Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Book Passage Pg. 21 “My wish is that we may find no disappointment when we get there” 

 

I’ve decided to focus in on this passage from the second chapter as George Talboys is talking to a young woman while on his way back from Australia to England. During this passage the young woman who George is talking to begins the passage with the quote that I started this post with. George is very very uncomfortable with this saying because he hopes that nothing bad has happened to his wife even though he left for Australia without telling anyone where he was going to. However, in his mind he was doing something right for his family. The lady who George is talking to reveals that she has been engaged for the past 15 years. She hopes that her fiancé hasn’t changed his feelings for her. However, as the two continue to talk the mood of the characters begin to swap. At the beginning Talboys is very anxious to get back to England to finally make his wife happy. While the young woman began being very worried about her future begins to feel better about her decision to leave her fiancé in order to bring some income in their family before they are married. I think that this is an important moment in the book because, not only is it a foreshadow moment but I think that Mary Elizabeth Braddon purposely wrote this moment to show how easily men are manipulated from believing their own thoughts to being corrupt and paranoid from someone’s other beliefs.  

1 Comment

  1. When I read this part of the book I thought it would be ironic if Georges wife was the one who had died or fallen out of love with him, but I never imagined this would be the case. I like your perspective on how easily men are manipulated and I think it ties into our class discussion of femininity and sexuality. I had not thought of this part of the book as anything more than foreshadowing before reading your post. In addition, I have continued to wonder who this woman was and if we will see her return in the last few chapters of the novel.

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