Theo Vasiloudes

Greetings! I am Theo Vasiloudes, hailing from the great state of Florida in my second year as a Film & TV Production major at USC. (Fight On!). As a film student, I am interested in narrative and storytelling and how we can tell those stories visually, by showing and not telling. As such Dickens is a great example and inspiration of mine, as he writes with a thoroughly cinematic style. I am happy to join you on your reading journey and hope that you have as much fun reading Barnaby Rudge as I did.


Chapters 24-32 Illustrations

A Painful Interview, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne

Mr. Chester Making an Impression, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne

Old John Restrains his Son, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne

48 Comments

  1. Hello Theo! I really liked what you said about the dynamics between parents and their children. Personally, I was more focused on the relationship between bad fathers (or uncles in the case of the Haredales) and their children. However, you have made me realize that there is also a dynamic between Barnaby and his mother. Connecting to your point about how fathers are the dominant figure of the family, it is interesting to see Mary Rudge taking up the family mantle and taking care of Barnaby while Barnaby Sr was “dead”.

    In the later chapters of this serial, Mrs. Rudge and Barnaby leave their home to leave the grip of Barnaby Sr (or “The Stranger”). Do you believe that Mrs. Rudge is also having her own ‘rebellion’ against authority by getting away from her husband?

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  2. Hello Theo Vasiloudes, I really like the insights that you gave involving these few chapters. We see a lot of comparisons between sons and fathers and their relationships. Those relationships are compared with the rebellions, or the riots as you mention. The rebellions are caused by the people of lower status to those in authority. A question I have is if there is a lack of authority either within the family or the people in charge or is it the unity of the people that make the riots/ rebellions so strong and powerful?

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  3. Hello Theo,
    Thank you for your explanation on these chapters. I found it really interesting the way you explained the comparison of mobs and the children. I would like to focus more upon the relationship between Barnaby and his mother. Barnaby and his mother have a more closer bond. Would you say this is because of Barnaby’s mental illness or because it is his mother and not his father?

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  4. Hey Theo,
    Thanks for doing this. It’s always interesting to hear about what people think about the book in their own point of views. I especially like the fact that you pointed out that there is a lot of authoritarian figures and that the book follows these especially authoritarian figures. Especially when it’s between the families how they rebel because of how oppressed they are by their fathers, which as you said,”were very dominant.” Do you think that the sons would join the riots because they no longer wanted to be oppressed?

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  5. Hi Theo, thank you for your explanation/take on these chapters! Your point about relationships between parents and their children stood out to me. Mainly the contrast that is shown from the “dominant authority” of the fathers towards their sons compared to that of Mrs.Rudge and Barnaby. Their relationship is the only one that shows that they have a closer bond with each other and it does not really include one person being the “dominant authority” over the other. Like you mentioned maybe this has to do with the fact that Barnaby has a mental illness which impacts the dynamic with his mother. Which leads to my question: Is the relationship between Mrs.Rudge and Barnaby more caring because of Barnaby’s mental illness? Does Mrs.Rudge focus a lot on making sure Barnaby is always taken care of and in turn does Barnaby feel like he is also taking care of his mother?

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  6. Thanks Theo for this amazing connection between parents and their children. This really helped me see what I have to focus on. I do agree with you when you say that a parent is an dominant authoritative figure because they basically guide and take care of you and that riots rebel against a higher “figure” which show the relationship between how Chester rebels against his father. When you began to talk about how we should compare or contrast the relationship with Barnaby and his mother, I was very intrigued due to the fact that I didn’t really consider or think about the true relationship they have, I was more focused on just the characters themselves and other relations between father and son. With this, a question I have is Why do you think it’s important to really focus on these types of relationships? What if these characters didn’t rebel against their parents?

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  7. Hello Theo! I really enjoyed your interpretation and analysis of these chapters through this video. I caught on to what you had said about the concept of “dominant authority” between father and son in this time period. I would have to agree because going back a few hundred years, it is historically known that there was a strong patriarchal belief in London. Then, comparing that to the relationship of Mrs. Rudge and Barnaby would seem different from the norm.

