How Jean Rhys rewrites Jane Eyre: the birth of polyphonic text, Wide Sargasso Sea

Ⅰ About Jean Rhys, the author of Wide Sargasso Sea

Rhys was born in Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean Sea, in 1890.  Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea was her fifth novel, which was published in 1966, when almost thirty years had passed since her fourth novel, Good Morning, Midnight, was published in 1939.  When an interviewer, Elizabeth Vreeland asked, “Where did the idea come from of reconstructing Bertha’s life - the Jane Eyre heiress who sets fire to the house and jumps from the parapet?” Rhys answered thus: “When I read Jane Eyre as a child, I thought, why should she think Creole women are lunatics and all that?  What a shame to make Rochester’s first wife, Bertha, the awful madwoman, and I immediately thought I’d write the story as it might really have been.  She seemed such a poor ghost.  I thought I’d try to write her a life.” (Vreeland, “Jean Rhys,” 234-35.)

Thus Jean Rhys writes in Wide Sargasso Sea, a prequel to Jane Eyre, events which might have happened before the encounter between Rochester and Jane, telling the story which was never narrated in Jane Eyre.  In this article, I’ll discuss how Rhys reads Jane Eyre and rewrites the novel by writing Wide Sargasso Sea.

Here, let me give you some biographical information about Rhys.  First, James Potter Lockhart, Rhys’ maternal great grandfather migrated to Dominica at the end of the 18th century and managed a sugar plantation, owning about 260 slaves.  When slavery was abolished in British law in 1833, the slaves were all turned into workers.  Then, William Rees William, Rhys’ father, who had Welsh and Irish blood in his veins, arrived in Dominica from Britain in 1881.  He became a sailor when he was young, and was later trained as a doctor.  He went to Dominica to open a medical practice, and met Rhys’ mother, William Minna Lockhart, and Ella Gwendoline Rees Williams, who was later known as Jean Rhys, was born.  In this way, Rhys’ identity is complex.  She was born in a British colony and though her parents had British blood in their veins, it was not easy for her to identify herself as British.  This complexity is reflected in the circumstances in which one of the main narrators, Antoinette, which is to say Bertha in Jane Eyre, survives as a Creole in Jamaica.

Ⅱ An image of Bertha constructed in Jane Eyre

As we saw in the last section, Jean Rhys describes Bertha as a “poor ghost.” Now, let us examine how Bertha is represented in Jane Eyre before discussing Wide Sargasso Sea.  First, it is Bertha’s laugh by which Jane recognizes Bertha for the first time, when Jane lingers in the long passage of Thornfield Hall.  Jane hears “a curious laugh” (Jane Eyre [JE] page 107) and she depicts this laugh as “tragic, as preternatural a laugh as I [Jane] ever heard.” (JE 107)  Then, on the night when Bertha sets fire to Rochester’s bed, Bertha’s strangeness of laughter is thus exaggerated: “This was a demoniac laugh - low, suppressed, and deep - uttered, as it seemed, at the very key-hole of my chamber-door…as I still gazed, the unnatural sound was reiterated: and I knew it came from behind the panels.” (JE 147)

Finally, Jane meets Bertha directly after her wedding with Rochester is arranged.  Jane sees Bertha in the mirror and describes her thus: “I never saw a face like it!  It was a discolored face - it was a savage face.  I wish I could forget the roll of the red eyes and the fearful blackened inflation of the lineaments!” (JE 283)  Here Bertha is even compared to “the Vampyre” as if she were not a human being.

On the day of their wedding, the fact that Bertha is Rochester’s wife is exposed. Rochester, driven into a corner, starts insulting Bertha: “Bertha Mason is mad; and she came of a mad family: - idiots and maniacs through three generations!  Her mother, the Creole, was both a mad woman and a drunkard!” (JE 292)  In this way, Bertha is deprived of a voice which can speak for herself and treated like a monster beyond reason in Jane Eyre.

Ⅲ Two narrators in Wide Sargasso Sea

Now we will see how Bertha, who is depicted like a monstrous mad woman in Jane Eyre, is reconstituted as Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea.  First of all, let us turn to the question of who narrates the story.  It is only Jane who narrates her story in Jane Eyre, so the story is told only from Jane’s point of view.  On the other hand, there are two narrators, namely Antoinette (Bertha) and Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea, and they narrate their own stories alternately, so their stories are told from two points of view.

This novel consists of three parts.  Part one is narrated by Antoinette, who talks about her history, family, and life in Jamaica.  As a result of this, Antoinette (Bertha) is depicted as a real woman who has her own thoughts and emotion, not like the mad woman described in Jane Eyre.  Then, in part two, Rochester narrates, and it is revealed that he is an English man who is forced to live in the British colony, and suffers from anxiety and a sense of alienation.  Finally, in part three, Antoinette narrates again, and the setting of the novel is changed from Jamaica to England.

In part one, Antoinette depicts the way how she, a Creole woman, is alienated and isolated in Spanish Town, Jamaica: “I [Antoinette] never looked at any strange negro.  They hate us.  They called us white cockroaches.” (Wide Sargasso Sea [WSS] page 20)  “Real white people, they got gold money.  They didn’t look at us, nobody see them come near us.  Old time white people nothing but white nigger now, and black nigger better than white nigger.” (WSS 21)  In this way, her poor white family is ostracized by black people in this town, where slavery is abolished, and Antoinette is called a “white cockroach.”  At the same time, Antoinette can’t assimilate into white society either, and thus a Creole woman is pictured as having an unstable existence with an identity which is divided into two parts; a person who has European ancestry and a person born in the West Indies.

In part two, Rochester narrates his agony, indignation, and anxiety as a British man who is sent to the colony, which means Rhys implicitly expresses her sympathy and understanding towards Rochester.  Actually, Rochester is not the eldest son who could inherit his father’s estate, but the second son who is forced to live in the British colony, looking for a fortune.  That is to say, Rochester is depicted as a victim of the law of inheritance at that time, which was based on patriarchy of those days.  Rochester describes Antoinette like this: “the woman is a stranger.  Her pleading expression annoys me.  I have not bought her, she has bought me, or so she thinks.” (WSS 59)  Here we can see Rochester’s frustration and puzzlement about the unstable circumstances in which he finds himself.

Now, let us examine the letter which Rochester tries to send to his father but fails to send: “I know now that you planned this because you wanted to be rid of me.  You had no love at all for me.  Nor had my brother.  Your plan succeeded because I was young, conceited, foolish, trusting.  Above all because I was young.  You were able to do this to me…” (WSS 133)  This letter shows that there were not only colonized people but also quite a few British who were victimized by the national project of colonialism.  Rochester, who has no possessions as he is not the eldest son, is sent to a colony, where he marries a woman he does not love.  It is noteworthy that Rhys depicts the anguish of the both sides; the colonized and the colonizer through the narratives of Antoinette and Rochester.

It is needless to say, though, that Rochester is not just a victim but also a victimizer, which is obvious from the fact that Rochester gives Antoinette another name, Bertha.  Antoinette complains to Christophine, her nursemaid about Rochester’s way of treating her: “When he passes my door he says.  ‘Good night, Bertha.’  He never calls me Antoinette now.  He has found out it was my mother’s name.” (WSS 94)  Considering the fact that a person’s name is inseparable from their individual identity, the way Rochester calls Antoinette Bertha can lead to negation of her identity.  Antoinette explains it in this way: “So between you [Rochester] I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all.” (WSS 85)  Here it is implied that even individual identity can be determined by the relationship between the dominant and the dominated formed by imperialism.

Ⅳ Bertha/ Antoinette strays into the world of Jane Eyre

Rochester is again replaced by Antoinette as the narrator in Part three.  After Antoinette is brought back to England with Rochester, she starts to lose her senses.  This process is narrated with beautiful and poetic language, using a stream of consciousness style.  When night comes and Grace Poole, Antoinette’s maid, gets drunk and sleeps, Antoinette takes the keys which enable her to open the door and walk into “their world.” (WSS 148)  Antoinette thus describes the world into which she is brought: “It is, as I always knew, made of cardboard.  I have seen it before somewhere, this cardboard world where everything is colored brown or dark red or yellow that has no light in it.  As I walk along the passages I wish I could see what is behind the cardboard.  They tell me I am in England but I don’t believe them.” (WSS 148)  As Spivak discusses, “this cardboard world” represents a “book between cardboard covers,” namely the fictional England in the world of Jane Eyre. (243)  This implies that Antoinette (Bertha) is brought into an unrealistic, dream-like world, where she must play out her role as Bertha Mason, a character Charlotte Bronte created.

