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Extra resources for Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
The bishop in turn adopts a new strategy more suited to his personality than rebellion: complete submission. This results in his disclosing that he has mentioned Slope as a possible dean to the archbishop, thus arousing Mrs Proudie's determination to prevent it, though the bishop gains some pleasure in his mock-innocent surprise that she should not be pleased at such elevation for her former favourite. Eleanor Bold's misinterpretation of the people around her continues in her visit to the Stanhopes, since she is not aware of Charlotte's designs.
Unlike her father, Eleanor's self-esteem requires that she should see herself as blameless. The narrator reveals the irony that both the archdeacon and Eleanor are disgusted at the thought of her marrying Slope, and though each perceives this disgust, their prejudices prevent them from interpreting correctly its significance. Eleanor cannot believe that the archdeacon could think her capable of contemplating such a marriage, and he assumes that she resents his disapproval of the marriage. Harding also remains unenlightened since Eleanor's selfesteem prevents her even mentioning the subject of marriage between herself and Slope, and his fear of being thought prejudiced prevents him from speaking.
The financial advantages of loving Eleanor bring into question the disinterestedness of love under such circumstances, and Bertie's devotion to truth does not allow him to turn away from this problem. 45 Bertie's attitude to marriage with Eleanor exposes a tension that those who conform to conventionally accepted values refuse to recognise. Eleanor is desirable, 'but the most desirable lady becomes nauseous when she had to be taken as a pill'. The greater the presence of self-interest in any choice one makes, the less one feels a sense of freedom, and if that sense of freedom feels compromised by necessity or self-interest, then love or anything else which can exist only in the context of freedom must lose its savour.