Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

VII.3 Hudson

Rowland’s insistence that Roderick leave him to sleep underscores the balance that Rowland maintains in his life. Unlike Roderick, he prepares every night for bed and feels entitled to his rest. Such a privilege is one to envy, as Christina tells Rowland in the following chapter. When he encounters her at mass, she reveals that she is jealous of his right to rest at his own will. He challenges her with being too young to say such a thing, but she rebuts by pointing out that the total control that her mother holds over her life as aged her prematurely: “I was a little wrinkled old woman at ten.” For Christina, figurative beauty sleep is unattainable for a daughter whose mother intends to sell her to the highest bidder. In this sense, Christina infers that being social indentured to another deprives one of bodily restoration.

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