Now, let us examine the scene in Jane Eyre, in which Richard Mason, Antoinette’s brother is bitten by her and bleeds, and compare it with the same scene in Wide Sargasso Sea.  When Mason says, “she sucked the blood” “she said she’d drain my heart” (JE 213) in Jane Eyre, Antoinette (Bertha) is depicted as a vampire, an irrational horrible creature.  However, in Wide Sargasso Sea, Grace Poole’s depiction of this incident helps to rationalize Antoinette’s behavior: “So you [Antoinette] don’t remember that you attacked this gentleman [Richard Mason] with a knife? …I was in the room but I didn’t hear all he said except ‘I cannot interfere legally between yourself and your husband.’  It was when he said ‘legally’ that you flew at him and when he twisted the knife out of your hand you bit him.” (WSS 151)  Here, Rhys rewrites the scene in Jane Eyre and explains what causes Antoinette’s violent behavior, namely the legal system.  In this way, Rhys gives Antoinette “humanity” and “sanity” as “critic of imperialism” as Spivak points out.(242)  Antoinette’s violent reaction to the word “legally” is reminiscent of Christophine, Antoinette’s nursemaid’s remark: “That is English law,” (WSS 91), when Antoinette complains about her penniless state after her marriage with Rochester: “I have no money of my own at all, everything I had belongs to him.” (WSS 91)  Here, Rhys implicitly criticizes the society and its system in which the unfair relationship of the exploiter and the exploited can be justified through the Law.

Next, we will discuss the scene, in which Antoinette sees herself in the mirror: “It was then I [Antoinette] saw her [Bertha] – the ghost.  The woman with streaming hair.  She was surrounded by a gilt frame but I knew her.” (WSS 154)  Here, Antoinette sees herself as the other reflected in the mirror.  This image represents Bertha, a ghost-like mad woman, described in Jane Eyre.  This is the moment when Charlotte Bronte’s Bertha meets Rhys’ Antoinette, and in the scene, the real and the unreal, England and Jamaica, reality and dream are all mixed up together.  Finally, Antoinette narrates: “Now at last I know why I was brought here and what I have to do.” (WSS 155-156)  This inner monologue suggests that Bertha (Antoinette) is doomed to set fire to Thornfield Hall and leap to her death from the rooftop according to the logic of the novel.

It can be said that Rhys tries to save Bertha (Antoinette), by suggesting the world in which Bertha finds herself is not the real one but a dream.


Ⅴ Conclusion

It is found that the blank spaces in Jane Eyre are filled by Jean Rhys through writing Wide Sargasso Sea.  It is also revealed that the circumstances in which Antoinette (Bertha) survives as a Creole woman are harsh and unstable in Jamaica, while Rochester, who is sent to the colony, also feels loneliness and a sharp sense of alienation.  In addition, it is made clear that there is an implicit criticism of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy.

However, although Rhys criticizes institutional evils quite harshly, it does not mean Wide Sargasso Sea is totally antagonistic to Jane Eyre.  It is obvious that Charlotte Bronte also bitterly attacks a class society and the educational system in Jane Eyre, so the two novels turn to the same direction, as they criticize social evils and institutional corruption.  While Charlotte Bronte pays attention only to the problems in England, Rhys adds a wider perspective, such as the relationship between the colony and England, by which Rhys expands the view given in Jane Eyre.  It shows that Jane Eyre is as important as Wide Sargasso Sea as a social critique historically, politically worldwide.


Works Cited

Bronte, Charlotte.  Jane Eyre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) [Citations from this text are given with the page number and an abbreviation JE].

Rhys, Jean.  Wide Sargasso Sea (London: Penguin Books ltd, 2000) [Citations from this text are given with the page number and an abbreviation WSS ].

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty.  “Wide Sargasso Sea and a Critique of Imperialism” in Wide Sargasso Sea (New York & London: W.W.Norton & Company, 1999) 240-247.

Vreeland, Elizabeth.  “Jean Rhys: The Art of Fiction LXIV.”  Paris Review 76 (1979): 219-37.



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The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Moonstone: Race and Empire Represented by Dickens and Collins

Ⅰ Introduction
While Dickens gave a harsh comment on Collins’ The Moonstone as “[t]he construction is beyond endurance, and there is a vein of obstinate conceit in it that makes enemies of readers,” (Rance, 131) Collins returned the compliment by referring to The Mystery of Edwin Drood as “the melancholy work of a worn out brain” (Rance, 131). Edmund Wilson points out that there is acute rivalry between the two writers: “The publication in 1868 of Wilkie Collins’ detective story, The Moonstone, in which a band of Hindu devotees commit a secret murder in England, seems to have inspired Dickens with the idea of outdoing his friend the next year with a story of a similar kind” (Wilson, 71). Furthermore, Lillian Nayder discusses that The Mystery of Edwin Drood reveals “not only Dickens’ “intense rivalry” with Collins, but also “his desire to rework Collins’s vision of empire and race relations to a more conservative end” (Nayder, 165-166). By comparing Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Collins’ The Moonstone, let us examine differences and similarities between their views of British colonialism.

Ⅱ The two writers’ response to the Indian Mutiny
Before discussing their views represented in their works, we will look at their ideas about the Indian Mutiny (1857-1858) expressed in their letter or essay. Dickens wrote in a letter that “I [Dickens] wish I were Commander in Chief over there [India]!” and showed his desire to “exterminate the race [Indians] from the face of the earth”[Dickens to Angela Burdett-Coutts, 4 October 1875]. On the other hand, Collins suggests that Indians “may learn from their own Oriental literature” in “A Sermon for Sepoys” and calls into question the British use of Christian means to pacify Indians [“A Sermon for Sepoys” in Charles Dickens’s Household Words: A Weekly Journal, no.414, Saturday, February 27, 1858, 244-247]. Collins’ views of Indian culture is also represented in a British explorer Mr Murthwait’s remark in The Moonstone: “There is a mystery about their [three Indians’] conduct that I can’t explain. They have doubly sacrificed their caste – first, in crossing the sea; secondly, in disguising themselves as jugglers. In the land they live in, that is a tremendous sacrifice to make. There must be some very serious motive at the bottom of it, and some justification of no ordinary kind to plead for them, in recovery of their caste, when they return to their own country.”(Collins, The Moonstone 129)[hereinafter shortened to MS] Here Mr Murthwait argues that Indians have their own way of thinking and their behavior is based on their own logic. This means he respects Indians’ custom, belief and way of life, however different they may look from those of the British. When we compare Dickens’ remark with Collins’, it seems that Dickens is a jingoistic imperialist while Collins is a tolerant progressive thinker. However, it could be a little too simplistic to take the two writers’ above remark literally. For instance, Collins compares Indian rebels to “the human tigers” in “A Sermon for Sepoys” and reveals his prejudice against them. Furthermore, Dickens caricatures and mocks Mr. Sapsea who is described as a typical racist in The Mysyery of Edwin Drood. This may demonstrate Dickens is critical about racism in general. Therefore, we will have to examine their works more closely so that we can understand their views of colonialism more accurately.

Ⅲ Split personality in The Moonstone and Collins’ view of colonialism
Dickens and Collins both describe how another personality can appear under an unconscious state. This dual personality can be implicitly related to their views of the British Empire, in which people behave like a gentleman at home while they control and exploit other countries. First, let us study how Collins describes Franklin under the influence of opium in The Moonstone and discuss Collins’ view of colonialism.
Franklin, an English gentleman, steals his fiancée Rachael’s Diamond under the influence of opium, which was secretly put into his drink. Franklin’s friend, Ezra Jennings, carries out an experiment to prove Franklin committed “theft” unconsciously. According to Jennings’ instruction, Franklin takes opium again under the same circumstances as the last year when he committed the “crime.” Then Franklin goes into Rachael’s bedroom and steals a fake diamond. Franklin involuntarily says to himself: “It was safe in the bank. […] How do I know? […] The Indians may be hidden in the house.” (MS 495) It is clear that Franklin is occupied with worries that Indians may steal the Diamond. Thus Franklin’s act is justified because it is proven that Franklin did so to protect Rachael’s Diamond. However, as Tamar Heller points out, “[Franklin] Blake’s reason for stealing the jewel mirrors the rationalization of imperialism as “the white man’s burden,” protecting people who presumably cannot take care of themselves.” (Heller, 146) Though Collins expresses tolerance to different ways of thinking in his essay, he also shows the views which defend British colonialism by justifying Franklin’s theft.

