“It’s not the least use to ask me, Mr. Audley, “she said. “I’m the most careless creature in the world;” (233).
In this passage, Lady Audley is talking with Robert Audley and says that she is “the most careless creature in the world”. The sense of the word creature can be seen multiple times in the book. For instance, on page 121, Lady Audley characterizes Mr. Audley as an “eccentric creature”, while on page 120, Lady Audley uses the expression “the dearest of all creatures” to describe Mr. Dawson.
The word creature seems to be mostly used by Lady Audley to describe other people and herself or used by other people to describe Lady Audley.
Moreover, it might also symbolize the unnaturalness and uniqueness of certain characters, especially George Tallboys and Lady Audley. For instance, because Lady Audley is so unique and so beautiful, she is not considered as a normal human being but as a “creature”, something different than normal. It works as a positive adjective for their appearance and actions.
However, in the last chapters of volume II, the sense of madness can be connected with the sense of the word “creature”. On page 273, Lady Audley being aggravated with Robert Audley’s accusations presents a terrifying image similar to a creature’s, which is obviously filled with madness as she threatens to kill Robert Audley. In this scene, Lady Audley presents a different aspect of the word creature, and instead of having a positive meaning, it actually has a negative one.
This passage explains that the word “creature” can work as a common theme or at least as a significant part of the plot and characterization of characters. Since lady Audley is a mystery by herself, it makes it even more mysterious when the author keeps expressing her as a “creature”. I believe that the author will be using the theme of madness more often which can be correlated with the constant characterizations of characters as “creatures”.
Passage: “In her better fortunes, as in her old days of dependence, wherever she went she seemed to take sunshine and gladness with her. In spite of Miss Alicia’s undisguised contempt for her step-mother’s childness and frivolity, Lucy was better loved and more admired than the baronet’s daughter” (55)
In many points of the book, there are mentions about how colorful and beautiful Lady Audley is. This also happens in this specific passage where she “takes sunshine and gladness with her”. Of course, Lady Audley’s relationship with her step-daughter, Alicia, is not great at all. Her natural beauty gives another reason for Alicia to become more jealous of her and create more conflict between the two individuals. The hatred of course mainly comes from Alicia’s jealousy but can also be a difficulty or the inability of a step-daughter to connect with her step-mother since they are not biologically related. This creates trust issues for each side and might eventually result in bad consequences. Also, Alicia may be suspicious of Lady Audley’s actions and might think that her colorfulness is simply a distraction from others discovering something secret that people are not aware of.
The repetition of the colors is really common throughout the book and it forms a really important description factor. For instance, the colorfulness which is mentioned in this passage displays a beautiful image of an individual. On the other side, when the author describes people as pale or white, she describes them as not really attractive and with less energy and less life. This is also a common contrast that occurs in the text, usually with side characters such as Phoebe Marks and Luke.
I believe that the passage is really about emphasizing the bad relationship that Lady Audley and her step-daughter have in order to later in the book represent a significant part of the plot that can possibly connect their relationship with Lady Audley’s secret. I believe that because there is too much emphasis on their bad relationship and that cannot be happening randomly. This relationship may actually create more bad relationships with other people such as with the baronet and Mr. Robert. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that the fights that happen are happening for a specific reason that we do not know about yet.