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  8. Hello Theo, thank you for the elaboration on Dickens novel Barnaby Rudge and how the relationships between child and parent are detailed with rebellious attitudes. I noticed that Barnaby Rudge was the only child that grew up with a single parent who happens to be a woman, Mrs. Rudge, and it so happens to be that Barnaby is mentally challenged. Would you think that because Mrs. Ridge raised her son mostly alone, Dickens is trying to criticize that it’s hard for kids to live normals lives without both parents? Or is he criticizing the lack of father figures in many children’s lives and how that can mentally affect kids as they develop?

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  9. Thanks Theo for make this connection! I can now see how the parents have the bigger impact on the way the characters decide to act. It relatable also to our present life or just life in general. Whatever a parents wants for a child sometimes isn’t what the child wants it’s just causes tension and chaos which is exactly what the book is doing. Since I now see how important the connection is to the book I can read deeper into and see little signs I missed. As for the questions, do you think he is trying to send a message to the parents or the children about the relationships between them?

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  10. Hello Theo,
    Thanks for summarizing these chapters and the their themes into sizable chunks for us . One that really stood out to me was the concept of rebellion being shown in the younger characters in the novels. Especially the dynamic that you pointed out about how Ned disobeying his father and falling for a girl he doesn’t approve of. The rebellion shown in these characters are a foreshadowing of possible more intense and violent riots later on. My question is why did Dickens choose to use the younger characters to portray these themes? Was it a commentary on how young people tend to be very reluctant to follow tradition of the past and if so what is his view on this topic?

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  11. Hello Theo, I truly enjoyed your description of the relationship between characters especially dealing with families. This is something I have noticed is a big problem especially with Emma and others telling her she can’t be with Edward. My question for you is, what image do you believe Emma is creating for herself after she denies everyone and tells them she will continue her relationship with Edward?

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  12. Hey Theo! first of all, I would like to thank you for going more into depth about the relationships between the parents and their children. I think the relationship between the Mrs. Rudge and Barnaby really stood out to me because of how you said that their relationship is the only close one compared tot the rest such as Edward and his father. Do you think Barnaby has a close relation between himself and his mother only because of his mental illness or because he has always only had his mother since birth and has always depended on her?

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  13. Thank you Theo!
    I did not notice that Barnaby and Mrs. Rudge was the only mother-son relationship Dicken discusses, while the rest focus on father and son relationships. What is trying to communicate with his relationship with his mother? What about his mental illness say about their relationship? and Why is that Barnaby has not rebelled against his mother?

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  14. Hello Theo. Thank you for your explanation on the relationship between the parents and the child. There is definitely a power that the parents possess because they want to keep their child controlled to their standards. It is very interesting to see the comparison and resemblance on how riots are a form of rebel to authority and the way the children rebel against their guardians. Despite many of the sons having a rough relationship with their fathers, it is different from the relationship that Barnaby has from his mother as you mentioned. This leads me to question how Barnaby’s mental illness plays a factor in the way his relationship is with his mother compared to the other father and son relationships in the story.

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  15. Hello Theo Vasiloudes, thanks for the video and your intake. I found it captivating how many fathers, the time period in the story, are the dominant and authoritative they are to their children. The fathers are supposed to show their children right from wrong. The riots and mobs represent rebellion to the authoritative figure. What does Dickens try to criticize about the mobs and their rebellious incentives?

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  16. Good Evening Theo,
    I enjoyed your vivid and active description of the correlation between characters and their relative blood connections. I noticed the implicit and explicit conflict between two characters, Emma and Edward. My question revolves around the aspect of the portrayal of Emma’s image based on the decisions made by her feelings around others and Edward, In Summary, how do her choices affect her public portrayal?

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  17. Hello Theo,
    I agree with your statement about many of the parents pulling authority over their children, causing the children to rebel and how it can relate to the riots in general. I would like to focus on the relationship between Barnaby and Mrs. Rudge and compare it to the relationship between the other sons and their fathers. Which leads to my question. My question is, do you believe the mothers would be more gentle and understanding towards the children for the different authoritative power they have over them, compared to the fathers, or is it just Mrs. Rudge who acts so with Barnaby? Do you believe they would want to rebel either way?
    Thank you for the video!