Ⅳ Jasper’s dream in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and British imperialism
Next, we will examine John Jasper’s dream, in which British established order is put into question. Jasper is a choirmaster as well as an opium addict and he falls into a slumber in an opium den. Jasper’s dream thus begins: “An ancient English Cathedral Town? How can the ancient English Cathedral town be here! The well-known massive gray square tower of its old Cathedral? How can that be here!” (Dickens, 3) [hereinafter shortened to ED] Here “English Cathedral Town” represents Western established order or Christianity, which may lead to imperialism and colonialism, as colonizers used evangelization as an excuse to colonize other countries. However this Western order is put into question by repeatedly using interrogative sentences such as “An ancient English Cathedral Town?”(ED 3)
Let us examine another part from Jasper’s dream: “What is the spike that intervenes, and who has set it up? Maybe it is set up by the Sultan’s order for the impaling of a horde of Turkish robbers, one by one”(ED 3). The “spike” which appears in Jasper’s dream may represent an image of the Orient that the West created: unrestricted desire, violence and gratuitous cruelty. According to Lillian Nayder, Jasper’s dream “relies and reinforces familiar stereotypes of the Orient, its transgressive pleasures and dangers.” (Nayder, 185) However, this “spike” is identified by Jasper as “the rusty spike on the top of a post of an old bedstead” (ED 3) as Jasper wakes up. In this way, violence and cruelty depicted in Jasper’s dream are found to belong to the reality such as “town” “tower” (ED 3) in which he acts as a choirmaster in his daily life. Thus Jasper’s dream is contradictory in that it strengthens the distorted image of the “orient” while exposing desire and criminality of the British society. This also implies Dickens’ contradictory attitude towards British colonialism; Dickens’ desire to dominate and control foreign lands as well as his criticism of the violent British way of exploiting people there.

Ⅴ Creation of outsiders and Orientalism
It is noteworthy that Jasper’s skin is dark and he has “thick, lustrous, well-arranged black hair and whiskers” (ED 10) Philip Collins points out the possibility that Jasper may have come from “the East.”(Philip Collins, 301) However, Jerome Meckier argues that Jasper’s Oriental appearance does not show Jasper has Oriental blood but it is primarily “signs of a violent nature firmly self-repressed” (Meckier, 183). Meckier’s argument seems more cogent, for Dickens has consistently attacked a social evil hidden in the British institutions, not foreign lands. However, Dickens also displays racial prejudice by “Orientalizing” Jasper to depict evilness.
Jasper can be the intensified version of Godfrey Ablewhite in The Moonstone in that they are both described as “Orientalized” white criminals. After Diamond falls into Ablewhite’s hand, he tried to go to Amsterdam to cut it into pieces, but on his way, he was killed by Indians who were the original possessors of Diamond. Let us pay attention to the scene in which Ablewhite’s duality is exposed: “He [ Sergeant Cuff ] traced with his finger a thin line of livid white, running backward from the dead man’s forehead, between the swarthy complexion and the slightly-disturbed black hair. ‘Let’s see what is under this,’ said the Sergeant, suddenly seizing the black hair, with a firm grip of his hand” (MS 520). Here “a thin line of livid white” reveals a criminal is a white man who is disguised as an Oriental man. According to Tamar Heller, the death of Ablewhite, murdered by the Indians while he paints his face black, represents “the novel’s most horrifying image of what happens when white men go native.” (Heller, 163) Here we can see Collins’ sense of guilt for the British imperialism and fear of a reversal of the roles; namely, the Britain being colonized by India.

Ⅵ Conclusion
We have studied views of imperialism and race represented by Dickens and Collins. Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Ablewhite in The Moonstone are depicted as “Orientalized” British which have the potential for subversion of British traditional values. According to Edward Said, “his [Orientalist’s] Orient is not the Orient as it is, but the Orient as it has been Orientalized” (Said, 104). Then an image of the Orient in their works can be an embodiment of decay and corruption which lies in British society. In this way, Dickens and Collins criticize their society through depiction of Jasper and Ablewhite, the symbol of hypocrisy and corruption. As far as British colonialism is concerned, Dickens shows more conservative views than Collins, but there is something in common between the two writers; though they both seem to attack the British society while they partly defend its institutions whether they intend to or not.

Works Cited
Collins, Philip. “The Mysteries in Edwin Drood,” in Dickens and Crime. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. Ontario: Broadview Press Ltd., 1999. [ Citations from this text are put with the page number and an abbreviation MS ].
Dickens, Charles. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. London: Everyman, 1996. [ Citations from this text are put with the page number and an abbreviation ED ].
Heller, Tamar. “Blank Spaces: Ideological Tensions and the Detective Work of The Moonstone,” in Dead Secret: Wilkie Collins and the Female Gothic. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1992.
Meckier, Jerome. “Inimitability Regained: The Mystery of Edwin Drood” in Hidden Rivalries in Victorian Fiction: Dickens, Realism, and Revaluation. Lexington: The University of Kentucky, 1987.
Nayder, Lillian. “Crimes of the Empire, Contagion of the East: The Moonstone and The Mystery of Edwin Drood” in Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Victorian Authorship. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002.
Rance, Nicolas. “’Wilkie! Have a Mission’: The Demise of Sensation Fiction,” in Wilkie Collins and Other Sensation Novelists. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.
Wilson, Edmund. “Dickens: The Two Scrooges” in The Wound and the Bow: Seven Studies in Literature. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1947.

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Bleak House and Villette: The Story of a Trauma narrated by Esther and Lucy

