The French Lieutenant's Woman Chapters 15-16 Summary

John Fowles

Chapters 15-16 Summary

After Charles walks Ernestina home and they are alone, Ernestina breaks down in tears. She has discredited Mary, the kitchen maid to whom Sam is attracted. Ernestina has insinuated that Mary has loose morals, whereas Charles has been encouraging Sam’s pursuance of Mary, whom Charles had thought was charming. Charles had chastised Ernestina for her quick and negative judgment of Mary. Ernestina realizes how poorly she acted and feels ashamed, mostly because it has caused a disagreement between her and Charles. To prove she is repentant, Ernestina later offers one of her dresses to Mary, whose wardrobe is basically limited to work clothes. Ernestina fears losing Charles and promises him that she will not be so petty in the future....

(The entire section is 694 words.)