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Marguerite Poland


Chapter 16:
Questions to challenge you!

Keith Tankard
Updated: 4 March 2014
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Frances had been looking forward to the holiday at the coast yet she finds herself missing her quiet moments of journeying to Nolovini with Walter.

Victor too begins to irritate her with his acting as if they were engaged. And then Victor asks Father Charles for his daughter's hand in marriage but is refused.

After the holiday, he returns to Johannesburg and takes with him Tom, Reuben and Sonwabo who have been recruited to work as labourers on the mines.


Victor is related to Frances only through marriage but they have been together since early childhood. Indeed, Frances looks upon him as an older brother.

The isolation of the mission, however, sometimes draws disparate people towards each other.

Victor is about 21 while Frances is 18 years of age. Each are reaching the stage where sexual urges are beginning to emerge. Frances is still innocent but the same cannot be said of Victor.

It quickly becomes evident that Victor has already had a sexual relationship with the former wheelwright's daughter. Indeed, he was probably saved from an embarrassing marriage only by her father's assault on Sonwabo and the family's dismissal from the mission.

The event, however, initiated Victor into the sexual world and he wants more. With the wheelwright's daughter gone, there is no-one else on the mission except Frances.

Initially Walter was not perceived as a threat. When Victor catches Walter teaching Frances to play the piano, however, he realises by the expression on both their faces that the missionary is indeed an adversary.

The young man's manipulative skills are therefore stretched to the maximum. He must make an urgent plan which will not only rid him of his adversary but will secure Frances to him for all time.

It is the moment for his greatest game which he dares not lose. His goal is Frances but in this game she must lose her reputation forever.

She must become his -- and he will achieve this by forcing her to have sexual intercourse with him. Thereafter her only salvation in a hostile Victorian world will be through marriage to him.

Have you looked at the questions
in the right column?
Read the left column and then answer
the following questions:

Explain Frances's mixed reactions towards Victor. (4)

[Need help?]

Comment on the differing reactions by Emily and Charles Farborough when Victor referred to his marriage to Frances. (6)

[Need help?]

Charles says to Emily, "Because Frances is not in love with Victor, that's why."
  • Explain the effect that these words have on Frances who overhears them. (4)

[Need help?]

Why does Charles refuse Victor when he asks to marry Frances? (4)

[Need help?]

Explain Frances's meeting with Walter after the holiday in the context of all that has taken place in this chapter. (5)

[Need help?]

This chapter is a turning point for Frances in her relationship with Victor and Walter.
  • Why? (5)

[Need help?]

Try another worksheet?

See also:
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