According to Shoshana Felman, “every woman’s life contains, explicitly or in implicit ways, the story of a trauma.”(16) Felman also argues that “because trauma cannot be simply remembered, it cannot simply be ‘confessed.’”(16) It is remarkable that Felman points out the relationship between trauma and silence which often occurs in women’s narration. This brings our attention to similarities between narration by Esther Summerson in Bleak House (1852-1853) and that of Lucy Snowe in Villette (1853) in that they both conceal important information by reticence. Let us study how these two narrators’ trauma is related to their way of narrating their stories.
Ⅰ Trauma Esther and Lucy Suffer  
Let us turn to their experiences which caused the traumas which they now suffer. First, we study Esther’s case. Esther was brought up by Miss Barbary, her ruthless adoptive mother. It is Miss Barbary’s cruel remarks which left psychological scars on Esther’s mind: “Your mother, Esther, is your disgrace, and you were hers.” (65) “For yourself, unfortunate girl, orphaned and degraded from the first of these evil anniversaries, pray daily that the sins of others be not visited upon your head, according to what is written.”(65) Miss Barbary blames Esther on her birthday as if she were guilty for having been born, as Esther is an illegitimate child. Being deeply hurt, Esther comes to suppress her natural feelings.
Next, we will study Lucy’s case. Lucy also has suffered painful experiences in her early days. She describes how she spent eight years at her relative’s: “However, it cannot be concealed that, in that case, I must somehow have fallen over-board, or that there must have been wreck at last. I too well remember a time – a long time, of cold, of danger, of contention. To this hour, when I have the nightmare, it repeats the rush and saltness of briny waves, in my throat, and their icy pressure on my lungs…In fine, the ship was lost, the crew perished.” (35) Here, Lucy doesn’t describe concretely what happened to her but expresses her misery using metaphors such as “wreck” “briny waves” “icy pressure.” Though these metaphors bring up the general images of “poverty,” “illness” and “death,” readers are not informed as to specific incidents. This is reminiscent of Felman’s argument that “[b]ecause trauma cannot be simply remembered, it cannot simply be ‘confessed.’” Through these experiences, Lucy, like Esther, comes to conceal her real feelings, something weak and sensitive inside her.
Ⅱ Silence as to Who Senders of Flowers Are
Let us study more specifically how narrations by Esther and Lucy are related to their trauma. When Esther and Lucy narrate about men whom they love, their narrative tends to be more reticent and indirect. First, turn to Esther’s narration about Woodcourt, a young surgeon : “At last, when she [Caddy] was going, she took me [Esther] into my room, and put them [the flowers] in my dress. ‘For me?’ said I, surprised. ‘For you,’ said Caddy, with a kiss. ‘They were left behind by Somebody.’ ‘Left behind?’ “(294) Here, Esther doesn’t mention the name of “Somebody” who leaves flower for her and hides the information. It may come from Esther’s fear that she might not be a suitable lover for Woodcourt. Furthermore, by concealing her real feelings, Esther assumes the role of a reserved lady which must have been required according to the social code of the Victorian era.
Next, let us turn to Lucy’s narration about her teacher, M. Paul Emanuel. Lucy also hides the information as to the sender of a bunch of white violets: “[…] a certain little bunch of white violets that had once been silently presented to me by a stranger (a stranger to me, for we had never exchanged words), and which I had dried and kept for its sweet perfume between the folds of my best dress, lay there unstirred: […]. (119) Lucy not only conceals the name of “a stranger” but also gives an excuse by saying “a stranger to me, for we had never exchanged words.”
Here, let us pay attention to differences between Esther’s silence and Lucy’s. While Esther’s silence seems a strategy to arouse the reader’s sympathy, Lucy’s reluctance to reveal the information looks like a gesture to reject reader’s compassion or understandings. As Sandra M. Gilbert & Susan Gubar discuss, “she [Lucy] considers it wise, for those who have experienced inner turmoil or madness in solitary confinement, to keep quiet.”(419) Lucy thus gives up explaining herself, thinking it is impossible for others to understand her inner world.
Ⅲ Esther’s Search for her Identity
Now we will focus on how Esther overcomes her psychological scars. A turning point in her life comes when she catches an infectious disease, is assailed by hallucinations, and has a series of nightmares: “In falling ill, I [Esther] seemed to have crossed a dark lake, and to have left all my experiences, mingled together by the great distance, on the healthy shore.” (543) Here, expressions such as “cross a lake” and “leave all my experiences” give an image of Esther’s parting from the past and being newly born to be a different person. In another dream Esther becomes a part of “a flaming necklace” (544) and Esther prays she could “be taken off from the rest” and feels “it was such inexplicable agony and misery to be a part of the dreadful thing.”(544) This necklace is reminiscent of absurd and irrational institutions such as Chancery in which bigwigs are connected to one another and meddle in trivial things to cause unnecessary confusion.
It is noteworthy that Esther’s illness changes her face which symbolizes her inner drastic change. After recovering from the illness, Esther sees her disfigured face in the mirror: “Then I put my hair aside, and looked at the reflection in the mirror, encouraged by seeing how placidly it looked at me. I was very much changed – O very, very much.”(559) Esther’s face, surrounded by abundant hair, conjures up an image of Medusa’s Head, which according to Freud represents mother’s sexuality. (273-274) Here, more specifically, Esther’s mother Lady Dedlock’s unbridled sexuality is implied. At first, Esther’s face is so strange to her, that she thinks she “should have put [her] hands before it and started back,” but soon she accepts it as “familiar” (559). It can be said that this marks a moment of Esther’s acceptance of her mother and liberation from Miss Barbary’s curse: “submission, self-denial, diligent work.” (65) After this event, Esther quits pretending to be a reserved lady and often shows her ability to criticize false systems like Chancery and even mocks social hypocrisy.

Ⅳ The Ghost of a Nun and Lucy’s Spiritual Journey
Let us study how Lucy is confronted with her psychological conflict by investigating the ghost of a nun, which Lucy sees when she is trapped by a strong emotion. Lucy sees the nun’s ghost for the first time when she is absorbed in reading letters from her childhood friend, Dr. John Graham: “I saw in the middle of that ghostly chamber a figure all black or white; the skirts straight, narrow, black; the head bandaged, veiled, white.”(245) According to Gilbert & Gubar, the nun is not only “a projection of Lucy’s desire to submit in silence, to accept confinement, to dress in shadowy black, to conceal her face, to desexualize herself; the nun’s way is also symbolic for Lucy of the only socially acceptable life available to single women – a life of service, self-abnegation, and chastity.”(426) Therefore, while Lucy is intoxicated with the delight of reading Graham’s letters, she also feels guilty at it and this nun symbolizes another self in her who tries to punish her. The nun can be seen to represent Lucy’s fear of revealing her natural emotion which she has been constantly forced to repress.
However, as Lucy develops love for her teacher, Paul, she begins to show different reactions to the nun. When Lucy and Paul talk about the legend of a nun who was buried alive hundred years ago, they both see its ghost: “Instantly into our alley there came, out of the berceau, an apparition, all black and white. With a sort of angry rush – close, close past our faces – swept swiftly the very Nun herself!” (368) This time, Lucy’s description of the nun is more human, even comical, and less scary compared with her first encounter.
Madame Beck, who runs a school, tries to separate Lucy from Paul, planning to send Paul to the West Indies. Then Lucy rebels against Beck for the first time because she prevents Lucy meeting Paul. Suffering from insomnia, Lucy sees herself in the mirror: “Entering by the carre, a piece of mirror-glass, set in an oaken cabinet, repeated my image. It said I was changed; my cheeks and lips were sodden-white, my eyes were glassy, and my eye-lids swollen and purple.”(448) Lucy thus recognizes her physical change which also represents her emotional change as well, from an obedient and patient woman to a passionate rebel.
Now let us turn to the scene in which Lucy sees the nun on her bed in the dormitory. This is the last time Lucy sees the ghost: “My head reeled, for by the faint night-lamp, I saw stretched on my bed the old phantom – the Nun.”(470) Lucy tears the nun up, holds her on high, shakes her loose, then treads upon her. Gilbert & Gubar argues that Lucy “destroys this symbol of her chastity and confinement.”(435) After all, the long nun proves “a long bolster dressed in a long black stole, and artfully invested with a white veil.” (470) Later, it is also found that M. le Comte de Hamal is the nun Lucy sometimes saw, and he disguises himself as a nun to see his lover in the school. Liberation from the ghost of a nun may symbolize Lucy’s freedom from the social code by which “a life of service, self-abnegation, and chastity” are imposed. (Gilbert & Gubar, 426) In the end, Lucy struggles to achieve her dream of running her school while she develops love for Paul.

We have compared Esther in Bleak House with Lucy in Villette and found that they both suffer psychological scars. Silences which occur in their narration reveal how hard it is for mentally damaged women to tell their own story. At the same time, they both have strength and courage to overcome their problems.
However, some doubt still remains on some points. Though Esther happily marries Woodcourt, this plot is conceived by Jarndyce to save Esther. Does it mean Esther is controlled by her guardian’s will to the end? Furthermore, it is Paul who helps Lucy run her school and get independent. It is also noteworthy that whether Paul is dead or alive remains concealed to the end. This ambiguous ending may reflect Lucy’s contradictory position as a woman in those days: women’s happiness such as love and marriage was not always compatible with their independence.

Works Cited
Bronte, Charlotte. Villette. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1971.
Felman, Shoshana. What does a Woman Want? Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.
Freud, Sigmund. The Complete Psychological Works. Vol. 18. London: The Hogarth Press, 1975.
Gilbert, Sandra and Guber, Susan. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.

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Naming and Violence in Bleak House

Naming and Violence in Bleak House
As Vladimir Nabokov points out,(69) Charles Dickens’ masterpiece, Bleak House consists of three main themes: first, the court of Chancery which revolves around the never-ending suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce; second, miserable children and their relationships with their parents, most of whom are frauds or freaks; third, mystery, that is to say, a romantic tangle of trails followed by amateur detectives which finally lead to the secret about Lady Dedlock.
These three themes have something in common: hidden violence. There are absurd institutions, by which cases are protracted endlessly, a vast amount of money and energy is wasted, and victims’ lives are ruined. Furthermore, parents’ violence against children is also depicted. Finally, there is violence emanating from thousands of pairs of eyes which are eager to uncover a scandal. We will examine how characters’ names are treated, which is certainly one of the keys to understanding various types of violence.   

(1) Miss Flite and her way of naming birds
First, let us turn to Miss Flite whose life was ruined by a prolonged lawsuit and her subsequent madness. It is notable that Miss Flite gives her birds allegorical names: “Hope, Joy, Youth, Peace, Rest, Life, Dust, Ashes, Waste, Want, Ruin, Despair, Madness, Death, Cunning, Folly, Words, Wigs, Rags, Sheepskin, Plunder, Precedent, Jargon, Gammon, and Spinach.” (253) According to J. Hillis Miller, “the victims of Chancery” are represented by “Hope, Joy, Youth, Peace, Rest, Life,” “Chancery’s effects,” “Dust, Ashes, Waste, Want, Ruin, Despair, Madness, Death,” and “Chancery’s qualities” or deadly tools, “Folly, Words, Wigs, Rags, Sheepskin, Plunder, Precedent, Jargon, Gammon, and Spinach.”(189) Though these birds have nothing to do with a lawsuit, they are named after Chancery and categorized. Such absurd classifications through naming are often found in relationships between the powerful and the powerless such as parents and children, guardians and wards.