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  18. Great! Great! Great! Thank you Theo for taking the time in giving us an insight of the chapters and the dynamics between the relationships of parents and their children. A great one that you mentioned was Barnabies relationship with his mother and how it’s better than those between fathers and sons. Fathers then were dominant in the child’s life and children would rebel against their parents, but with Barnaby, it’s different. Let’s put aside Barnabys relationship with his mother, what difference would there be if Barnaby had a strong relationshiop with his father?

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  19. Hello Theo!
    I love the humor you held during the video. It was engaging and wonderful to listen to. The focus you gave on the dynamic between their parents and their children, especially the children because they are portrayed as rebellious. Do you believe that Dickens through out the whole novel is criticizing authority? That Dickens is questioning that authority is in fact fragile and can be questioned as long as people have a voice or movement? Even if it just a child, who is supposed to be subordinate? It also seems that Barnaby is mentally ill with only a mother. Is Dickens criticizing the way a family is built as well?

    Thank you for the video!

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  20. Hello Theo, thank you so much for letting us know your viewpoint and your take on these chapters. Thank you for taking the time to do this for us. I really enjoyed listening to what you had to say, this really helped me understand these chapters a bit more. Something that really stood out for me was when you talked about the relationships between fathers and sons. I understand that the main reason for the conflict between father and son relationships are based on authority and who is obtaining this authority, but is this why Barnaby and his mother have a close relationship, the fact that authority isn’t being questioned? Or is it simply because Barnaby has a mental disability?

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  21. Hello Theo, I just wanted to let you know that this video you made was very helpful and got me to understand into more of these chapters were talking about how a mother and a son who has a very strong connection towards the book. Like you say Barnaby and Mrs. Rudge. I would think that there relationship can cause something throughout the book. What also caught my attention was the comparison on how riots are a form of rebel to authority and the way the children rebel against their guardians. My question is why does Barnaby have a more string connection than his father? Would it affect more things when having a connection with him ?

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  22. Hello Theo, thanks for the video(love the humor at the beginning). I really appreciate the focus and emphasis you put on the relationship between parent and child. I agree that throughout the novel, the relationships between the “young” and “old” seem to be rocky because of the fact that the older population wishes to keep the authority while the younger population wants to be freed from that authority. Keeping the relationships you mentioned in mind, do you believe that Dickens was criticizing the role of a father in their child’s life? Because the relationships concerning father and child are full of rebellion but the relationships concerning mother and child are not. Thanks for the video!

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  23. Hello Theo, thanks for the video(love the humor at the beginning). I really appreciate the focus and emphasis you put on the relationship between parent and child. I agree that throughout the novel, the relationships between the “young” and “old” seem to be rocky because of the fact that the older population wishes to keep the authority while the younger population wants to be freed from that authority. Keeping the relationships you mentioned in mind, do you believe that Dickens was criticizing the role of a father in their child’s life? Because the relationships concerning father and child are full of rebellion but the relationships concerning mother and child are not. Thanks for the video!

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  24. Hi Theo!
    First of all, thanks for making this fun video. I think it’s great that you brought up the fact that Barnaby’s relationship with his mother is the only Mother-Son relationship throughout the novel. I find it ironic and interesting that the least rebellious child of all the parent-son relationships (Barnaby) was the one to join the riots. What do you think Dickens was trying to do when he wrote Barnaby as a rioter? Do you think it had to do with his mental illness? Overall, do you feel that Dickens was trying to send a message favoring mothers over fathers?

