The Bostonians Chapters 17 and 18 Summary and Analysis

Henry James

Chapters 17 and 18 Summary and Analysis


At their next meeting, Verena states that she is now ready to promise Olive that she will not marry. However, Olive has now changed her mind about forcing a promise out of Verena, and tells her that she is going through a phase now, when young men might show an interest in her. It is up to Verena to decide what she wants for her future as far as matrimony is concerned. Olive does not want to make the choice for her own sake. Although she believes that the two of them are called to service, just as celibate priests are, she will leave that decision up to Verena. Verena is impressed with Olive’s speech and states that she could sway audiences if she would just let herself go. But Olive cannot do...

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