A hidden world

“Lucy Graham was not looking at Sir Michael, but straight out into the misty twilight and 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.” (Chapter I)

“The girl still sat with her face averted from her lover, her hands hanging listlessly in her lap, and her pale gray eyes fixed upon the last low streak of crimson dying out behind the trunks of the trees.” (Chapter III)

Throughout the novel, the theme of hidden faces and expressions repeats, first appearing in chapters I and III. In both examples, a connection can be drawn to the theme of shadow/light, as well as the similarity they have to the secretive lime-tree walk. The lime walk is scarcely 20 paces from the house, yet it remains elusive and hidden, much like how the girls’ expressions are hidden from their lover despite being right next to them. There’s an entirely different world of secrets hidden motivations right under their noses. In a way, Luke and Sir Michael are sheltered by this, like how the oaks shelter the house from light. Allegorically speaking, the shadows (or the hidden truths) are keeping the men safe and contented. To some extent this can be applied to Alicia Audley as well, with the sheltered life that she has been living. Ignorance is bliss, and while it’s true that someone would remain in comfort for as long as they can, the fact that Michael realizes that something is wrong or that Alicia starts speculating about Lucy’s secrets shows us that the shadowy veil will soon be lifted.





5 thoughts on “A hidden world”

  1. This reminds me a lot of what was talked about in class on Tuesday. Specifically, with Robert being unaware of other’s reactions when certain topics are brought up, like George’s disappearance. On page 139, after Luke talks about money, Phoebe was described as having a visible change come over her face. After this “change” happens, Robert then excuses himself to go to bed. Robert’s action comes across as being ignorant to what was happening with Phoebe’s reaction to the conversation. This was clearly a sensitive topic for Phoebe, perhaps as it deals with the secret that Lucy is hiding, but Robert didn’t seem to notice. Phoebe’s facial expressions act as a window to whatever secret she is keeping, one that could be revealed if Robert paid more attention to the details.

  2. I’ve also noticed many, many mentions of shadows and darkness contrasting with light throughout the novel. The darkness tends to signify something mysterious or dark in nature, while the light represents innocence and honesty. Your mention of the lime tree walk is also important, since that is an often-mentioned location. Specifically, we know that something happened on the lime tree walk between Lucy and George, which was the last time we saw George. The shadows cast by the trees literally conceal whatever behavior occurs there. It’s also interesting that you mentioned a “world of secrets hidden motivations right under their noses.” There are many characters, especially Lucy, that are full of secrets. Perhaps in this passage, the “world” Lucy is starting out into is her own mysterious past life.

  3. I find this post interesting and have also noticed this theme of “hidden faces”. One spot in particular that I noticed was at the end of page 71 and top of page 72 where it is mentioned that George is looking out into the night. I saw on a previous post that someone believes that Lucy is actually George’s lover and therefore, them both looking out of the window into “another world” could infer that they are looking out to their secret spot where they are together. Naturally, they are looking out of the window literally, however, they are not literally looking out at this secret location but rather daydreaming about these secret moments that they have shared. I agree that these moments where the characters are looking out of the window have a much stronger meaning than what is first interpreted and I look forward to see if this theme remains constant throughout the book.

  4. I agree with the hidden faces and expressions that have been shown throughout the book so far. The hidden expressions remind me of Lady Audley and how she is hiding a secret which allows her to not show her real expression. The lime walk tree was a great connection because it reminds the readers that even though it is 20 steps away, it is still hidden in that dark light. The secrets that hold in everyone also can be connected through this theory because there are many things we theorize about but do not know for sure.

  5. I like how you made the comparison between shadow/light and hidden faces/expressions. We can see how the appearance that one portrays to the outside world is extremely important. However, it can oftentimes be misleading and deceptive. There’s a phrase that’s repeated several times throughout the story that strikes me every time I read it. It speaks of “a vague feeling/sense of alarm/uneasiness” when referring to Lucy’s character or anything having to do with the surrounding mystery. In my mind, it really emphasizes the idea that something is not quite right with Lady Audley and she’s playing a very dangerous game.

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