Book 3, Chapter 2 Summary

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Mr. James Harthouse cannot figure out what has happened. He is agitated and far more upset than he cares to admit. There is no word from Louisa. She is not at the estate nor the bank. Even Mrs. Sparsit is gone. Tom knows nothing and is miffed that Mr. Harthouse never showed the night before.

Mr. Harthouse cannot settle to anything. He thinks that perhaps he should prepare for a fight with Mr. Bounderby. Instead, he paces his room, tries to read the newspaper, and feels like he is being slowly tortured. The waiter interrupts to say that Mr. Harthouse has a visitor. It is not the person Mr. Harthouse expects. Rather, there is a pretty young woman standing before him. She has an “innocent and youthful” expression and no fear of him whatsoever.

Sissy Jupe proceeds to tell Mr. Harthouse that she has come in secret to let him know that Louisa is at her father’s house and that there is no hope at all that she will ever see him again. Sissy says that she has come on her own out of love for Louisa. Her self-possession and unwillingness to argue the point throw Mr. Harthouse off guard. Sissy then asks him to leave Coketown and never return. He tries to protest, but she will have none of it. He hates being made ridiculous and losing face, but he agrees to Sissy’s demand. He has been vanquished, and he knows it.

Mr. Harthouse asks Sissy her name and relationship to the Gradgrind family. She tells him simply and then leaves. He writes a note to his brother and calls his servant to pack up. He is oppressed by the sense that he has failed and by a strange sense of shame.

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Book 3, Chapter 1 Summary


Book 3, Chapter 3 Summary