I don't think that before that day I had ever wanted anything very much except Florence. I have, of course, had appetites, impatiences. Why, sometimes at the table d'hote, when there would be say, caviare handed round, I have been absolutely full of impatience for fear that when the dish came to me there should not be a satisfying portion left.

This quotation is written by Dowell in Part I, Section V of the novel. Here, he tries to describe to the reader his own personal flaws. He admits that he, like Edward has had appetites and impatiences. But this passage is comically ironic. Dowell's passions are not like Florence's or Edward's at all. Though the reader assumes his appetites are somewhat sexual, he quickly puts an end to such a misperception. Dowell's appetite is for caviar; his passion is for the Belgian trains to run on time. Though he denies it to himself, Dowell is a passionless, sexless, "normal" individual. He is very different from his good friend, the passionate and heroic Captain Ashburnham.

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