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Summary Chapter 34

CHAPTER 34

On the steamboat, a tall gentleman comes up to Martin. He tells him he is fortunate in being able to behold the Elijah Program. Martin has no idea what that is. The gentleman introduces him to the person named Elijah Program, a faint looking gentleman.

Program asks Martin how he likes their country. Martin comments that people only want one answer to that question. Since he cannot give that answer, he prefers not to answer the question at all. Program, though, is determined to get an opinion that he can twist into his speeches. He asks how Martin liked Eden. Martin has nothing good to say about Eden. The man takes his comments to be evidence of hatred towards the United States. He says the British are jealous and prejudiced.

Program asks Martin if he met Chollop. Martin calls Mark over, saying that he was sick during Mr. Chollop’s visit. Program praises Chollop as a true countryman and pioneer. Mark says he didn’t like the man. He thought he was a bully, and he didn’t approve of his using violence to persuade people. Any criticism that they make Program labels as an attack on the United States. Martin points out that the examples are not good representatives of the United States.

When the bell rings, everybody departs for dinner. During dinner, Martin continues to converse with Program. He says that people behave atrociously and act like animals—all in the name of independence and freedom. They abandon politeness, good manners, and decency to their fellow man. These little infractions will lead to greater social problems.

Captain Redgick is on the wharf when their boat docks. He tells them they won’t be welcomed back. They received people and then didn’t settle. Martin points out he hadn’t wanted to receive them, and had only done so because the Captain had forced him to. The Captain is angry that they didn’t die in Eden. The other inhabitants would be just as resentful, but Elijah Program’s appearance distracts them.

Doctor Dunkle invites Elijah Program to a meeting. At the meeting, men ask Program political questions while the women observe him. Mrs. Hominy introduces herself to Mr. Program. The people quiet down to listen to them. She gives him a hard time about a vote he had cast. He dodges it, but she brings up other political topics.

Mrs. Hominy receives a note from two literary ladies asking to be introduced to Mr. Program. An usher escorts them inside. The ladies bring out chairs to have a debate with Mr. Program. Later, the citizens reveal a ghastly looking statue of Mr. Program, which he thanks them for. Mr. Program goes to the local newspaper to write a poem about the evening’s events.

Martin and Mark sell back their goods to the store they bought them from. Program wants Martin to give his oration to the Chancellor and Secretary of State in England, which Martin promises to do.

Martin receives a letter from Mr. Bevan, who wishes to meet them. They go to the location where he is staying. Martin apologizes for having to beg money from him, but it was necessary. Bevan blames himself for leading them to their misfortune. Martin blames himself for handling the matter haphazardly and not consulting Mark as much as he should have. Bevan comments that Mark has never had much of a say in anything, which Martin embarrassingly says is true. However, having nearly died, he learned much quicker from his mistakes.

Bevan asks if they plan to return home. Martin says yes. Bevan informs them that The Screw is set to sail tomorrow. However, Martin lacks the money to pay passage. Bevan says he will loan them the money. When Mark goes to the ship, though, he is recognized by the crew. They offer him a job as the ship’s cook. The salary pays their passage. Martin and Mark leave a letter for Mr. Bevan with the money he gave them.

Martin thanks Bevan for his kindness. Bevan asks him to repay him by making people aware of the suffering emigration can bring. On board the ship, Martin and Mark reflect on America. Mark says America is like a bat for its short-sightedness, a Bantam for its bragging, a Magpie for its honesty, a Peacock for its vanity, and an ostrich for putting its head in the mud and not thinking anybody sees. Martin adds it is like a Phoenix too, springing from the ashes of its faults to soar up reborn into the sky.

Charles Dickens