(2) Violence of naming in parent-child relationships
Let us examine exploiter-exploited relationships between parents and their children through naming. It is notable that Caddy comes from “tea caddy,” because Esther’s friend, Caddy is exploited as a secretary by her mother, Mrs. Jellyby. Mrs. Jellyby devotes herself to philanthropic work in Africa and doesn’t care about her children. Caddy angrily says: “I am only pen and ink to her.” (240) It means Caddy is classified as a tool or something useful and deprived of her identity.
Next, let us consider Skimpole’s daughters, Arethusa, Laura and Kitty. They are called by nicknames: “my Beauty daughter” “my Sentiment daughter” “my Comedy daughter.” Thus Skimpole treats his daughters as if they were his “playthings” (654), classifying them according to his taste: “His [Skimpole’s ] pictorial tastes were consulted, I[Esther] observed, in their respective styles of wearing their hair; the Beauty daughter being in the classic manner; the Sentiment daughter luxuriant and flowing; and the Comedy daughter in the arch style, with a good deal of sprightly forehead, and vivacious little curls dotted about the corners of her eyes. They were dressed to correspond, though in a most untidy and negligent way.” (654-655) In this way, their hairstyle and dresses are also decided according to Skimpole’s taste and they are categorized as toys or playthings.
Let us turn to Esther’s nicknames, by which a certain power relationship between Esther and her Guardian, Mr. Jarndyce can be detected. After Esther’s arrival at Bleak House and her first conference with her guardian, she begins to be called by various nicknames: “This was the beginning of my being called Old Woman, and Little Old Woman, and Cobweb, and Mrs Shipton, and Mother Hubbard, and Dame Durden, and so many names of the sort, that my own name soon became quite lost among them.” (148) According to William Axton, Esther’s nicknames “deprive Esther of a measure of identity and status as an individual” and “reduce her to the relative anonymity of a housekeeper.” (159) Axton also points out that Esther’s nicknames uniformly “refers to the witches, hags, comic old dames, and widows of folklore, nursery rhyme, and street song.” (159-160)
To give an example, “Little Old Woman” is referred to in the Child’s Rhyme which is quoted in the novel: “Little old woman, and whither so high?” “To sweep the cobwebs out of the sky.” (148) These phrases represent Esther’s role as a housekeeper who brings cheerfulness and order to the Bleak House. To cite another example, “Dame Durden” is the name of the old woman who looks after orphans and animals instead of mothers. These nicknames thus give Esther several roles as a mother and a competent housekeeper.

(3) Names and their Empty Formality
Let us examine names of politicians: “Coodle, Doodle, Poodle, Quoodle, Buffy, Cuffy, Duffy, Guffy.” They are formed by adding “oodle” to “C, D, P, Qu” and “uffy” to “B, C, D, G.” This is reminiscent of “the history of the Apple Pie” (146) which Mr. Jarndyce quotes criticizing the court of Chancery: “A was an apple-pie;/ B bit it,/ C cut it,/ D dealt it,/ E eat it,/ F fought for it,/ G got it,/ I inspected it,/ J jumped for it,/ K kept it,/ L longed for it,/ M mounted for it, / N nodded at it,….” Here, the first letter of each word is arranged according to alphabetical order, though there is no necessity to do so. As each letter is replaceable for another, politicians’ names show “each may replace any of the others” as J. Hillis Miller points out. (191) Politics is thus criticized as lapsing into empty officialdom.
Next, let us pay attention to the relation between a greedy lawyer Vholes and his victim Richard. Vholes calls Richard “Mr. C” instead of “Mr. Carstone” which implies that Vholes regards Richard as if he were the third letter of the alphabet. The letter C can be replaced for A, B, D or any other letter. There is no necessity for Vholes that Richard should be what he is including his character, life, history. Richard only has to be a good source of funds for him. After all, Richard grows exhausted by a prolonged lawsuit and dies. It is as if Vholes rubbed out the letter C with India rubber.

(4) Naming and Lady Dedlock’s Secret
We will examine the disclosure of Lady Dedlock’s secret and its relation to her name as well as that of her daughter and her ex-lover. Esther’s father, Hawdon uses a pseudonym, “Nemo,” which means “no one” in Latin. When Hawdon was young, he got engaged to a woman named Honoria and later, Hawdon was mistakenly reported to be dead. Honoria gets married to Sir Leicester and becomes Lady Dedlock. Thus Hawdon’s name is officially defunct and their illegitimate daughter, Esther also has to go by “Summerson,” though her real name is Hawdon filling her with shame and a confused identity.
The fact that Esther’s father’s name is Hawdon and Lady Dedlock has an illegitimate child comes to light. Lady Dedlock is driven into a difficult situation: “So! All is broken down. Her name is in these many mouths, her husband knows his wrongs, her shame will be punished - may be spreading while she thinks about it -…(815) It is notable that “name” rhymes with “shame,” which implies “name” is closely related to “shame.” Lady Dedlock escapes from the Dedlock house and dies by Hawdon’s grave. It is ironic that the first name of Lady Dedlock, “Honoria” contains “H, O, N, O, R,” as Lady Dedlock kills herself to preserve her honor. After this incident, Sir Leicester becomes invalided and the Dedlock Family is ruined. It turns out that the name “Dedlock” signifies its tragic fate.

(5) Names of People living in Tom-all-Alone’s
Let us consider the relationship between naming and people in a blighted slum, Tom-all-Alone’s. People there are not guaranteed a minimum standard of health care and if somebody suffers from a fever, dozens of people are infected and die. Their hygiene problems are neglected by the government and this slum is compared to “the infernal gulf.”(364) It is noteworthy that they call one another by nicknames: “As few people are known in Tom-all-Alone’s by any Christian sign, there is much reference to Mr Snagsby whether he means Carrots, or the Colonel, or Gallows, or Young Chisel, or Terrier Tip, or Lanky, or the Brick. (365) This symbolizes that people in Tom-all-Alone’s are excluded from any other class in society and abandoned by powerful institutions.
An example of deprivation of identity by use of nicknames is the street sweeper, Jo, who is called “Toughy” or “the Tough Subject” which means his real name does not have any significance socially. In addition, the last letter “e” is erased and his name is spelled as not “Joe” but “Jo.” This symbolizes Jo is treated as a non-person by society.
Let us turn to the name of the slum, “Tom-all-Alone’s.” “Tom” is reminiscent of Tom Jarndyce who goes mad because of a prolonged lawsuit and commits suicide. “Tom” also reminds us of an orphan, Tom, the son of a dead bailiff, Coavinses. In this way, “Tom” symbolizes the victims of absurd institutions as well as poor, forlorn children. Furthermore, “all-Alone’s” represents the miserable, isolated circumstances of the slum dwellers. That is to say, each person is deprived of identity as well as name, while Tom-all-Alone’s has its substance which denounces the miserable situation, calling for its improvement.

(6) Conclusion
The relationship between naming and hidden violence has been examined, especially in parent-child, guardian-ward relations. By giving names as well as nicknames, the powerful could force the powerless to assume the role related to their names and deprive them of their identity and freedom. Furthermore, some institutions and politicians, who only have names without substance, chase their own profit. It also turned out that names are associated with power, honour, and status. Esther’s father, Nemo’s real name “Hawdon” is erased and he becomes a pariah. Finally, let us turn to the catechism in which Mr. Bagnet examines his son with extreme accuracy. Here there are two questions: “What is your name? and Who gave you that name?” (722) Then, Mr. Bagnet fails in the exact precision of his memory, substituting for number three the question: “And how do you like that name?” (722) The third one is notable because it questions the way parents name their children: it asks whether children like their own names which parents selfishly give at their own convenience.

