Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Miriam climbs the staircase and looks down from the bedroom of the second floor to the garden below, aware of the sense that she is leaving behind everything familiar to her. She thinks back over her days of quiet, sun-filled mornings. She remembers the afternoons she spent reading books, and the moments when she played duets on the piano with her sister, Harriet. Her packed trunk stands in the hallway downstairs, ready for the trip to Hanover, Germany the next morning. A governess position at a girls’ boarding school awaits Miriam.
Miriam crosses the English Channel and takes a train to Germany. She already regrets her decision to become a governess. As night falls, the train rushes her across the countryside toward Germany, and Miriam doubts her ability to teach English to young girls. She is leaving the house of her family because her father is bankrupt. There is no looking back. Miriam knows that she has to take her place in the world. Nervous but expectant, she feels freedom might await her.
After several months at her position in the boarding school, Miriam is confronted by Fräulein Pfaff, headmistress of the school. They stand in the central room of the school, along with the other teaching staff. While Fräulein Pfaff chastises the teachers for talking about men in front of the schoolgirls, Miriam grows angry. She realizes that the Fräulein is talking about her. She vows not to bow to Fräulein Pfaff’s spiteful attitude but sees...
(The entire section is 894 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Pilgrimage Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!