When a handsome young man begins to court Catherine Sloper, she feels she is very lucky. She is quiet, gentle girl, but neither beautiful nor clever; no one had ever admired her before, or come to the front parlour of her home in Washington Square
to whisper soft words of love to her. One day…
In New York
in the 1840s young ladies are not free to marry where they please. Catherine must have her father’s permission, and Dr. Sloper is a rich but grim man. He knows Morris’ trickery, so he does not want Catherine to marry him. Finally, Catherine’s father is right and she understands that Morris marries her is for money.
Issue to be discussed
1. Whose thoughts are these? Who are they thinking about and when? Then find words in the story which mean the opposite of the words in italic.
2. Do you agree (A) or disagree (D) with these statements? Explain why.
(1) Dr. Sloper: “You are good for nothing unless you are clever.”
(2) Mrs. Penniman: “My dear Austin
, you are making a great mistake if you think that Catherine is a weak women.”
(3) Mrs. Almond (about Morris Townsend): “He will make Catherine a bad husband.”
(4) Catherine (about her father): “And I think he despises me …Of course it isn’t my fault, but neither is it his fault.”
(5) Morris Townsend (to Catherine): “Yes, you are rich, you are free. Marriage had nothing to offer you.”
3. Do you think that Washington Square
is a good title for this story? Would you prefer one of these titles instead? Why?