Works Cited
Axton, William. “Esther’s Nicknames: A Study in Relevance,” Dickensian 62:3 (1966)
Dickens, Charles. Bleak House (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd., 1971 )
Miller, J. Hillis. “Interpretation in Dickens’s Bleak House” in Victorian Subjects (Durham: Durham University Press, 1991)
Nabokov, Vladimir. “Bleak House,” in Lectures on Literature ed. Fredson Bowers (New York and London: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1980 )

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Misogyny and Patriarchy in Lady Audley’s Secret

(1) Introduction
The Victorian critics were scathing about the sensation novels as they portray “dangerous” women whose sexuality and affects are uncontrolled. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon includes such factors and was “one of the best-selling novels, not only of the 1860s but of the entire latter half of the nineteenth century.” (Cvetkovich, 45 ) Elaine Showalter discusses that sensation novels gave voice to women whose life is dominated by the role as daughters, wives, and mothers, and expressed “a wide range of suppressed female emotions.” (158-159)
Suppression of various female emotions was caused by the division of labour in the 19th century England as the middle-class home and family developed: “the moral and reproductive labour of the wife and mother within the private domestic sphere, and the competitive, economic, productive labour of the husband in the public sphere of industry, commerce and politics.” (Pykett, 12) This situation produced the definition of the “proper feminine” which is represented by the following qualities: “the domestic ideal, or angel in the house; the Madonna; the keeper of the domestic temple; asexuality; passionless; innocence; self-abnegation; commitment to duty; self-sacrifice; the lack of a legal identity; dependence; slave; victim.”(Pykett, 16) At the same time, the “improper feminine” is thus represented: “a demon or wild animal; a whore; a subversive threat to the family; threateningly sexual; pervaded by feeling; knowing; self-assertive; desiring and actively pleasure-seeking; pursuing self-fulfillment and self-identity; independent; enslaver; and victimizer or predator.” (Pykett, 16 )
Such definitions as “proper feminine” and “improper feminine” may have been useful not only for the division of labour but also in repressing female sexuality. Victorian theorists represent woman as “non-sexual, or asexual – disembodied” (Pykett 15) though they insisted on the primacy of maternity defining woman in terms of a sexual function. We will examine how Lady Audley assumes two roles of “proper feminine” and “improper feminine” for different purposes, and cleverly makes use of the sexist ideology.

(2) Lady Audley in Disguise
Lady Audley skillfully uses masks as “an innocent little girl” and “a beautiful fiend” depending on each situation. Her portrait discloses her two different sides: “Yes; the painter must have been a pre-Raphaelite. No one but a pre-Raphaelite would have painted, hair by hair, those feathery masses of ringlets with every glimmer of gold, and every shadow of pale brown. No one but a pre-Raphaelite would have so exaggerated every attribute of that delicate face as to give a lurid lightness to the blonde complexion, and a strange, sinister light to the deep blue eyes. No one but a pre-Raphaelite could have given to that pretty pouting mouth the hard and almost wicked look it had in the portrait.”(70) The portrait is drawn according to a pre-Raphaelite way which makes the sign of Lady Audley’s “erotic power.”(Montwieler, 50) The painter emphasizes her physical beauty such as “those feathery masses of ringlets” “the blonde complexion” “the deep blue eyes.” It is also noteworthy that the painter gives two opposite images to Lady Audley by adding “the hard and almost wicked look” to “that pretty pouting mouth”: She is portrayed as an innocent angel as well as “a beautiful fiend.” (71)
Alicia, Sir Michael Audley’s daughter, looking at a portrait, remarks: “a painter is….able to see, through the normal expression of the face, another expression that is equally a part of it.”(71) Alicia also says “we have never seen my lady look as she does in that picture; but I think that she could look so.” (71-72) There is some truth in what Alicia says. However, Robert, Sir Micheal’s nephew, opposes Alicia’s views: “Don’t be German, Alicia, if you love me. The picture is - the picture; and my lady is - my lady. That’s my way of taking things, and I’m not metaphysical; don’t unsettle me.” (72) It is notable that he repeats this remark several times with “an air of terror perfectly sincere.”(72) Robert’s reaction tells that he is fearful that Lady Audley’s hidden part should be exposed, and this fear may lead to Robert’s latent fear of women in general.
Lady Audley’s remarkable acting ability allays Robert’s fear. Here, let us turn to the scene in which Lady Audley is elegantly making tea: “Better the pretty influence of the tea-cups and saucers gracefully wielded in a woman’s hand, than all the inappropriate power snatched at the point of the pen from the unwilling sterner sex. Imagine all the women of England elevated to the high level of masculine intellectuality; superior to crinoline; above pearl power and Mrs. Rachel Levison; above taking the pains to be pretty; above making themselves agreeable; above tea-tables, and that cruelly scandalous and rather satirical gossip which even strong men delight in; and what a dreary utilitarian, ugly life the sterner sex must lead.” (223)
Here, “the pretty influence of the tea-cups and saucers wielded in a woman’s hand” is described as more agreeable and better than a man’s competence at writing. This comes from fear that women might “elevate to the high level of masculine intellectuality”: If women lose interest in dressing up, making up to look attractive, men should lead “a dreary utilitarian, ugly life.” It may sound ironic when we consider the fact that Lady Audley has such a great intellect as to change her identity and commit bigamy, while cleverly assuming the role of “Angel in the House.”
Let us turn to the scene which shows Lady Audley has a keen intellect while pretending to be an innocent girl. Knowing Robert suspects she murdered her ex-husband, Lady Audley goes to Sir Michael’s library, where she uses her knowledge and logic to persuade Sir Michael of Robert’s insanity: “ ‘Robert Audley is mad,’ she said, decisively. ‘What is one of the strongest diagnostics of madness - what is the first appalling sign of mental aberration? The mind becomes stationary; the brain stagnates; the even current of the mind is interrupted; the thinking power of the brain resolves itself into a monotone….and perpetual reflection upon one subject resolves itself into monomania. Robert Audley is a monomaniac….’” (287)
This shows Lady Audley’s competent knowledge of a mental illness and she artfully tries to persuade Sir Michael that Robert becomes a monomaniac as a result that he tenaciously thinks about his missing friend, George. Here, Lady Audley transforms herself from “a frivolous childish beauty”(288) to “a strong woman” who vindicates herself. It proves that her usual “childishness” and “innocence” is a convenient tool to hide her intellect and self-assertiveness.
It is notable that Lady Audley also has an “utilitarian” “ugly” side. This side is revealed when Lady Audley’s crime is comes to light and she is sent to a lunatic asylum as Dr. Alwyn Mosgrave diagnoses her as having “latent insanity,” (379) Just before Lady Audley is ejected from the house, she, trying to carry at least one of her possessions, wraps herself in a costly Indian shawl: “Remember how much she had periled for a fine house and gorgeous furniture, for carriages and horses, jewels and laces; and do not wonder if she clung with a desperate tenacity to gauds and gew-gaws in the hour of her despair. If she had been Judas she would have held to her thirty pieces of silver to the last moment of her shameful life.” (374) The narrator thus emphasizes Lady Audley’s “utilitarian” side. In other words, Lady Audley is capable of fighting for a battle for survival. Pretending to be an innocent angel, Lady Audley is knowing, eagerly gratifying her desire. This scene shows the absurdity of the idea that every woman belongs to the category of “proper feminine.” Here, categories such as “proper feminine” and “improper feminine” turn out to be a fantasy. This proves that women are not so simple as to be divided into either the “Madonna” or “fiend.”

(3) Phoebe as Lady Audley’s double
Let us turn to Phoebe, Lady Audley’s maid, who has similar characteristics to Lady Audley’s. Lady Audley says to Phoebe: “Do you know, Phoebe, I have heard some people say you and I are alike?” (57) Phoebe, keeping herself in the background, thus replies: “…your ladyship is a beauty, and I’m a poor plain creature.” (57-58) Lady Audley, saying “it is only colour that you want” gives advice: “…with a bottle of hair dye,…and a pot of rouge, you’d be as good-looking as I any day.” (58) As Montwieler points out that “anyone can become Lady Audley” (54), every woman can be good looking with the help of cosmetics and it is likely that there will appear one woman after another like Lady Audley. Furthermore, Phoebe is familiar with French language so that she can talk with Lady Audley about books she ordered. As Phobe has such a brilliant intellect, she has potential to rise from “Lady’s maid” to “Lady’s companion.”
It is also notable that Phoebe and Lady Audley are both victims of selfish men: “The likeness which the lady’s maid bore to Lucy was, perhaps, a point of sympathy between the two women.”(104) Phoebe is engaged to her cousin, Luke, and she confesses “I don’t think I can love him.” (107) According to Phoebe, she promised that she would marry him when almost 15 years old, and Luke is the type of man who will murder his lover for being false to her word. Lady Audley also had a bitter experience in that she has been deserted by her first husband, George, for three and half years. George left the letter informing Lady Audley that he would go to Australia to make his fortune. Later, Lady Audley changed her name and got married to a baronet, Sir Michael. George, upon returning from Australia, finds the fact and threatens to disclose her identity. Lady Audley tries to murder George pushing him to the bottom of a well.
Though Lady Audley’s crime is unforgivable, she never submits tamely to miserable conditions, struggling to attain her desire at all costs. This energy and greed of “the weaker sex” can be a threat to established institutions. It is noteworthy that Phoebe also has the same characteristics as Lady Audley’s: “There were sympathies between her [ Lady Audley] and this girl [ Phoebe], who was like herself inwardly as well as outwardly - like herself, selfish, cold, and cruel, eager for her own advancement, and greedy of opulence and elegance, angry with the lot that had been cast her, and weary of dull dependence. (299) Here, “selfishness” “coldness” “cruelty” “greed” “independence” all belong to “improper feminine.” Both Phoebe and Lady Audley grow up in miserable circumstances, though blessed with beauty and intellect. It is natural that they are “eager for their own advancement” “angry with the lot” and “weary of dull dependence.”
It is repeatedly emphasized that Phoebe is similar to Lady Audley, by which it is suggested that there are a number of women like Lady Audley. Later, Phoebe’s husband, Luke, is burnt to death and the narrator never relates what kind of lot Phoebe improves after the incident so that readers’ imagination is stimulated.

