"I don't know that; but she is not going to break down. She is going to drag out
the engagement, in the hope of making me relent."
"And shall you not relent?"
"Shall a geometrical proposition relent? I am not so superficial."
"Doesn't geometry treat of surfaces?" asked Mrs. Almond, who, as we know, was clever, smiling.
"Yes; but it treats of them profoundly. Catherine and her young man are my surfaces; I have taken their measure."
The novel, indeed, is a very thoroughly worked out piece of emotional geometry, and it examines the squareness of its affective situation both from the point-of-view of symmetry (and stability), and from the point-of-view of depth, or rather of depthlessness. When I first read this novel I suppose I assumed the four sides of the square were Dr Soper; Catherine; Morris Townshend and Mrs Penniman. But rereading it I'm struck by the observation that this latter character, Catherine's aunt and Dr Soper's sister, actually has a rather minor function in the whole. Say instead then the four sides of this novel are: emotionally tyrannical Dr Soper; passive-aggressive Catherine; mercenary Morris Townshend and money ... this latter being represented both as ubiquitous and as purer, in a cold way, than all the others put together.