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The Girl in His Shadow


The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world ...
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Compare Daniel's relationship with Mae and his relationship with Nora. How are they different? Are they similar in any way?

Created: 04/30/21

Replies: 15

Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Compare Daniel's relationship with Mae and his relationship with Nora. How are they different? Are they similar in any way?

Compare Daniel's relationship with Mae and his relationship with Nora. How are they different? Are they similar in any way?


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianac

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 66

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Daniel's relationship with Mae was superficial and shallow. His relationship with Nora was the absolute polar opposite of superficiality and shallowness.


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Nora was an equal to Daniel. Smart, wanting to heal people, make a difference in the world. Mae was from a wealthy family wanting to be a wife and enjoy being married to a doctor.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 96

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

I don't see Nora and Mae being similar in any way. They were complete opposites. Imagine pretty, timid, delicate Mae holding a scalpel or seeing blood, lol?!?!?


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LWReads

Join Date: 08/09/18

Posts: 33

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

I agree with everything that has already been said. Mae was a socially acceptable potential wife, and she & Daniel might have had a pleasant life together. Nora was Daniel’s equal. She shared his interests, challenged his ideas, and worked alongside him as they pushed the boundaries of the medical techniques of their time.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 111

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Ultimately, both Nora and Mae wanted something other than Daniel. But, his relationship with Mae was not based upon love and mutual respect. Instead, as was common of the period, Mae was a proper bride for Daniel’s social position. Nora was not ever going to be accepted by Daniel’s family; yet he came to see her as equal to his intellect and he loved her enough to let her go to study medicine in Italy. Daniel & Nora’s relationship was based on far more modern ideals. Victorian society was quite rigid.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 60

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

When comparing the relationship Mae had with Daniel and the relationship Nora had with Daniel what is illustrated how society viewed marriage—one married within their class which Daniel and Marie were. Marie considered her role to be a wife and mother and play the necessary roles that were expected of her in Victorian times thus the proper bride for Daniel but it did not require love just expectations to fulfill their marital roles. Nora on the other was Daniel’s equal in the scientific or medical community even this was not the role for women during this time period Nora did find love in Daniel but had to fulfill h er medical dreams first but left options open which he agreed to.


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarao

Join Date: 10/18/12

Posts: 24

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Daniel loved Mae influenced by the expectations of the class level and societal norms of a marriage in Victorian times. Women were chaste, raised to run a home and to be ornamental with rigid etiquette. Marriage would have been perfect on the surface and with luck perhaps been happy over time with each having their own roles to play. Daniel fell in love with Nora despite those rules. He learned to see her as an equal, their shared love of medicine and discovery, her lack of artifice and her strength of character in the face of prejudice against her acceptance in a field not open to women. Daniel saw Nora as more than an ornament.


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 209

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Pretty much polar opposites as far as women go. Mae represents the traditional woman figure for the time and Nora represents the non-traditional. We don't see too much of Mae and Blake comes close to stereotyping her.


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 298

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Mae was the type of woman that Daniel would be expected to marry --- society and his family approved. She was typical of her class and time. Superficial? I suppose but that is sort of an unfair word to use since she was concerned with the things ladies of the time were supposed to care about--their families, their social standing, which required an awareness of what was socially acceptable in style, activities, decor and accomplishments. She was the perfect match for Daniel had he not met Nora.
Nora was completely new to Daniel. She had no background as such and certainly did not have a social standing to uphold. She'd had the " superficial " training for about a year, so she was aware of acceptable behavior and dress etc and, indeed, as seen at the dinner table with guests, she had all the poise and social ability as Mae. Where she differed was her independence and her determination to pursue a profession. At first, Daniel was as repulsed by this as anyone of his class. It is only with accepting and appreciating her ability that he came to love her. They formed a partnership as well as a relationship--remember, too, that his parents didn't like his choice of medicine--so he could understand that a woman would have an even tougher time of it. He would have been happy with Mae had he not met Nora. Mae was familiar and would have fit in just fine with the future he planned. Until Mae left the picture he never actually became more involved with Nora on a personal level.
Having met her, however, I don't think another Mae would ever fit the bill for what he wanted from a wife.


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

I thought Daniel's relationship with May was for appearance only...it didn't seem like there were real feelings. I thought his relationship with Nora was based on respect and love.


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 62

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

I agree with so many of the above responses. I thought Daniel's relationship with Mae was the "traditional" relationship and what was expected by his and Mae's families. If Daniel didn't meet Nora, I think he would have married Mae and lived a very conventional life. Daniel may not have ever known such deep feelings of love and respect he ultimately developed for and with Nora. Daniel's relationship with Nora opened up a whole new world for them both. How wonderful!!


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 333

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Daniel's relationship with Mae was the one dictated by society. She was of the right social class, desired only to be well-supported, bear his children and run his household. Nora was totally different -- she was his intellectual equal and created a relationship based on common interests, but desired to be her own person. Danile's parents certainly recognized the difference!


Posted May. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 125

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Daniels relationship with Mae was based on conventionality , in my opinion. Same socioeconomic background and just falling in line with what was expected. His relationship with Nora was totally based on respect and also a love that comes from working closely with someone on a task that is enjoyed by both parties. Very unconventional, yet the more satisfying of the two.


Posted May. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 30

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Mae was almost a non character in the book. The authors did not flesh her out at all, she was one dimensional and very much a poster child for"proper Victorian wife". Nora was multi dimensional, she grew as a character in every interaction and situation. Daniel reacted to each of them exactly as you would expect. I think the authors had fun writing his reactions to Nora as she totally shattered his set in stone expectations of how women were supposed to act, think, work and love. He had to expand in order to keep up with her... and to his credit, he did.


Posted Jun. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bill

Join Date: 05/25/17

Posts: 23

RE: Compare Daniel's relationship ...

Based on her looks and social standing, Daniel appeared to be in love with Mae and, based on her letters, it appeared that Mae was in love with Daniel. However, it appeared that Mae was controlled by her parents, who like Daniel's parents, were not in favor of Daniel's choice of profession. Also, I assumed that it was Mae's parents who forced her to break up with Daniel.

Daniel at first did not approve of Nora's professional activities but, as he came to respect her, he also came to love her especially with Mae out of the way. Also, Daniel also saw Nora as a professional partner as far as the rules permitted.


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