(4) Robert’s misogyny and Clara’s influence
To apply Freud to Robert’s case is useful to understand his fear of women. According to Freud, misogyny is related to “castration anxiety” which is caused by the discovery that mothers lack their penis. This anxiety is compared to fear aroused by Medusa’s head and two solutions are suggested: “homosexuality” and “fetishism.” Czetkovich points out that there is “the homosocial bond” between George and Robert. (59) Later, Robert is attracted to Clara, George’s sister because of the similarities between Clara and George: “she [ Clara ] was so like the friend [ George ] whom he [ Robert ] had loved and lost, that it was impossible for him to think of her as a stranger.” (202)
Robert, influenced by Clara, is compelled to investigate George’s disappearance. As Lady Audley’s history is exposed and her conspiracy is uncovered, Robert is repulsed as well as fascinated. As Robert traces Lady Audley’s secret, he is subject to “countertransference” like the analyst. (Cvetkovich, 56) Robert visits the seaport town in Yorkshire, and stays at the Victoria Hotel where George had a wedding ceremony. Here is a description of his nightmare he has at the night: “As the hurrying waves rolled nearer and nearer to the stately mansion, the sleeper saw a pale, starry face looking out of the silvery foam, and knew that it was my lady, transformed into a mermaid, beckoning his uncle to destruction.” (246) In his dream, Lady Audley is depicted as “a mermaid” who beckons Sir Michael to destruction. However, “a pale, starry face looking out of the silvery foam” is bewitching to the extent that her charm surpasses authority of Sir Michael and his stately mansion. This dream implies that Robert is charmed not by real the Lady Audley but his own fantasy in which he creates a beautiful fiend.
It is Clara who saves Robert who suffers from a nervous breakdown after finding Lady Audley had pushed George to the bottom of the well. Here, Clara plays the role of “the proper feminine” who represents a virtue: “…the new strength and purpose of my [ Robert’s] life….grows even stronger as it turns to you [ Clara ], and changes me until I wonder at myself….”(401) In this way, the role as a detective almost drives Robert into a blind alley of madness, while this trial helps him to grow up socially as a man.
In the end, Robert acquires power as a patriarch and Lady Audley dies after being confined in an asylum of Belgium. Robert becomes a successor to Sir Michael, gets married to Clara, and achieves fame as a barrister. Robert at first harbors a homosexual love for George, which is transformed into a heterosexual one through Clara. Robert thus overcomes his fear of women, acquiring social power and status.

(5) Conclusion - A Shadow which Lies behind a Pastoral Scene
It seems that every “dangerous” being is excluded as Audley Court is shut up and a curtain hangs before the pre-Raphaelite portrait. George, who was supposed to be murdered, is found to be alive, escaping from the well and going to New York. Now Robert lives in a cottage with Clara and George. Alicia gets engaged to Sir Harry Towers. A peaceful scene is depicted in which gentlemen sit and smoke in a pretty, rustic smoking-room over the Swiss boat-house. Then we are interrupted by the ironic narration: “I hope no one will take objection to my story because the end of it leaves the good people all happy and at peace.”(446-447) This narration sounds more ironic when juxtaposed with this passage: “We hear every day of murders committed in the country….In the country of which I write, I have been shown a meadow in which, on a quiet summer Sunday evening, a young farmer murdered the girl who had loved and trusted him; and yet even now, with the strain of that foul deed upon it, the aspect of the spot is - peace. No crime has ever been committed in the worst rookeries about Seven Dials that has not been also done in the face of that sweet rustic calm which still, in spite of all, we look on with a tender, half-mournful yearning, and associate with - peace.”(54) Here is a warning that “that sweet rustic calm” could exist together with “murder”and “crime.” The harmonious scene, which seems to bring the story to a peaceful conclusion, is found to be an illusion. The narrator also suggests that the order, which is completed by excluding “a foreign body,” should be fragile.

Works Cited
Braddon, Mary Elizabeth. Lady Audley’s Secret (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
Cvetkovich, Ann. “Detective in the House: Subversion and Containment in Lady Audley’s Secret” in Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992)
Montwieler, Katherine. “Marketing Sensation: Lady Audley’s Secret and Consumer Culture” in Beyond Sensation: Mary Elizabeth Braddon in Context ed. Marlene Tromp, Pamela K. Gilbert, and Aeron Haynie (New York: State University of New York Press, 2000)
Pykett, Lyn. The Improper Feminine: The Women’s Sensation Novel and the New Woman Writing (London and New York: Routledge, 2000)
Showalter, Elaine. A Literature of Their Own: British Woman Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999)

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Patriarchy and Women in “The Woman In White”: the Ambiguous Border between Men and Women

(1) Introduction
In The Woman in White, which has been acclaimed as one of Wilkie Collins’ masterpieces, one of its chief characters, Walter Hartright begins the story with his disputable narration: “This is the story of what a Woman’s patience can endure, and what a Man’s resolution can achieve.”(5) This sentence shows Walter fixes a clear border between men and women. Associating “women” with “patience” “endurance,” “men” with “resolution” “achievement,” he regards women as passive while men active. Such a distinction may be convenient to keep the oppressor/ oppressed structure which is indispensable for patriarchy. However, we find a number of “masculine women” and “feminine men” in the novel, by which the base of patriarchy, the border between men and women becomes unstable. Let us examine how the failings of patriarchy are disclosed as well as how women’s subversive force is exerted in the novel.

(2) “Femininity” in Men
It is notable that several male characters are depicted as possessing “femininity” in The Woman in White. The most conspicuous example is Mr. Fairlie, Esquire of Limmeridge House. Employed as a drawing-master, Walter visits Limmeridge House, where he meets Mr. Fairlie for the first time. Mr Fairlie is thus described: “His feet were effeminately small, and were clad in buff-coloured silk stockings, and little womanish bronze-leather slippers.”(39)
“…he had a frail, languidly-fretful, over-refined look-something singularly and unpleasantly delicate in its association with a man, and, at the same time, something which could by no possibility have looked natural and appropriate if it had been transferred to the personal appearance of a woman.”(39-40)
His face is not natural as a man’s nor woman’s; it is as if “femininity” were gradually eating into the parts of his face and his face had lost “masculinity.”
Furthermore, Mr. Fairlie complains about the state of his nerves: “In the wretched state of my nerves, loud sound of any kind is indescribable torture to me. You will pardon an invalid? I only say to you what the lamentable state of my health obliges me to say to everybody.”(40) Thus, “femininity” is associated with “nervousness” in Mr. Fairlie, which D.A.Miller discusses, when he states “nervousness remains a signifier of femininity”(151)
It is noteworthy that Walter is also feminized as a drawing-master. Since he has many chances to meet young and pretty female students, he has trained himself to repress his sexuality: “I had trained myself to leave all the sympathies natural to my age in my employer’s outer hall, as coolly as I left my umbrella there before I went up-stairs.”(64) Thus Walter is “castrated” in order to do his job as a teacher. In spite of this self-repression, Walter falls in love with Laura, Mr. Fairlie’s niece. Noticing Walter’s state of mind, Marian, Laura’s half-sister tells him that Laura is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde. Walter decides to leave Limmeridge House, intending to work as a draughtsman for an expedition to Central America. Before leaving England, Walter meets Vincent Gilmore, a solicitor, who is surprised at Walter’s appearance: “His face looked pale and haggard -his manner was hurried and uncertain….A momentary nervous contraction quivered about his lips and eyes,…”(157) Walter looks as if he erased his “masculinity” by repressing his sexuality; “nervousness,” a signifier of “femininity” is engraved in his face. Hence, we find “femininity in men” is illustrated by the examples of Messrs. Fairlie and Walter. 

