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George is a rather morose individual but also iconoclastic, not unlike his namesake in American letters. He breaks the rules and is steeped in knowledge, and as a result cannot take full advantage of the pleasures in life. He cannot "connect." Lucy, on the other hand, has a limited view of the world because of her middle-class background. She has "great potential," says the minister when he hears her play the piano, and she seeks beauty although she doesn't always know this. They end up complimenting each other nicely. Lucy (the name means light) enhances George's life, and he enables her to expand her room--her identity--and give it a window onto a world beyond middle-class limitations. Lucy brings George back into the world, on the other hand, giving him a firmer ground on which to live his life. It becomes less esoteric and more human. As for impact on other characters, very briefly: Lucy enables her fiance to lean a bit more about himself for his posture as a dandy prevents him from closely engaging with others. Mr. Emerson gains the satisfaction of knowing his son has found a place in life with Lucy. Forester says in his writings on literature that he repeatedly tries to show people that human connection is the greatest gift in life. "Only connect," he says, and this can change the world profoundly.
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