Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Barry Lyndon Plot Summary, Chapters 13, 14 and 15

Chapter 13
  • Barry meets Lady Lyndon, her husband Sir Charles and their son, Viscount Bullington.
  • He gambles with Sir Charles and befriends him. Sir Charles complains about Lady Lyndon, who is an intellectual and admired bluestocking whom he does not love and who does not love him.
  • Sir Charles is dying, so Barry decides to go for Lady Lyndon. His first step is to befriend her chaplain, Mr. Runt.
  • He gets an Irish priest to write letters on transubstantiation for him and in this manner gets into Lady Lyndon's circle.
  • Sir Charles realises what he is up to and is amused, though he tells Barry to marry for love. Barry, however, states that he is only after her money since she has no other charms.
  • Sir Charles takes his good time to die, but as Barry is about to marry another wealthy widow, he does so and Barry returns to Ireland to find Lady Lyndon.
Chapter 14
  • In Ireland, Barry visits all the places he had been to earlier and meets with several old acquaintances. He notes how everything seems to have diminished in quality and speaks slightignly of most things. Castle Brady has been abandoned, Tim, the servant has become tremendously fat, everyone has multiplied and Irish towns and society holds a lower standard than what he remembers from his youth.
  • He pursues Lady Lyndon, bit gets lukewarm response. He imitates the extortionist Captain Fireball and threatens to kill her other suitors.
  • He almost kills Lord George Poynings, her primary suitor in a duel over the pedigree of a horse and uses this to set an example for Lady Lyndon.
  • Having met Ulick, he formulates a plan for his advances on Lady Lyndon.
Chapter 15
  • Having been given advice by his uncle, he pays court to Lady Lyndon.
  • After having wounded Lord George, he finally goes to visit his mother after a year in Ireland.
  • He hints of his plan to his mother, then goes off to deal with Lord George, who maintains his suit from his sickbed.
  • He professes his love for her to him, threatens to murder him, boasts (lies) of his feats and finally shows him Lady Lyndon's letters to him.
  • The letters are almost similar to those sent to Lord George, who is disgusted and rejects Lady Lyndon. Barry meets her afterwards, follows her home, declares his love for her and threatens to publicise her letter if she does not agree to marry him.  Terror, he claims, "is not a bad ingredient of love" (OUP 2008, 218). Tipping the porter handsomely for his future business, he takes his leave.

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