Lady Audly’s Secret

The passage I selected begins with “I do not think that throughout his courtship the baronet once calculated upon his wealth or his position as a strong reason for his success…” (13). There is the constant repetition of words that indicate that money is important in the victorian era and in the novel when concerning marriage and love. Furthermore, there is a noticeable repetition of words and phrases that are indicative of the patriarchy. The baronet had hoped that Lucy’s life had been one of “toil and dependence” (13). This suggests that family structures are very much important in the victorian era. This passage foreshadows the conflict to come between Lucy and Sir Michael Audley’s daughter because of the power struggle to become a lady of the house and thus household decision-maker. It is one of the few responsibilities women with status are able to achieve through marriage to a rich man.

Lucy wishes to “captivate a rich man” which entails she is likely in an unfavorable financial situation (13). In addition, there is very little known about Lucy Graham, thus there is a lot of mystery surrounding her intentions to marry a man that did not even initially interest her. Moreover, the apparent gender roles that Lucy must fill and take away from Audley’s daughter, in addition to the fincnacial drive, forshadow future conflict and jealousy between Lucy Gram and Audly’s daughter. There will also likely be scandals concerning Sir Audley given it seem that Lucy is only interested in the money and status, as well as, the fact that not much is known about her.

One thought on “Lady Audly’s Secret”

  1. This passage reminds me of the Last Duchess in a way, and how the men only want a beautiful wife in order to improve their own status and have something pretty beside them when they tell their extravagant stories. But this time, it is the women taking advantage, Lucy seems to be smart enough to understand how the Victorian world works and is willing to play her part – in order to get more status, so she can flip the script and win herself some power. This original scene of Lucy turning into Lady Audley, gives some sort of an idea to the reader of who she truly is. Lady Audley has a dark and manipulative side that we are finding out about slowly… but wasn’t it there from the start?

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