“Lucy Audley was radiant on this cold and snowy January morning. Other people’s noses are rudely assailed by the sharp fingers of the grim ice-king, but not my lady’s; other people’s lips turn pale and blue with the chilling influence of the bitter weather, but my lady’s pretty little rosebud of a mouth retained its brightest coloring and cheeriest freshness”(pg 141).
First, this passage is a clear example of two opposing sets of binaries. Words and phrases like “radiant”, “pretty” and “brightest coloring and cheeriest freshness” are in extreme contrast with “rudely assailed”, “sharp fingers of the grim ice-king” and “bitter weather”. This can be put into the light vs dark category. On one hand we see this reoccurring idea of Lady Audley’s beauty and her bright defiant smile. However, on the other lurks the overarching motif of darkness and of course secrets.
Off of this, the passage also showcases two other general themes that are prevalent throughout the book. The first being the concept of Lady Audley’s strength. Through the cold and harsh conditions Lady Audley still finds a way to prevail and radiate through. She once again is breaking societal norms for women in the sense that she preserved through difficult circumstances rather than following what is expected of her (a bad reaction to the weather). I believe that this shows how tough was Lady Audley really is.
Moreover, her ability to withstand the abrasive weather is also just one more thing that makes Lady Audley different and stand out from those around her. For whatever reason, she can survive through situations that others can’t, which further separates her from all the other characters and continues to raise suspicion about her true identity.