“Yes, here, here…” (Braddon, 16)
When reading the beginning of the passage, I sympathized with Lucy when Braddon explains her misfortunes during her “babyhood.” She even insists that Sir Michael could have any other women much more superior than herself, but he chose her. However, we later see Lucy’s materialistic motivations become a contributing factor to her decision later.
I believe this passage is explaining the idea of love and status through Lucy’s reaction to Sir Michael’s proposal. Throughout the passage, Lucy makes a lot of words that can contrast between the idea of poverty and beauty; accomplished but poor. The passage also uses “you” and “we” in a way to explain that Sir Michael will never be able to relate to her life. Thus, being impossible for her to really fall in love with him even though he would help rescue her from poverty, “you cannot tell; you, who are amongst those for whom life is so smooth and easy; can never guess what is endured by such as we,” (Braddon 16). Lucy also repeats the lines, “you ask too much of me,” in the beginning of the passage. However, she later changes the wording to, “Do not ask too much of me, then,” (Braddon 16) after she explains her upbringing of poverty. This can imply that when Lucy accepted his proposal, she wasn’t hiding that some of her decision was based on his wealth and luxurious lifestyle. I am interested in seeing if Lucy’s motivations change from being somewhat wealth relate to real love throughout the book.
3 thoughts on “Do Not Ask Too Much of Me”
I think this is such a fascinating interpretation of the text, and applies to the conversations we have been having as a whole in class, in particular on this past Tuesday’s lecture. This connects to how women interacted with society, in particular with how they gained their power during a time where they were virtually powerless otherwise. By not only participating in gossip, but by bettering their financial status by marrying into a wealthy family.
I agree about your view of Lucy changing her view of him and her intentions as the book continues on. I think we can say this is expected as even if her original intentions when marrying him had to do with his wealth and status the way the book describes their relationship implied to an extent that their was some feeling between her and Sir Michael. “you cannot tell; you, who are amongst those for whom life is so smooth and easy; can never guess what is endured by such as we,” (Braddon 16). I also believe this quote you used demonstrates that his wealth is certainly known to her.
The way in which Lucy revealed her position to Sir Audley was interesting in that it almost admits they will each receive what they want. Lucy essentially tells him that she will be with him under the conditions that he accepts the reality that she is not madly in love with him, and, in doing so he will have a beautiful wife and she will have a beautiful life. It also connects to the juxtaposition of light and dark, their inner thoughts and desires are never fulfilled but their lives and what is visible to others will be perfect.
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