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In The Prince and the Pauper, around chapters 27-30, what did Miles find strange when...

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oneflower02 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 9, 2009 at 5:01 AM via web

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In The Prince and the Pauper, around chapters 27-30, what did Miles find strange when he arrived hime?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 9, 2009 at 6:47 AM (Answer #1)

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Miles Hendon actually arrives back home at Hendon Hall in Chapter 25.  He had anticipated a warm welcome from his father, his brother Arthur, and the Lady Edith, a welcome so exuberant that "they will have eyes and tongue for none but (himself)", but strangely, things do not turn out as expected.  The first person Miles comes across upon his return is his brother Hugh, who acts as if he does not recognize him.  When Miles tells Hugh whom he is, Hugh betrays "a momentary surprise", and then addresses Miles as a "poor stranger" whose "wits seem touched".

Miles learns from Hugh that his father and brother Arthur are dead, and that a letter had come to the castle "six or seven years ago" informing the family that Miles himself had died in battle overseas.  Aghast, Miles entreats Hugh to call the Lady Edith, and the old servants, whom he is convinced will attest to his identity.  Oddly, of the "two and twenty" servants who used to work for the family, only five remain, and they "five arch villains", and when the Lady Edith makes her appearance, she trembling asserts about Miles, her former husband, that she "know(s) him not!" (Chapter 25).

Later, without directly revealing that she believes that anything other than what he has been told is true, Lady Edith warns Miles that Hugh, who is now her husband, has enormous power.  She says that even if Miles is whom he claims to be, Hugh would "deny (him) and denounce (him), and none would be bold enough to give (him) countenance".  She urges Miles "to go hence", lest Hugh "destroy" him, and reveals that she herself has no influence on the tyrant, being for all intents and purposes "his fettered slave" (Chapter 26).

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