55 pages 1 hour read

John Fowles

The Collector

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1963

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Chapter 1, Pages 49-102

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1, Pages 49-73 Summary

Content Warning: This section of the novel features violence, sexual assault, and what modern readers would term revenge porn.

Frederick feels that he and Miranda are the only two people in the world; sometimes it seems Miranda is the only person other than his uncle who understands him. One day, they sit next to each other on Miranda’s bed looking at an art book. Miranda encourages Frederick to relax and touches her sleeve to his. Such instances leave Frederick thinking that sometimes Miranda doesn’t mind imprisonment.

Other times Miranda makes her anger known. She derides Frederick’s provincialism, calling him Caliban after the monstrous, uncivilized character in The Tempest. Frederick blames his shortcomings on being denied the privileges afforded to Miranda. She tells him that he’s being defeatist: He can use his new fortune to extricate himself from his past. Miranda resents how he always makes himself inferior: “I always seem to end up by talking down to you. I hate it. It’s you. You always squirm one step lower than I can go” (55).

Miranda tries to escape multiple times. She finds it’s impossible to tunnel out. Once, she fakes appendicitis; when Frederick leaves to get a doctor, he suspiciously waits outside the house and catches her as she runs out.

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