Monday, March 7 , 2011
Henry tells Banford March has agreed to marry. Henry's eyes change from blue to
black with rage. When Banford dismisses as a lumber jack, a beastly intruder
March calls Henry and Banford “two antagonists” and seems to enjoy this
Henry sneaks up to Banford and March's bedroom and hears Banford saying
Henry will use March and desert her if he can't get the farm. He wants to bully
and master them.
Henry decides to kill the fox. He hears the dogs “making a fence of sound like the
hedges netting the view.” England is constructive, and the fox has no chance.
March's second dream. Banford is dead – her coffin will be the box holding chips
and her head will rest, inappropriately, on the dead fox's brash.
March examines the fox. She says it is “incomprehensible, out of her range.” She
again notices the teeth that bite into the blood. Her expression (“shy, virgin,
grim, matter-of-fact and shrewish”) puzzles Henry. Banford: “If he weren't such a
thief she could pity him.” Later March sees a “crucified fox.”
Banford humiliates Henry – he has no clear wedding plans. March is startled when
Henry informs her they will live in Canada. Henry feels March is in league with
Banford: “She will stoically mock at everything he says and at the world.” He is
afraid of her “dangerous satire.”
Henry watches Banford, carrying chrysanthemums, returning from the village
behind a hedge of hawthorn trees. Banford has iron breasts, but March's
workman tunic hides he's sure, soft breasts “like some perilous secret.”
Part XVII Henry is surprised March is wearing a blue-green dress. He suddenly realizes
she's “accessible” and the grave weight of male responsibility descends on him.
He has moves from boy to man. “Her young man's graceful figure piqued him.”
Henry succeeds in convincing March to marry him before he returns to Canada at
Christmas. But March first says they are fools. Henry warns her not to laugh at
him when he's serious.
Henry leaves for camp but shows no emotion as he departs from March. She has
nothing of him when he's not physically near her.
March writes a letter telling him she prefers the “sensible” Banford.