Summary (Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction Series)
After a year of working at odd jobs around New Zealand, Jeremy Bohun returns home to reestablish contact with his parents. Jeremy is feeling at loose ends generally, a state of mind that contrasts with his father’s great self-assurance. His father, James, is a Methodist clergyman who takes it as his professional obligation to direct the lives of those around him. To this end, he reads endlessly from theological and classical tomes and as a result projects himself in what he perceives to be an erudite manner. To others he seems merely eccentric, out of date, and overbearing. The result of his dictatorial and rather archaic manner is that his wife has retreated into a shell while John, his second son, has left home disgusted with his father’s senseless pontification, vowing never to return.
When Jeremy first walks into the kitchen of his parents’ home after his long absence, his father mistakes him for John, his favorite, and greets Jeremy accordingly. This greeting comes as no surprise to Jeremy, knowing his father as well as he does, nor does his father’s request that he return to a long-standing practice and read to him daily from Gibbon’s History. In time, the old man hopes, this will create a bond of mutual intellectual curiosity between them.
Soon Jeremy relocates to a small town nearby, where he secures a position with the local government. Taken under the wing of his predecessor, Mr. Greenlee, in whose home he lodges,...
(The entire section is 1151 words.)
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