The novel consists of four main characters; Dr. Sloper, a rich doctor and brilliant professional who was married to an heiress who died of complications of child birth. He has Catherine has his only living child, another major character who has fallen in love with Morris Townsend, yet another major character. Morris has wasted his inheritance for traveling and is putting up with her sister Mrs. Montgomery. Mrs. Montgomery is poor, a window with five children. Sloper pays her a visit to discuss her brother Morris, and she is persuaded by him to admit that Morris takes money from her, returns very little and makes her suffer.
Morris is handsome and tall and attracted to Catherine, but Lavinia Penniman, another major character, lazy and a soap operas fun, tries to manipulate and lead their relationship into romantic melodrama. Sloper refuses to allow the relationship between her daughter and Morris to survive. He even withdraws her to New York for twelve months. Catherine does not accept to end her love with Morris and her father announces that she would withdraw financial support if they marry. He rejects Morris on the basics of him being after Catherine’s money and poor background.
After return from the exile, Catherine convinces Morris that her father would not accept, and Morris withdraws. Catherine is devastated by this and as a result she is unwilling to be married afterwards. The damage is too much that she finally rejects the proposal by Morris, who resurfaces after the death of her father Sloper, who has left reduced amount of money for fear that Morris would return. Issues of social class, relationships and finances are brought out in this book. Sloper means to stop the relationship between her daughter and Morris, but only that love was stronger that it does not end.
He feels that Morris is after her daughter’s finances and considers her poor background. Athough she can’t avoid sympathy for her own daughter, one can deduce that he feels it unfair for her to have been married by a poor man. This can be perceived as to be what is happening between the rich and the poor. One can almost see the judgment in the sentences mentioned that social class and the financial stature marry. Catherine is torn between pleasing her father, and her fiancé. She finally chooses her fiancé.
One can feel that because of money, Sloper causes Mrs. Montgomery, who is poor; to admit what is false thus the ‘rich misleading the poor’ concept comes into play. One can add that the rich and the poor may interact on the basis of money acting as an exchange to various favors. Although the rich are largely not willing to let such interactions as marriage to occur between their high social class and the poor low social class, they can make efforts to relate with the poor using their social wellbeing and money-such an unfair play.
Fears of certain interaction by the rich, who worry for their daughters like in this case, sometimes make them to suffer. They find themselves torn between the world of the rich and that of poor people. Social disparities are largely influenced by the way of life of people, and this may be determined by how rich or poor a person could be. Sometimes, the poor who must live find themselves having no options than to choose what is available for their survival or benefits.