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The Price of Love by Arnold Bennett

The Price

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The Price of Love by Arnold Bennett

“The Price of Love” is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1914.

It is a story that explores the themes of love, sacrifice, and the value of money in relationships.

The novel is set in the early 1900s in England and tells the story of Edwin Clayhanger, a young man who is in love with Hilda Lessways, a woman from a lower social class. Edwin’s father is a successful businessman who disapproves of the relationship and does everything in his power to break them up. Despite this, Edwin and Hilda continue to see each other and eventually get married.

The novel begins with the introduction of the Clayhanger family, who are prominent members of the community. Edwin is the youngest son and is seen as a talented artist. He falls in love with Hilda, who works as a typist in his father’s office. Hilda is a strong-willed and independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. She is also ambitious and dreams of a better life for herself.

As Edwin and Hilda’s relationship develops, they face several obstacles. Edwin’s father disapproves of the relationship and tries to convince Edwin to end it. He even threatens to disinherit him if he continues to see Hilda. Despite this, Edwin and Hilda continue to see each other in secret.

However, when Hilda becomes pregnant, Edwin’s father forces him to choose between his inheritance and his love for Hilda. Edwin chooses Hilda and they get married. The novel then follows their struggles as a married couple, including financial difficulties and Edwin’s artistic ambitions.

One of the central themes of the novel is the value of money in relationships. Edwin’s father is a wealthy businessman who sees money as the most important thing in life. He believes that love and happiness are not worth sacrificing money for. Edwin, on the other hand, is willing to give up his inheritance and his comfortable life for the woman he loves.

Another theme is the struggle between social classes. Hilda comes from a lower social class and is not accepted by Edwin’s family. She is seen as a threat to their reputation and social standing. However, Edwin sees beyond social class and is drawn to Hilda’s strength and independence.

The novel also explores the idea of sacrifice in relationships. Edwin and Hilda both make sacrifices for each other throughout the novel. Edwin gives up his inheritance and his father’s approval for Hilda, while Hilda gives up her ambition for a better life for the sake of her marriage.

Arnold Bennett’s writing style is straightforward and descriptive. He creates vivid and realistic characters that are easy to relate to. His depiction of the social and economic conditions of the time period is accurate and insightful.

Overall, “The Price of Love” is a compelling novel that explores important themes of love, sacrifice, and the value of money in relationships. It is a story that still resonates with readers today, over a century after it was first published.

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