Salvete fellow scholars,
Here is my attempt to untangle the dialogue that appears from lines 139 to 172…
Okay, these two ladies are quite the gossip queens who are talking away the hours in some public forum–a bar by my guess, “HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME” (141). There are two women talking to one another and they are discussing a third woman, Lil. The woman who initiated the conversation on line 139 (Woman A) explains to her interlocutor (Woman B) that Lil’s husband was “discharged from the army after the First World War”; due her husband’s recent discharge, Woman A explained to Lil that she should fix herself up by buying “some teeth” (false teeth) (143). Woman A tries to reason with Lil, telling her that her husband has been in the “army four years” and “he wants a good time”; the woman explains to Lil that if she doesn’t make herself attractive, her husband can find others who will give him a good time. Lil’s reason for her “antique” looks is due to the pills she has been taking–for she has recently had an abortion (“young George”) and nearly died from it. After having an abortion, Lil doesn’t want to have any more children (she’s had 5, including George), but her husband, Albert, “won’t leave [her] alone” (163). Just as we are pulled into this gossip, Eliot ends the discussion quite abruptly with goodnight this-and-that-and-you-and-her-etc.
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight…
See you all tomorrow!