The Grip of Grief

” ‘with that she walked off as graceful as you please.’ Who was it that walked off? and what was the story which the locksmith was telling when I interrupted him at that sentence? Oh, George Talboys, George Talboys, am I ever to come any nearer to the secret of your fate? Am I coming nearer to it now, slowly but surely? Is the radius to grow narrower day by day, until it draws a dark circle round the home of those I love?” (Braddon 153)

It is no secret Lady Audley is hiding something. Since her entrance at the beginning of the novel, it has been pretty clear, that she is not who she says she is. Robert Audley is the only one close to her who has begun to doubt her. When Mr. Audley says, “Who was it that walks off” he is clearly indicating that he knows she is not who she says she is. ¬†However, Mr. Audley’s detective abilities do not go much further than that. No matter how suspicious the circumstances are, he can not get any definite proof of Lady Audley as both Georges’s ex-wife and the woman who killed him. Mr. Audley suspects foul play almost immediately after George’s disappearance but he can not seem to get very far in the investigation. He is dealing with an immense amount of grief. Grief is a hard enough emotion for anyone to deal with, but then add the element of foul play being involved, and having to find out who did it will inevitably take a toll on a person mentally. Mr. Audley is described as a very calm and collected person periodically, who does not show much emotion outwardly. His emotions show up in much more subtle ways. In this case, his most prominent emotion is grief. This shows up in his utter desperation to find George. He hyper-fixates on finding out who did it and nothing else for months. He is fueled by grief and the yearning for revenge, however, the grief is also preventing him from thinking logically. Most people who were given much less evidence would immediately know that the Locksmith was lying. Emotions often cloud our vision to the obvious. Mr. Audley’s grief is both what is keeping him going in the investigation, as well as what is holding him back.

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