hong kong Kitty sleeps with Charlie again and despises herself for this (p. 223). She goes home and on her way home she finds out that her mother died. As she comes home and talks to her father,we see that Kitty has changed a lot. (p. 234)