A Dim World

“Lucy Graham was not looking at Sir Michael, but straight out into the misty twilight and the dim landscape far away beyond the little garden. The baronet tried to see her face, but her profile was turned to him and he could not discover the expression of her eyes. If he could have done so, he would have seen a yearning gaze which seemed as if it would have pierced the far obscurity and looked away — away into another world” (15). 

While Sir Micheal is confessing his love to Lucy, instead of looking at him she stares “straight out into the misty twilight and the dim landscape far away beyond the little garden” (15). Her “yearning gaze” implies she wants back what she has lost, and the use of the words “misty” and “dim” shows the lack of hope Lucy has for gaining that back as she now believes it is “far away beyond the little garden.” However, while she lacks hope, she still thinks about what her life could have been if she had kept the secret public, as her gaze “pierced the far obscurity.” Although it is unknown what life without secrecy would have been, she still feels regret about keeping it a secret, and leaving her past. While what she lost remains unknown, the reader quickly learns the hold it has over Lucy through the gaze.  Also, the contrast in size in the beginning and end of the passage, “little garden” and “another world”, shows that she believes she is further away from her secret than she actually is. As brought up in the class discussion, the dark secrets are closer to them than they believe (the garden is “scarcely twenty paces from the house” (9)). So, while she believes she must look out into another world to see her secret, she in reality only has to look in the “little garden.” Lucy continues to hold onto her secret, wondering what life would have been if nothing had changed, and with the marriage she believes she has officially lost her past life, as it is a world away, however she is now closer to it than ever. 

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