He Knew He Was Right

He Knew He Was Right Book CoverWriting about He Knew He Was Right

I am making my first venture into Trollope having been inspired by A Round-Heeled Woman.

And it reminded me of how intransigent people can be in their relationships with other people – and why.

A brief plot synopsis can be seen on Wikipedia – but what it doesn’t cover is the clever way in which Trollope depicts, through interior monologue, how people come to reason themselves into being so steadfast in their beliefs.

In essence, the plot is a big row about nothing with a lack of reconciliation because each party rationalises its own position and builds themselves a narrative of how they are the injured party and therefore cannot make the first move…

But what should he do? There was, first of all considerations, the duty which he owed to his wife, and the love which he bore her. That she was ignorant and innocent he was sure; but then she was so contumacious that he hardly knew how to take a step in the direction of guarding her from the effects of her ignorance, and maintaining for her the advantages of her innocence. He was her master, and she must know that he was her master. But how was he to proceed when she refused to obey the plainest and most necessary command which he laid upon her? Let a man be ever so much his wife’s master, he cannot maintain his masterdom by any power which the law places in his hands. He had asked his wife for a promise of obedience, and she would not give it to him! What was he to do next? He could, no doubt, at least he thought so, keep the man from her presence. He could order the servant not to admit the man, and the servant would, doubtless, obey him. But to what a condition would he then have been brought! Would not the world then be over for him over for him as the husband of a wife whom he could not love unless he respected her? Better that there should be no such world, than call in the aid of a servant to guard the conduct of his wife!

In fact, so far, the book is entirely about miscommunication. A cautionary tale for all of us involved in the industry!


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