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The Rise of Silas Lapham

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sasha7231
Words 1339
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Book Notes 3

The Rise of Silas Lapham

Chapter 1

Bartley Hubbard goes to Silas Lapham’s office to interview him for the “Solid Men of Boston” Series in the Boston Events newspaper. Lapham goes into telling him background information on his life. Lapham was born in Vermont near the Canadian border. His father was a farmer and they didn’t have much money. He described his admiration for his mother and how great she took care of the family. His father found mineral paint on their farm from a hole left from an uprooted tree. Buildings were not being painted at that time because of poverish conditions. He decided to start mining and selling the paid in 1855. He married a woman name Persis who was a schoolteacher. He gave credit to his fortune to her because of how encouraging she was towards him. His first paint was named after her, the “Persis Brand”, which is the finest. After fighting in the war, Lapham returned and found a partner. He later bought him out because he claimed he knew nothing about paint. Lapham offers Hubbard a ride back to his office. Upon leaving, Hubbard notices Lapham’s attractive secretary. Hubbard returns home that night with a special package from Lapham, which ends up being his a jar of the Persis Brand paint.

Chapter 2 The Lapham’s come to the realization that they live in a socially unacceptable neighborhood in Boston. They are also afraid that they have not educated their daughters with the proper etiquette for social functions. The daughters attend finishing school but do not finish because the other girls intimidate them. Persis notices a love affair between Mrs. Corey’s son and her daughter Irene. She realizes that her daughters are no match for Corey socially. Persis pressures Silas to throw dinner parties so that they can become more sociable, however they are unsure of whom to invite. Silas decides to build on some property he owns in a higher-class town, in hopes that his daughters will become more socially acceptable.

Chapter 3 Irene receives and saves a Texas newspaper that she assumes is from Tom Corey. Lapham begins building his house and has disagreements with the architect because of his lack of “taste”, but is able to be persuaded by him. Roger, Lapham’s old partner visits the new house. Lapham leaves his wife speaking to him solely. Mrs. Lapham is embarrassed by the conversation she had with him and annoyed with her husbands lack of intervention. Mr. and Mrs. Lapham get into an argument about the situation and ultimately she refuses to live in the house because she believes Silas took advantage of Rogers in the business decision to have him either buy out or go out of the paint business. She claims that he got greedy. Silas says that Rogers did more harm to the business than good.

Chapter 4 Persis visits the construction of his new home again, this time Tom Corey has returned from Texas and visits him. Persis likes him but disapproves of the fact that he still lives with his parents, and compares him to a young lady and not a man.

Chapter 5 Tom Corey returns home and finds his father alone in his office reading a book. Tom talks about his desire to do something, his father suggests that he becomes a real estate agent and that he marries a rich girl. Tom doesn’t see this as fulfilling his need to “do something” and does not see how a rich girl should differ from a poor girl. Tom tells his father about his encounter with Silas and his interest in the mineral paint business. Tom’s father Bromfield Corey was once a painter who traveled to other counties to paint while living off of his father’s money. He later found this useless, as he was making no money from it. Silas and Persis discuss Tom Corey, Persis suggests he would make a man of Tom if he had ever went into the mineral paint business with him. Persis argues the way Tom was brought up that he wouldn’t touch mineral paint with a ten-foot pole.

Chapter 6 Tom Corey visits his mother, who is spending the summer in Bar Harbor. He tells her that he hasn’t found much interest in anything but going to the paint business with Lapham. She objects to it, until Tom tells her about the new house the Silas is building and she has nothing more to say. Tom visits Silas at his office, and offers to sells paint in other countries for commission. Lapham is impressed by the offer and invites him to stay the night and discuss the matter further at his home. They both board the boat, and Lapham talks about how he likes to people watch.

Chapter 7 Upon returning, Silas learns that Irene has a headache. Mrs. Lapham is shocked by the offer of Tom and wants to know if there are ulterior motives. Mrs. Lapham suggests that if Tom is going to be involved in the paint business, than he should also have good relations with the family and in particular with Irene. Silas is joyful because Corey has asked him for a job, until this point he disliked the Corey’s because of their aristocratic ways. If Irene marries Tom Corey, this will raise their social position.

Chapter 8 Mrs. Corey returns to their residence and finds that Tom is now involved in the paint mineral business and lectures her husband for not stopping him. Bromfield argues that Tom is not brilliant and he does not think he would succeed in a profession but could succeed in the mineral paint business. Mrs. Corey is more concerned with the possibility of marriage between Tom and Irene, she thinks Irene is boring and Tom should marry someone who is of equal standing. Tom begins working at Silas office and joyfully tells his mother about his first day on the job. His mother questions him about Irene. Tom returns to the office to pick up some paper and walks in on a conversation of Silas and the typist, with Silas telling her she ought to get a divorce. The next day, Tom talks to Walker, the bookkeeper who tells Tom about the relationship with Silas and the typist and how little is known about her or how she got the job.

Chapter 9 Silas brags to others that Tom is working for him. He speaks highly of him, saying that he is a natural born businessman. Tom later visits the Lapham residence and talks books with Irene. He gives her a wood shaving, which is representative of a flower. He returns home and tells his father that the Lapham’s are sensible people and that they do read books, his father responds by saying that that doesn’t mean they are civilized and all civilization comes through literature now. Silas is offended that Bromfield has not come to introduce himself to the family, considering his son is working for him. Silas sees the Corey’s no different than the Lapham’s now, however his wife disagrees, and believes the Corey’s have a higher social standing.

Chapter 10 Silas tells Persis that he loaned the remaining money he had planned to spend on additions to the house to Rogers because Rogers had came to him requesting a loan. Silas agreed to give it to him and received stock from him as an appreciation token. Persis is impressed with Silas giving the money to him rather than spending it on the house. Persis doesn’t want Tom Corey to come over, if he does not choose to come over by his own will. Silas invites him to dinner. Silas and Persis discuss their two daughters, saying that Irene is very entertaining and has twice as much brain as Irene and that Irene is the more mature one and could be mistaken as the older sister. After Tom has a talk with Penelope and Irene, he leaves and says, “She’s charming”.

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