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  25. Thank you Theo for your insights. What has resonated with me is the gender dynamics that play between Mrs. Rudge and her son Barnaby and other characters. In a patriarchal society, Mrs. Rudge is propelled to look after Barnaby, who’s mental impairment does not impede him from having that emotion that characterizes everyone else. As you mentioned, the father figure during this time is the foundation of families. Barnaby and Mrs. Rudge, in contrast to what could be considered the status quo of family dynamics, have a mother-son relationship that is more concrete and healthier than the son-father dynamic. The manipulation and power of male figures as well as resentment develop the Gordon Riots later on in the novel. Do you think that Dickens, in a way, wanted to either endorse or criticize gender roles through these characters?

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  26. Hello Theo, I just wanted to say thank you so much for explaining and breaking everything down for us . You really learn new things when you see more than your reading .i had no idea how much information you can take just form reading one sentence. Reading how every detail connect is a great skill to have when reading this book to receive a better understanding thank you again for helping us with that

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  27. Thank you Theo for a short but entertaining explanation on these chapters! I definetly agree with the comparison you made between the relationship of father and son in respect to the riots. I’m sure Dickens was trying to make a connection between both authoritarian figures, like you said in the video, however I have a question about why that connection would be made. Does DIckens make this analogy or comparison to simply portray a similar message through different means or is there something more? Also, going off of the idea you brought up regarding the genders in a parent-child relationship, I noticed that Dolly and Gabriel seem to have a pretty stable relationship in comparison to that of say, Joe and John Willet. Do you think that Dickens was trying to depict a gentler character with the females in contrast to the aggressive male characters? I hope to hear more of you insight and thank you again for your time!

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  28. Hey Theo, thank you so much for taking the time to make this video!
    In the video, you mention the pattern of authority between children and parents. In general, authority deals with structure and keeping things under control. In addition, you also brought up the idea of rebellion. Edward Chester is rebellious towards his father for Emma. Emma is rebellious towards her uncle for Edward. Lastly, Dolly is rebellious to society when she does not want to settle down. Would you argue that Dickens purposefully creates authority in the novel, only to find a way to break down that authority later on?

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  29. Hey Theo, I really liked the gender dynamics point you brought up a lot. I payed attention to this throughout the book too and noticed that a some, if not most, of the men are either hot headed or driven by some other interest (with the exception of Barnaby who just roams). While, most of the women are either being chased or simply making matters worse, whether it be causing arguments or fostering a stranger. I wanted to ask how you felt about this, but more specifically, do you think that Dickens does this because of his own old-fashioned personal opinion, or to simply distinguish the characters with their own special traits? like how Mrs. Rudge has more maternal traits while Mrs. Varden is more needy and sensitive, or how Mr. Varden is a laid-back, family guy while both Johns are in constant feuds with their sons. Thanks.

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  30. Hello Theo, thank you for taking time out of your day to give us NAI scholar a clarification as to what’s currently happening in the world of Barnaby Rudge. I really appreciate you for doing this because it cleared up some questions I asked my self while reading. For example, I asked my self how relevant these family relations ships and authority was during this because I saw this as a constant thing that was being brought up. My question to you is how important do you think Barnaby’s relationship with his mom is and was this put in to contradict some kind of father figure role? Thank you again!

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  31. Hello Theo, thank you for explaining the gender roles in England’s society at the time and how that relates to the authority of individuals at the time. Throughout all of history, many find authority through fear, many commit actions or say things in order to scare others into submission. Do you believe that this is as well present in the novel? As well, how does Dickens represents this throughout the novel? (with respect to Chester and Emma, Emma and her uncle, and etc).

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  32. Thank you, Theo, for this video. The distinction in the relationships between father and son, and mother and son is quite obvious since the chapters that consist of these relationships are placed together. When reading the chapter about Barnaby and his mother, it really stood out to me how even though she was the one who was worried because the stranger was in her house, she still tried to keep Barnaby from getting worried. It was an intense scene, and it made me wonder why Dickens doesn’t show this kind of affection from a father to son perspective? Is there a further explanation than the notion of him using gender stereotypes?

