A Modern Comedy

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1034

Characters Discussed

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The White Monkey, 1924

Fleur Forsyte Mont

Fleur Forsyte Mont, the wife of Michael Mont and daughter of Soames Forsyte. Fleur marries Michael after her romance with Jon Forsyte, her second cousin, is stopped by his parents. She has a son, by Michael, named Christopher. Fleur makes her home into a center for writers and artists. Her passion for collecting experiences almost leads her to an affair with Michael’s best friend, Wilfrid Desert.

Michael Mont

Michael Mont, the son of a baronet and a veteran of World War I. He falls in love with Fleur and marries her after her romance with Jon Forsyte ends. He works for a publishing house. He publishes two books of poetry by his best friend, Wilfrid Desert, and befriends an employee named Tony Bicket, who was fired for stealing.

Soames Forsyte

Soames Forsyte, a solicitor and art collector. He is a member of the board of an insurance company and exposes the general manager’s illegal activities. His efforts, however, make him unpopular with the other board members and the stockholders, so he resigns. He then decides to retire from his legal practice and business affairs. He buys balloons from Bicket.

Tony Bicket

Tony Bicket, a member of the working class and husband of Victorine. He steals books from his employer to buy food and medicine for his wife, whose health is poor. He is caught and fired. He then tries to sell balloons for a living. After her health improves, Victorine earns enough money as an artist’s model to pay their passage to Australia. Their marriage nearly comes apart after Bicket learns that his wife has been posing in the nude.

Wilfrid Desert

Wilfrid Desert, a poet, member of the aristocracy, and veteran of World War I. He met Michael in a hospital during the war. When Michael publishes one of Wilfrid’s books of verse, it is a commercial and critical success. Wilfrid serves as best man at Michael’s marriage to Fleur. Unfortunately, he falls in love with Fleur. He is unable to seduce her away from Michael. He then leaves England for the East.

The Silver Spoon, 1926

Fleur Forsyte Mont

Fleur Forsyte Mont, whose attempts to help Michael’s political career by becoming a political hostess backfire when her father offends Marjorie Ferrar and her family. Fleur makes the situation worse by writing nasty letters about Marjorie to mutual friends. The dispute leads to a civil trial for libel.

Michael Mont

Michael Mont, who is now a member of the British Parliament. He campaigns for the revival of agriculture and emigration to solve problems of excess population. He is a disciple of Foggartism, a fringe political movement. His main opponent in the House of Commons is the fiancée of Marjorie Ferrar. Michael’s attempt to help three unemployed men by starting a farm on his family’s estate ends disastrously when one of the men commits suicide.

Soames Forsyte

Soames Forsyte, who is now retired from both his law practice and business affairs. He overhears Marjorie Ferrar making insulting remarks about Fleur. He challenges Marjorie in public and becomes one of the targets of a libel suit brought by her father. He makes the situation even worse by complaining to the editor of a newspaper that runs Marjorie’s gossip column.

Marjorie Ferrar

Marjorie Ferrar, a member of the aristocracy, an actress, and an artist. Her affiliation with the avant-garde and hedonistic movements of the time give her a certain notoriety in English society. Marjorie is an exponent of free love, although her own practice is far less scandalous. In the libel trial, she is forced to defend her bohemian lifestyle. Her admissions destroy her engagement to a wealthy member of the British Parliament.

Francis Wilmot

Francis Wilmot, the American brother-in-law of Jon Forsyte. During a vacation in London, he witnesses the dispute between...

(The entire section contains 1034 words.)

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Critical Essays