Extended Close Reading – Lady Audley’s Secret

Book Passage Pg 77 “It was one of those…and tendril.”

The passage I chose is describing the morning after a storm that clearly startled both George Tallboys and Lady Audley. In the passage there are many calm words describing nature around the Audley home. Words such as lovely, sung, yellow, cheerily, proudly, fluttered, joyous, and uplifted show a peaceful environment just after the storm. Yet, the passage has contrasting words as well that relate back to the turmoil the past storm brought on such as sharp tussle, beat down, heavy, cruel, clustering, and shaking. These opposing details are most likely describing the behaviors of both George and Lucy. The morning after the storm their demeaners are completely uplifted and void of any negative effects the storm may have had on them. It is unlikely though that their thoughts about the storm, or any unpleasant event in their lives that intensified the negative emotions, have been forgotten or resolved. The binary seen within nature is important to notice because this can be related to how a calm demeaner from the characters is covering up for darker emotions within them. Additionally, these contrasting cluster of words could mean that darkness will always be paired by lightness in a variety of aspects of the novel such as character behaviors, actions, and nature. Yet, given that darkness being paired with lightness is unstoppable in nature, this could also possibly mean that it is uncontrollable within the characters as well. Thus meaning that a character’s impression on the reader and other characters, even if it is endearing and beautiful, should not be taken seriously. Most likely underneath there are some dark emotions and intentions to some degree.