Robert’s Inner Thought

“How pitiless these women are to each other….she sniffs trouble to her fellow female creature and rejoices in it”(236)


Throughout the end of the second volume, Robert continues to have thoughts about women and how they interact with each other and those around them. These thoughts stood out to me in how repetitive they were and how often Robert continued to have these thoughts. Also, these thoughts were something that I did not expect to come from Robert, as the book did not make it obvious earlier that Robert has strong feelings against women. In the passage listed above, Robert mentions how women will rejoice in finding a way to put each other down. He goes even further to mention that women put other’s life in their hands. He even goes on to claim this for all womankind.

I felt these thoughts arose out of nowhere and did not expect them from Robert. While he was shown to be frustrated by the fact that his case was continuing to hit dead ends, it seems a questionable way to let out your frustration on all women as a whole. I feel these thoughts came from a deep anger towards Lady Audley that has been growing in Robert throughout the story. Now that he has hit a point where he is gathering strong enough evidence against her, Robert feels he will have the upper hand. This may have been what led him to thinking these irrational thoughts. Also, after seeing numerous women acting in secretive and sly manners, Robert may have started thinking of all women in this way with maybe the exception of a few who help him in the story.

4 thoughts on “Robert’s Inner Thought”

  1. You bring up really interesting points about the repetitiveness of Roberts misogynistic thoughts. Robert also ignores his role in what he hates; he pits women against each other. In the same scene, Robert continues to ask Miss Tonks and Mrs. Vincent to give more information about Lady Audley, thus them going against each other directly helps him (like giving him the box). However, he immediately uses the helpfulness of the women to bash the entire gender. Robert both relying on women to figure out the secret, while also actively hating on them and never fully acknowledging this duality shows another example of what you said about his irrational thinking.

  2. Your passage also relates to the one I wrote in the way that we see women holding each other back and being “pitiless” to one another. I found it interesting that in the midst of Miss Tonks and Lucy throwing each other under the bus that Robert can see right through their actions. I agree with you that Robert hasn’t had an opinion on how women interact throughout the text until now. He also adds that it is not only them that is doing it, but “all womenkind from beginning to end.”

  3. I agree with you, in that these thoughts probably came from his anger toward Lady Audley. Although, I can’t agree with you saying they came from no where. Robert makes his dislike and distrust of women known throughout the book (queue I hate women passage). It is a common theme throughout the book for opposite genders to resent each other. Alicia is constantly critiquing Robert and men in general. In my opinion, this feeling towards the opposite gender is not just a plot point and you can see some of these similar thoughts and opinions still in our society today.

  4. I agree with your thoughts especially given that there seems to be a divide amongst men and women in the novel. This divide also seems to be accompanied by tension like when Alicia is critical of Robert, or when Lady Audley try’s to prove that Robert is Insane. Thus, I think that this passage with Robert is important because it reveals the nature of the novel because the lies and secrets can break and separate the men and women. They could ruin Sir Audley’s relationship with Lady Audley, as well as ruin Roberts relationship with Alicia. I think that this all plays into the attraction of sensation novels.

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