Washington Square Chapters 19 and 20 Summary and Analysis

Henry James

Chapters 19 and 20 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Dr. Sloper confronts Mrs. Penniman concerning her interference. He warns her to stay out of the relationship and especially not to encourage Catherine’s open defiance, telling Mrs. Penniman that continued attentions to Morris on her part would be “treasonous,” which (as he states) is a “capital offense.” Mrs. Penniman replies by calling him an “autocrat” (dictator), but he insists that he is simply his daughter’s father. Mrs. Penniman points out that Catherine has just had a “dreadful night,” but he says that she will not die of one dreadful night, nor even a dozen. He emphasizes that he knows this because he is a “distinguished physician.” Mrs. Penniman then takes a big risk...

(The entire section is 1153 words.)