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The Princess Bride

Summary

Chapter Seven

Summary Chapter Seven

Max and Valerie are an interesting addition to the story, perhaps because they represent what may become of Buttercup and Westley if they ever reunite and grow old together. Valerie has lost her hearing but still knows how to subtly coerce her husband into projects. Max distrusts everybody but prides himself on the talent of his younger life, and therefore is willing to take a chance with Westley to show off his still-impressive abilities with the dead. They are fantastically matched, ridiculous in their roles toward each other, imperfect but essentially happy—the way we expect that Buttercup and Westley to be.

William Goldman himself is growing cheerier in his comments by this chapter. He even notes in one of his interruptions, "You just know that the resurrection pill has got to work. You don't spend all this time with a nutty couple like Max and Valerie to have it fail." The basic order of the story resumes. Just as we knew that the sharks would not eat Buttercup, we know that Westley must live through this. Our faith returns that the The Princess Bride is a happy ending fairy tale, and it remains this way until the end. But before we could regain this confidence, William Goldman needed to shake us up. We may or may not have been taking the story seriously, so in the previous chapter he needed to reinforce to us several very serious values of his own about the world, fairness, writing, and death. In this chapter, he returns us to the optimism of the adventure we have been expecting.