For this week’s post on characters relationship, I decided to do a little something different for you. In fact, I decided to do an update on current relationships and introduce new ones discovered in part four of the book. So, here is a short straight-to-the-point update on the character relationships. I hope you will enjoy!
To start off, it is important to know that the Maturins moved into Elliot’s apartment on the Left Bank after the crash, and that Isabel and Gray moved into Elliot’s apartment in Paris.
Later in this chapter, Maugham and Isabel meet up after ten years without seeing each other. Even if they have not seen each other in a long time and never spent a lot of time together, it feels like the age gap between them does not exist and they behave like old friends. Maugham is introduced to Isabel’s two daughters, Joan, the elder, and Priscilla. They are respectively eight years old and six years old. He keeps in touch with them and visits the family about four times a week.
Isabel asks Maugham if he has had any news from Larry, but he unfortunately has nothing to tell her since he has not seen him for a few years. However, it does not take long before he runs into him. In fact, while he was having a drink on a terrace, Larry goes to him but he is unrecognizable. They end up having a drink together, and they catch up a little. Larry then explains to Maugham that he is coming back from India and that he is staying in Paris for a while.
Maugham tells Isabel and Gray about the happy news, and soon after, Larry visits them. They are all very happy to see each other after such a long time, but we can feel a psychological gap between the three characters and Larry. In fact, he has not changed physically, but he became a whole other person. He grew spiritually, and as Isabel became a woman and a mother, their mental connection has been affected by their opposite life path. However, this does not prevent Larry from developing a strong relationship with Gray and her as he is curing Gray from his headaches. In fact, Gray develops a ‘childlike trust’ (maugham p.160) in Larry.
Afterwards, Maugham points out to Isabel that her daughters worship her, but do not love her as they love their father. She is a great mother, she educates them well, but she is not wrapping them up with love and affection. Isabel then confesses to Maugham that she does not regret marrying Gray instead of Larry. She admits that at that time, she only had a physical attraction for Larry, but that she would have never been happy with him, although she said before that Larry is the only man she ever loved.
By the end of part four, we are introduced to a new character; Suzanne Rouvier, who is Monsieur Achille Gauvain’s mistress. Maugham and her are good friends. Maugham later learns that Larry and Suzanne know each other. She practically fell in love with him when they were younger. It was about seven years ago, when Odette was five. She met him when she lived at Marcel’s, and Larry took care of Odette and her when Suzanne was going through a harsh period.