“He sails to-night from Liverpool…It isn’t like George Talboys” (Braddon 95).
In this passage, Captain Maldon tries to convince Robert Audley that George had just left for Australia. I think Braddon included it with the intention of the reader to become suspicious of George’s father-in-law and to come to the conclusion that he was lying about George’s disappearance. After all, Robert said that it “isn’t like George Talboys” to embark on a long journey “without even a change of clothes” or “word to…his most intimate friend” (Braddon 95). Captain Maldon seemed “anxious” to soothe “any indignation” Robert might have felt against his claims, suggesting that perhaps George would “write to [him] from Liverpool” (95). Using phrases such as “sick of the world,” “never to return” and “grave” Maldon implied that George might even have been contemplating suicide, perhaps trying to convince Robert to leave the matter alone (Braddon 95). He consistently offered excuses to support his lie, citing his daughter’s death as the reason for George’s strange behavior. Robert asserted that though George was miserable, he was in his right mind. This exchange harkens back to page 48 when Robert noticed Captain Maldon was “in a great hurry to get rid of [his] son-in-law” (Braddon). It seems to me that both Captain Maldon and Lady Audley have something against George, and had reason to want him dead or gone. It was confirmed on page 171 that Captain Maldon was in fact lying. Captain Maldon, a very poor and greedy man, would do anything to keep the tax collectors at bay. I think that Lucy bribed him with little Georgey’s watch to cover up for whatever she did to George.
Book Passage Pg. 21 “My wish is that we may find no disappointment when we get there”
I’ve decided to focus in on this passage from the second chapter as George Talboys is talking to a young woman while on his way back from Australia to England. During this passage the young woman who George is talking to begins the passage with the quote that I started this post with. George is very very uncomfortable with this saying because he hopes that nothing bad has happened to his wife even though he left for Australia without telling anyone where he was going to. However, in his mind he was doing something right for his family. The lady who George is talking to reveals that she has been engaged for the past 15 years. She hopes that her fiancé hasn’t changed his feelings for her. However, as the two continue to talk the mood of the characters begin to swap. At the beginning Talboys is very anxious to get back to England to finally make his wife happy. While the young woman began being very worried about her future begins to feel better about her decision to leave her fiancé in order to bring some income in their family before they are married. I think that this is an important moment in the book because, not only is it a foreshadow moment but I think that Mary Elizabeth Braddon purposely wrote this moment to show how easily men are manipulated from believing their own thoughts to being corrupt and paranoid from someone’s other beliefs.
Book Passage Pg 77 “It was one of those…and tendril.”
The passage I chose is describing the morning after a storm that clearly startled both George Tallboys and Lady Audley. In the passage there are many calm words describing nature around the Audley home. Words such as lovely, sung, yellow, cheerily, proudly, fluttered, joyous, and uplifted show a peaceful environment just after the storm. Yet, the passage has contrasting words as well that relate back to the turmoil the past storm brought on such as sharp tussle, beat down, heavy, cruel, clustering, and shaking. These opposing details are most likely describing the behaviors of both George and Lucy. The morning after the storm their demeaners are completely uplifted and void of any negative effects the storm may have had on them. It is unlikely though that their thoughts about the storm, or any unpleasant event in their lives that intensified the negative emotions, have been forgotten or resolved. The binary seen within nature is important to notice because this can be related to how a calm demeaner from the characters is covering up for darker emotions within them. Additionally, these contrasting cluster of words could mean that darkness will always be paired by lightness in a variety of aspects of the novel such as character behaviors, actions, and nature. Yet, given that darkness being paired with lightness is unstoppable in nature, this could also possibly mean that it is uncontrollable within the characters as well. Thus meaning that a character’s impression on the reader and other characters, even if it is endearing and beautiful, should not be taken seriously. Most likely underneath there are some dark emotions and intentions to some degree.