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  33. Hi Theo,
    Thank you for talking about how authority and manipulation affects the overall meaning of the novel. I really like how you explained how different characters and relationships within the novel are affected by these aspects. We know that there is tension with the father-son relationships, but do you think there is an authoritative aspect of Barnaby’s relationship with his mother? Because of the “gender dynamics” or even Barnaby’s mental illness, who do you think has more influence in the mother-son relationship? I really think the dynamic is intriguing because there is nothing else like it in the other parts of the novel.

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  34. Hey Theo, first of all I’ll like to thank you for giving us your insight on these few chapters. Before hearing what you had to say I hadn’t really thought of the fact that Barnaby is the only character who has grown up with only one parent, his mother for that matter. This made me wonder, why does their relationship not follow the same concept of someone being the “dominant authority” compared to the father- son relationships, and what does this have to say about the story relating to the riots as a whole? I’d also like to add the fact that I really liked your creativity to the way you filmed this short video for us.

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  35. Good evening Theo, I want to start off by thanking you for this insightful video. This scene had such an intense and dangerous theme to it. I agree with what you had to say about authority between parents and children, upon further analysis it makes sense. I see rebellion and going against social norms in this chapter. For example, Edward Chester is shown to be rebellious toward his father for the sake of Emma. This rebellion and authority theme contrast well and provide some interesting reading. I do wonder, How important was authority and respect to Barnaby, and what makes it important to a person like him. Once again thank you and have a good evening!

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  36. Hello Theo, first of all I’ll like to thank you for giving us your insight on these few chapters. Before hearing what you had to say I hadn’t really thought of the fact that Barnaby is the only character who has grown up with only one parent, his mother for that matter. This made me wonder, why does their relationship not follow the same concept of someone being the “dominant authority” compared to the father- son relationships, and what does this have to say about the story relating to the riots as a whole? I’d also like to add the fact that I really liked your creativity to the way you filmed this short video for us.

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  37. Thank You Theo, for your commentary on Chapters 24-32! I appreciate the analysis in which the setting and overarching conflict of the novel (being rioting) is actually being reflected onto the characters of the book. The children fighting the power in this case their parents, being that represention of the chaos of the times. The Gordon riots are between the anti-catholics and catholics, and was conflict that took place following a series of penalties that led to Roman Catholics protesting to then riot. It was the oppression that had Catholics on the unfavored side and was awarded road blocks because of their personal beliefs. Since Mr. Chester is the “villian” in these chapters who uses manipulation (as seen in his efforts) to separate emma and Edward, do you believe his character reflects the turning point in conflict of the Gordon riots; imposing his personal belief onto his son’s own affairs?

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  38. Hey THEO! It’s a privilege to have you speak upon the recent novel my classmates and I are reading. I really appreciate you taking your own time to create this video to give us a deeper perspective and explanation about the relationships we encounter along in Barnaby Rudge. Something that stuck with was the whole idea of gender dynamics and how that can easily affect relationships. For example, I noticed throughout the book that Father and Son/Daughter relationships are more about authority while Barnaby and his Mother show a whole different side of relationships. I can see the comparison of the riots and relationships, because in a relationship with there is dominant authority one tends to rebell against it, therefore much similar to the riots. A question I do have for you though is, What do you think Dickens purpose was to incorporate the importance of different relationships in this novel?

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  39. Hello Theo, thank you for the explanation about the relationship between child and parents. It was a question that I have had in my head for a while. I was wondering that if you think that a child at that time can be heavily influenced by their parent especially a dominant figure? I was also wondering if you think that Joe or Edward could have been influenced by their fathers enough to rebel? Do you think that society is still like that in present day?

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  40. Hey Theo! I enjoyed your take on these chapters. As I was reading the book, I simply thought that older people were just condescending to the younger people and that was that. But hearing you put things into prospective about how the relationship between parents and children is very telling of the time period, got me thinking about how maybe that close-mindedness kind of backtracked progress in society. So, for example, in more contemporary times people are less inclined to follow in the footsteps of their parents and we have socially progressed much faster. Maybe the fact that parent-offspring dynamics have shifted has something to do with it — or maybe it’s just a reach. Any thoughts?

