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Chapters 33-36

These four chapters see Maurice travelling to Penge in August, as arranged with Clive earlier, to take part in the traditional cricket match.

Ch33 is focused on Clive and we find out a little more of his attitude to Maurice, and to his marriage. He takes joy in the utter conventionality of it, and Anne appears happy to share in it. It's implied that it's not a passionate marriage; Anne came to it without knowing anything about sex, and it suits Clive that they don't talk about it.

Maurice isn't really looking forward to the visit and is hurt that Clive is not there to meet him. Instead, he meets Anne, who finds him agreeable enough even if she finds him a bit rough and hard--echoing the acceptance he had on first meeting Clive's mother and sister who started to like him when he told them to mind their own business. And it keeps raining--Maurice doesn't stop being aware of it in these chapters.

Throughout chs 34 to 36, we get the odd reference to the gamekeeper: first seen by Maurice with the maids (the sight of which offends Maurice because the maids are not pretty), then helping the valet to move the piano after dinner, taking Maurice and Archie London to shoot rabbits the next day, refusing Maurice's tip the morning after, and finally as a face in the hedge. Reading the book for the first time, you'll probably not pay that much attention to them, but once you know what happens next, they are building towards giving Alec a quiet presence before we start paying him attention.

Courting couple by oldpixels on flickr, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No derivate works licence

Ever since Risley mentioned hypnosis, Maurice has been thinking about it, and finally now that he's visiting Clive he makes up his mind to arrange an appointment with Lasker Jones. Half of him thinks it's quackery, the other half wishes for a cure. Prior to the appointment, he's tasked with writing a statement of his life so far, and he works on it when Clive makes an attempt to make them closer again by closing the door on the past.

Hypnosis by malavoda(away) on flickr, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Non commercial-No derivate works licence

Lasker Jones is able to give Maurice a name for his "condition", "congenital homosexuality", and tells Maurice the majority of his patients come to him because of it. The first session finds Maurice open to suggestion, seeing a painting on an empty wall. The next appointment is set, and meanwhile Lasker JOnes recommends quiet countrylife, so Maurice sets out for Penge again.


  • Clive's marriage, is it as happy and content as Ch33 suggests?

  • Any thoughts on Anne?

  • What do you think of Maurice's decision to see a hypnotist?

  • At the end of Ch35, Maurice feels he's become a "bundle of voices", what do you make of it?

Photo credits:
Courting couple by OldPixels on Flickr, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No derivate works licence
Hypnosis, malavoda (away) on Flickr, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No derivate works licence

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-06 09:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angie-sylvie.livejournal.com
I suppose we just have to believe Forster that the marriage is happy and content. They certainly seem well-suited to each other.

Anne seems like a nice, conventional girl to me, not a great thinker (but Clive doesn't expect that in a woman) and it was on the tip of my tongue to say she deserves better than to be used as a fig-leaf of respectability by Clive but that's unfair. He obviously values her highly and as Forster says, "They loved each other tenderly." I also like her for actually making a bit of an effort to be a hostess to Maurice when Clive totally wasn't bothering.

The "bundle of voices" : it's like he's already slightly hypnotized just by the thought of going to the hypnotist!

I also think that Maurice wasn't really angry about Alec and the girls kissing because the girls were ugly; rather because Alec is handsome and Maurice is attracted to him from that very first eye-contact (but unconsciously: "knowing without knowing") and he's just plain jealous! But he would never admit that to himself in a million years.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-09 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sandpipersummer
I agree about Anne and Clive being suited. I think they are as suited as two people in their situation can be. Anne doesn't seem to be one for grand passion, and now that Clive is past his relationship with Maurice, someone like Anne really is his best bet.

Imagine if she was highly-sexed? He just wouldn't be up to it. As things are, he can at least satisfy her as little as he is satisfied himself, with neither of them thinking anything of it. I doubt if their relationship is any different to many others at that time.

Also, when Maurice sees the girls with Alec, definitely he is jealous!! Here is the friend he's been dreaming of for years, if he did but know it. His subconscious is aware because when he goes to see Lasker Jones, he admits to the friend dream being more apparent recently.

(aka into_the_greenwood, who can't log in!)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-09 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sandpipersummer
Anne seems ideal for Clive. She is a good hostess and seems to be a good choice for him as wife and helpmeet.

I think Maurice is really clutching at straws here with the hypnotist thing. Risley, who gave him the name of Lasker jones, is mature enough to know that it won't help, but has to let Maurice try for himself. Maurice seems to be so utterly desperate at this point to try and make his feelings go away. It must be eating him up inside although we don't fully get told this by the narrator. We can guess at it though from the last chapters discussed, and the whole path of his life over the last ten years which has brought him to the point he is at now.

I think it's interesting that the resolution of Maurice's problems is going to occur ten years after their real beginning. He was 14 when he lost George, the garden boy, the only other person who could conceivably be the elusive 'friend'.

Now he visits Clive and has his 24th birthday whilst forever seeing and being in the presence of the second person who could be a friend.

These last few chapters for me have almost been a 'bundle of voices' in themselves. Clive, Anne, seeing Alec with the girls, Archie London, Rev Borenius, etc. it's as if everything is coming to a head, and for all the years he has tried to quieten the voices in his head, now they are at the forefront of his mind. Something is happening that he can no longer ignore. he can no longer shut away his own feelings and thoughts and they have gone beyond being an annoyance - which I think is why he is desperate to see a hypnotist.

Also, there must be a lot of conflicting thoughts inside his head. He is homosexual, he has needs and wants because of his sexuality, he's trying to shut them up, he's in close proximity to Clive who, at the beginning of his holiday he still wanted something from but by the time of the mutual kissing of hands he is completely over. The subject of women comes up. he's met Alec who has had an effect on him.

I should say he's going a bit crazy with everything inside his head.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-11 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angie-sylvie.livejournal.com
it's as if everything is coming to a head, and for all the years he has tried to quieten the voices in his head, now they are at the forefront of his mind. Something is happening that he can no longer ignore. he can no longer shut away his own feelings and thoughts
Yes, something volcanic is happening in Maurice's psyche, and whatever one personally thinks of hypnosis the session with Lasker Jones does seem to have the effect of even further loosening and freeing Maurice's mind (in the next few chapters especially.) So I think it might have happened at just the right time.