What is the summary for Chapter 16 of The Blithedale Romance?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After his conversation with Hollingsworth, Coverdale becomes restless and dissatisfied with life and Blithedale. He decides to go on a trip to the seashore to restore his health after so much labor, or so he relates to the other residents. Silas Foster sees through this, since Coverdale’s health has visibly improved by his work on the farm.

Yet Coverdale’s dissatisfaction runs deeper, he realizes, than a week’s stay at the beach will assuage. He contemplates going on an adventure, perhaps to the West, or Europe, perhaps down the Nile. Maybe he’ll join a corps of discovery to unknown lands. He wants to go away and, when he returns, see how the ground at Blithedale lies. If it is progressed in its present intentions, he will be content to remain here as a resident. If Hollingsworth has his way and takes over the community, fashioning it after his own strict philosophy, Coverdale will gladly move on.

Coverdale takes some time to say good-bye to his closest friends. He asks Zenobia if she would like him to arrange a series of lectures on women’s rights while he travels. She declines. Women have no rights. Coverdale sees that Hollingsworth has done his work on her. He says good-bye to Priscilla, who in her simplicity thinks nothing will ever change.

Coverdale contemplates saying good-bye to Hollingsworth in recognition of their past friendship. But both pass each other without a word. So Coverdale goes to say good-bye to the pigs.