Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Richard Rowan and Bertha, unmarried lovers, return from Italy with their eight-year-old son Archie to Dublin, where, although physically at home, they are in spiritual exile. The two people most involved in their return are Robert and Beatrice, first cousins once engaged to be married. Robert, however, was always dominated by Richard’s ideas and was tenuously in love with Bertha. When he recognized Bertha’s love for Richard, he was gradually drawn to Beatrice, who was in love with him. She, too, was always fascinated by Richard and found that, without him, charming but weak Robert became a mere cipher. Finally, her engagement to Robert broke off—a situation from which Beatrice, as she tells Richard, is still in emotional recovery.
Richard thus was a dominant force behind at least three sensitive and intelligent people in their youth. In maturity, his physical passions and his commitment to people still complement his ideals of freedom and integrity. This fact is demonstrated in a conversation with Robert who, while explaining his eagerness to promote Richard’s academic career, declares that he finds in Richard the same faith that a disciple has in his master. Richard answers cryptically that his is a master’s faith in the disciple who will eventually betray him. In this fashion he is trying to indicate to Robert, who uneasily becomes the editor of a conventional Dublin newspaper, his desire to avoid influencing those he loves while remaining...
(The entire section is 1022 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Exiles Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!