Christopher Newman, a young American millionaire who is looking for more in life than a business career. He goes to Paris to experience European culture, and he hopes to find a wife who can aid in developing his natural abilities. Both modest and astute, he has a depth of integrity that is recognized by both men and women. He is also generous in his response to the qualities of others. When he meets Claire de Cintré though his friend, Mrs. Tristram, he is drawn to her noble character and touched by her adverse situation. In his relationship with the Bellegarde family, Newman’s innate decency stirs some of them to admiration and others to a desire to exploit Newman’s naïvete. Newman is refused Claire, who retires to a convent. Because he has evidence showing that Claire’s father was murdered by his wife, Newman is tempted to bargain for Claire, but his innate decency leads him to destroy the incriminating evidence.
Claire de Cintré
Claire de Cintré (sahn-TRAY), née Bellegarde (behl-GAHRD), a young French woman locked in the rigid confines of her mother’s domination. When she was forced into marriage with a worldly old man, her invalid father could not save her; a few years later, however, her husband’s death released her. This is the woman Newman meets and loves. Seeing in Newman a sensitive and reliable man, she responds to...
(The entire section is 522 words.)