“A sudden change came over Lady Audley’s face; the pretty roseate flush faded out from her cheeks, and left them waxen white, and angry flashes lightened in her blue eyes” (Braddon 123).
Here, there is slight repetition that draws attention to the drastic change that causes Lady Audley to go from lovely to shocked and angry. Our attention is meant to be drawn to this change because it demonstrates that Lady Audley has become the opposite of her usual self. She goes from having a “pretty roseate flush” to being “waxen white” with “angry flashes” in her eyes. This can signal that Lady Audley is either behaving unlike herself, or that she has indeed revealed her true colors that she has been hiding all along behind a demure countenance.
Lady Audley’s sudden change from beautiful to somewhat insidious inverts our traditional or stereotypical understanding of what it means to be “monstrous.” Essentially, Lady Audley is becoming (or, more likely, has been all along) something of a monster because her wickedness resides within her core as opposed to being right on the surface. This inversion of our typical ideas surrounding “monstrosity” adds to the sensational aspects of this novel because it shows that evil can live in even the most beautiful and charming aspects of our daily or domestic lives. The fact that this evil is not revealed all at once, but rather by slowly peeling away layers of Lady Audley’s lovely facade creates added suspense and serves to make the novel all the more titillating.