A Modern Instance Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Modern Instance

The book opens with a young woman, Marcia Gaylord, who is in love with Bartley Hubbard. They live in the small town of Equity, Maine, until Bartley, who is a journalist, gravely injures one of his employees. The two spontaneously get married and move to Boston, against her parents' wishes.
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In Boston, they are greeted by poverty as Bartley struggles to find a position with a local paper. They struggle to fit in with upper class Boston, and make several friends, including the Hallecks, Clara Kingsbury, and Mr. Atherton.

But soon Bartley becomes more consumed by societal pressures such as drinking and gambling. He and Marcia fight more and more as she tries to save money.

After a particularly brutal fight, Marcia leaves, but only temporarily, Bartley leaves on a train to the Midwest and is robbed once he gets there, so he can't return. Marcia waits for several years for him to return, but he never does. Then she sees a notice in the newspaper announcing his plan to divorce her. She, her father, and her daughter go to Indiana to take Bartley to court. But once there, Marcia refuses to testify against him. This disapointment causes her father to have a stroke, and they return to New England, and Marcia finally moves back to Equity, where she is discontent and has no purpose.
The review of this Book prepared by Sarah Wimmer

Chapter Analysis of A Modern Instance

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Husband Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () City?    -   Yes City:    -   Boston

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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William Dean Howells Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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