After the storm: Symbolism

I wanted to focus on a pretty early part of the book because of what I think the passage really represents. In chapter nine of Lady Audley’s Secret, during the storm Robert is unfazed and spends his time leisurely, while George on the other hand is very agitated. After seeing Lady Audley’s portrait, he struggles processing what he saw. George is feeling uneasy after seeing the portrait of Lady Audley, in which her true identity is revealed. The portrait triggers George emotionally because of the resemblance it had to his past wife who passed away. Digging more into the symbolism interpreted in this passage, Lady Audley has a “monstrous” secret that she is desperate to keep concealed. She has strange behavior during the storm claiming she is afraid of the lightening, but I think she is using her “fear” of lightning to conceal her inner turmoil, and her guilt of hidden secrets. Her guilt and anxiety from her secret/past could also be represented by the storm and maybe even potential consequences that could come in the near future. I think the storm represents the internal/external conflicts that the characters face along with a bit of foreshadowing of what is to come that might be significant to the plot. For readers the storm adds dramatic tension to the story, especially between George and Lady Audley. Lady Audley is (obviously) worried that George might find out her terrible, dark secret that she has been hiding, and George himself is processing all of his emotions after being exposed to Lady Audley’s portrait. The storm consistently serves as a powerful element by representing symbolism in the story.

2 thoughts on “After the storm: Symbolism”

  1. Yes, I agree that the storm is symbolic. Storms are characterized by chaos or intensity, which lends this symbolism to have multiple meanings. On one hand, it represents George’s emotions after having seen the portrait and realizing Lady Audley is Helen Talboys. On the other hand, the storm symbolizes Lady Audley’s mentality upon learning that George has uncovered her secret. There is loads of symbolism linked to weather in this novel. Her lighting of the fire at the Inn later in the novel shows her explosive actions. Like a fire, she loses control of her environment upon setting the flame (plunging George down the well).

  2. I think that all along George may have known it really was his former wife who is Lady Audley. The storm symbolizes the internal turmoil of Lady Audley, just ready to boil up and out into an outburst. Her deliberate actions to prevent him from knowing the truth, hiding everything from her new family, and going to the extent of truly making George dissapear shows that a storm does not show mercy, and can leave much wreckage in it’s wake.

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