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  41. Hey Theo. Great lighting effect, it made your explanation so much more dramatic. Thank you for that. I’m interested in the dynamic between the abusive father and authoritative figures in the story and your explanation of manipulation, especially with my favorite character Simon Tappertit. I understand that there’s definitely similarities between the uproar of the riots and the rebelliousness of younger people in the story and am very intrigued by the connections they make that tie back to manipulation. Does manipulation bring back Mr. Rudge and what role does he have in the father and son dynamic? Do gender dynamics matter throughout the whole novel? What other dynamics have a role in rebelliousness and the idea of taking part in the riot? Thanks again Theo.

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  42. Hello Theo, Thank you for putting this video together to make us understand more to the novel it’s self and the relationships that connect and how one try’s to rebel to the parent. Also I’m including the dynamics. Moving further , discussing the relationship between Barnaby and his mother is way different then other characters in the book. However, how Barnaby’s mental illness connects the relationship very well. Makes it tie just right. The riots however are made up of hatred and causes the riots to occur more deeply in and be full understanding. In many cases do you think that the riots are the main focus in the novel? And if there was not riots how would the book differ? Thank you.

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  43. Hey Theo!
    First of all, thanks for the good chuckle you gave within the introduction of your video! Can’t wait to look into these sections of the book more closely now! I saw that you spoke more on the interaction of a parental figure and their child based on gender roles. It was what got my attention because I found it interesting how a Father is the one to carry a tense relationship with their child while the mother handles fewer relationship problems. Ah, and this would lean more into my question for you! Since Barnaby and his Mother have a lighter relationship, what would you say is your favorite aspect of how the two treat each other?

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  44. Hello Theo, I want to thank you for explaining more into this section of the story and helping me understand it more. I know you greatly mention the relationship between parents and children and how vital which I like and find intriguing. This is because I too agree in which the riots are greatly similar to a child going against their parents as they’re rebelling against authorities within the riots. With this comparison, I get the feel of great chaos within the story, and thus wanted to ask if there is ever this sense of control or calmness within the story?

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  45. Hey, Mr. Vasiloudes,
    Thanks for going more in-depth with the parental relationships than I could have ever done by myself! Your insight completely blew mine out of the water. I never noticed that there were more that one main parental relationship(that being between Mrs. Rudge and Barnaby). It also seems interesting to me how someone like Edward Chester has decided to go against the will of his father’s wishes. Which I’m pretty sure was a very outlandish thing to do, especially to your father (who was considered the head of the family at the time). My question is: do you think that any parental bonds are shared/ will be developed between characters that are not blood relatives? Thank you, once again!

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  46. Hey Mr. Vasiloudes,
    I just wanted to thank you quickly for taking the time out of your day to help us understand literature a bit more. I found it interesting how you compared the relationship between the children and their parents to an actual riot. I, later on, was able to see why you decided to make this connection and this was shown to me later when Chester began to become rebellious with his father and the point of a riot is a rebel. I found myself not finding much importance when I read myself, so my question to you is why do you believe that these relationships will have any significance later on in the novel?

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  47. Hi Theo, thank you for your analysis on relationships for this section, it’s opened up my mind to newer thoughts. What I am interested in is Mr. Chester and Mrs. Rudge and how they both affect their children and maybe even one another. It seems that Mr. Chester is a dominant figure and will not stop being (or maybe acting) like one, and Mrs. Rudge not necessarily a submissive figure, just not a dominant figure. Now my question is, would the parents still be the same if the genders of the Edward and Barnaby were switched? Because I feel like Mr. Chester wouldn’t be as dominant towards his “daughter” if she were interested in a man and Mrs. Rudge would enjoy spending more time with a “daughter” than Barnaby

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  48. Hello Theo. Thank you very much for bring your explanation on the topic of dominance and what role it has throughout these chapters between these characters. Also the fact that you compared Barnaby’s relationship with relationships that most sons have with their fathers throughout the book as a whole. This make me wonder of your thoughts on dominance in a society such as in the book Barnaby Rudge. Do you believe that Dickens was trying to critique the how dominance was a role that was mostly played by males during this time period?

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