Tenant of Wildfell Hall Ch. 29-40 (RBC discussion, SPOILERS)

This third section is, I think, my favorite of the whole book so far. It’s just really interesting because there is a lot going on and we finally get some answers to some questions.

To begin with, we finally figure out what exactly it is that Mr. Huntingdon did to tick off Helen: he had an affair with Annabella (Lady Lowborough). But I thought it was interesting that this wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back. But, then again, with the time-period the book I can understand why it is that Helen didn’t leave as soon as she found out about the affair. Helen stuck it out for about two years, living at home with her “husband”–I’m sure if they had Facebook, their relationship status would’ve been “separated” or “in an open relationship” 🙂 Anyways…I give Helen a lot of credit for sticking it out. It must be hell to live alongside a person whom you hate. But, as I don’t have children of my own, I don’t think that I could empathize with her. I won’t know until I have children just what I’d go through for them. (Although I know I would go through a lot for my husband, sisters, and other close family/friends.) But what made Helen decide to finally leave Mr. Huntingdon was that little Arthur, at the tender age of four, was already mimicking his father 😦 I cannot imagine a four-year-old behaving the way Helen described it. (I have to admit that the first thing I thought of in regards to a tipsy tot was Stewie from Family Guy, an American cartoon.) But that would definitely scare me into wanting to leave!

But then something pretty unexpected happened, and right at the end of our section! Mr. H found out that Helen was planning to run away and confiscated pretty much anything of hers with value so she couldn’t get money. So we’re left with a cliff hanger before the next section, leaving us wanting to know how she ends up leaving him if he did this. I mean, maybe he does end up dying, although the fact that Helen acts as a fugitive makes it appear he’s alive and well. But, at least now we know at least one of the bad things Mr. H did.

One thing that I noticed about the men in this section is that they tend to know when they are behaving like imbeciles. Mr. H, for example, was misbehaving in order to gain attention. Well, at least from Helen’s biased viewpoint 🙂 And Hattersley basically told Helen that he couldn’t be bothered to think about what he does. He wants Millicent to be his moral compass–to tell him when he does wrong–so that he doesn’t have to be bothered to think. Hattersley just seems lazy when I tells Helen this. And Mr. H appears needy. But I think that these are weird behavior patterns to gain what they want. If they know that they’re not doing good/right things, why bother doing them at all? Mr. H should remember that he’d be paid attention for good and not just bad–Helen always doted on him when he did right. But I’m pretty glad that I personally don’t know anyone who acts like this…at least not all the time 🙂

So, the questions I still need answered are these: How is Mr. Lawrence involved in Helen’s plight? How did Helen finally run away? and Does Mr. H actually track them down (if alive, which I think he is) before the book ends?


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