Roberts Heartbreak

Within chapter 13 Robert describes his first depressive episode regarding the disappearance of George when he says, “He sat for hours smoking and thinking – troubled and gloomy thoughts, leaving a dark shadow upon his moody face, which neither the brilliant light of the gas nor the red blaze of the fire could dispel” (Braddon, 99).  This quote first serves to intricately describe the grief Robert is feeling after George’s disappearance. The sentence begins with different sentiments which describe what Robert is feeling in a vague manner and evolves into a spiral of how his mind is devolving into chaos with the concerns of not having his closest companion. The binaries which compare light and dark, contrast the stark difference between hope and despair. Robert is perched with a “dark shadow upon his moody face” which reveals the anguish and depth of the emotions he is feeling (Braddon, 99). The same can be said for the binary between troubled and brilliant. This passage holds a melancholy tone based off the related words like; ‘troubled’, ‘gloomy’, and ‘moody’. It also the reader to gain empathy for Robert earlier and as the novel moves through Robert’s character becomes more disliked. It is possible the reader is meant to feel bad for hating Robert at the end of the novel and the author wants the reader to think back to moments like this where Robert is just a person who is grieving a loss of a friend. The close reading passage chosen exemplifies the madness that is in the novel, specifically Roberts.