(3) “Masculinity” in Women 
Let us examine “masculinity” in women by studying Marian, Mr. Fairlie’s niece. When Walter meets Marian for the first time, he thus describes her appearance from the back at some distance: “The rare beauty of her form, and by the unaffected grace of her attitude.” (31) However, as Marian turns to him and approaches him, Walter’s impression of her changes: “The lady is dark….The lady is young….The lady is ugly!”(31) In addition, he thus describes her face and hair: “The lady’s complexion was almost swarthy, and the dark down on her upper lip was almost a moustache. She had a large, firm, masculine mouth and jaw; prominent, piercing, resolute brown eyes; and thick, coal-black hair, growing unusually low down on her forehead. Her expression - bright, frank, and intelligent - appeared, while she was silent, to be altogether wanting in those feminine attractions of gentleness and pliability, without which the beauty of the handsomest woman alive is beauty incomplete” (32) Marian has a dark complexion and facial hair like “a moustache” as well as “resolute brown eyes,” which is contrary to Walter’s principle that “resolution” belongs to manly virtue. In addition, Marian also has a large, firm, “masculine” mouth and jaw. In this way, a “masculine” face connected to a woman’s shapely figure makes Walter feel uneasy.
After knowing Laura is engaged to Sir Percival, Walter leaves the Limmeridge House, and he exchanges farewells with Marian. “I [Walter] could add no more. My voice faltered, my eyes moistened, in spite of me. She [Marian] caught me by both hands - she pressed them with the strong, steady grasp of a man…” (125) Though Walter’s narration in the beginning defines men as active and women passive, this dichotomy never works here. In this way, there are several “feminine” men and “masculine” women in the novel. These characters more or less undermine the structure of the 19th century England patriarchy, in which a man should act like a man and a woman a woman.

(4) Subversive Power of Anne Catherick
To unearth the absurdity of patriarchy, we will examine Anne Catherick, who is locked up in a lunatic asylum by Sir Percival. Anne, being the most unfortunate victim of patriarchy, knows too well how unfair and false the male-oriented society can be. She poses a threat to a society, by laughing at people who abuse paternal power.
Let us turn to the scene in which Walter and Anne meet for the first time. The night before Walter goes to Limmeridge House, on his way back from Hampstead to London, the woman in white, Anne, taps him on the shoulder. Walter feels a cold shiver: “every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop by the touch of a hand laid lightly and suddenly on my shoulder from behind me.” (20)
Why is Walter frozen with horror by Anne’s light touch on his shoulder? According to Tamar Heller, Anne has the ability to “be a Medusa figure who paralyzes men - a power suggested when her first touch causes the blood to stop in Hartright’s body….”(121) Anne’s femininity seems contagious to Walter and her touch arouses his fear of being feminized/ castrated. Mr. Merriman, Sir Percival’s solicitor describes Anne as a “dangerous woman to be at large….nobody knows what she may do next.”(156) This statement shows that the unbridled power of women could shake the false order of patriarchy. As women like Anne are dangerously subversive, men like Sir Percival try to lock them up.
When Anne meets Walter, she escapes from the lunatic asylum. Anne asks Walter to help her go to London: “Only say you will let me leave you when and how I please -only say you won’t interfere with me. Will you promise?” (23) To Anne’s request, Walter says “yes” as if he was bewitched into doing so. Here is Walter’s comment on his reaction: “One word! The little familiar word that is on everybody’s lips, every hour in the day. Oh me! And I tremble, now, when I write it.”(23) Walter, yielding to Anne’s power, is reduced to a passive being, which means that his “masculinity” is in danger.
Next, let us turn to Sir Percival’s case. Why is Sir Percival threatened by Anne Catherick? This is related to his secret “crime” in which Mrs. Catherick, Anne’s mother is an accomplice. Mrs. Catherick helps Sir Percival add a false entry in a register to conceal his identity as an illegitimate child. Sir Percival gives Mrs. Catherick a handsome allowance four times a year to make her keep the secret and confine her within Welmingham. One day, Mrs. Catherick asks Sir Percival’s permission to go out of Welmingham but he refuses. Prompted by anger, Mrs. Catherick tells him: “a low imposter whom I could ruin for life, if I chose to open my lips and let out his secret.”(549) The following day, being upset by Sir Percival’s word “idiot,” Anne repeats her mother’s words: “Beg my pardon, directly….or I’ll make it the worse for you. I’ll let out your Secret. I can ruin you for life, if I choose to open my lips” (549) Anne, perceiving the power of her mother’s words, repeats them without understanding what she means. These words have such a great influence that Sir Percival is totally confounded.
Hearing Anne’s words, Sir Percival believes Anne knows the secret, and locks her up in a lunatic asylum. After Anne escapes from the asylum, Sir Percival tells Count Fosco: “She’s just mad enough to be shut up, and just sane enough to ruin me when she’s at large…” (337) The secret disclosure means not just that Sir Percival will be ruined but also that the whole meaning of the society will be thrown into question.
Here is the man, who acquires the status of “a baronet” by adding the false entry in the register and bears the name “Sir Percival Glyde.” People believed such a lie for many years and order is maintained based on this falseness. Laura’s father chooses Sir Percival, the man of false identity, as his daughter’s husband-to-be. This fact reveals that “fathers” also make errors, and again questions the meaning of patriarchy.

(5) Masculinization of Walter and Feminization of Marian
It is remarkable that after returning from Central America, Walter describes himself as a “masculine” man: “From that self-imposed exile I[Walter] came back, as I had hoped, prayed, believed I should come back - a changed man. In the waters of my new life I had tempered my nature afresh. In the stern school of extremity and danger my will had learnt to be strong, my heart to be resolute, my mind to rely on itself. I had gone out to fly from my own future. I came back to face it, as a man should.” (415) Coping with difficulties such as the shipwreck, fatal disease, and attack by Indians, Walter becomes a different man. “Resolution” defined as men’s attribute by Walter is expressed as “my heart to be resolute.”
However, concerning “death by disease” “death by Indians” “death by drowning” (414) Walter does not describe them in detail. Therefore, all these incidents seem unreal and Walter’s description of himself as “a changed man” looks like “fiction.”
To reinforce Walter’s “fiction,” in which he is represented as masculine, it becomes necessary to “feminize” Marian, a “masculine” woman. Here, let us turn to Marian’s battle against Count Fosco, Sir Percival’s villainous friend, through which Marian is feminized. Marian lives with Laura after her marriage in Blackwater Park where Count Fosco is staying with Sir Percival. Marian describes how Count Fosco skillfully manipulates Marian: “He [Count Fosco] flatters my vanity, by talking to me as seriously and sensibly as if I was a man.” (225) This must be an effective strategy for dealing with women like Marian who despises women generally. Marian, being flattered, finds herself attracted to Count Fosco against her will. Marian has never met such a man with whom she is unwilling to make an enemy of. Marian asks herself: “Is this because I like him, or because I am afraid of him?” (226)  Thus her feelings about Count Fosco are complicated and ambiguous.
While Marian suffers from typhoid fever, Count Fosco reads her diary without her permission, and after examining it thoroughly, he writes his own note after Marian’s description: “Admirable woman!” (343) “the charming outbursts of womanly feeling” (343) Furthermore, he describes his own note as “grateful, sympathetic, paternal lines” (344) This word “paternal” implies that Count Fosco gives himself “paternal rights.” Heller points out that “Fosco’s language here is that of a male critic commenting on the work of a woman writer.”(134)
Count Fosco and Sir Percival conspire to lock up Laura in a lunatic asylum and succeed in seizing her inheritance. Laura is officially reported to be dead and forced to live as Anne Catherick who is actually dead and whose appearance matches Laura’s.
After Marian successfully rescues Laura from the asylum, they meet Walter in the graveyard. Walter rents a house in the far East of London under a pseudonym and lives there with Marian and Laura pretending that they are his sisters. Marian is engaged in housework instead of their maid. Marian thus describes: “What a woman’s hand are fit for….early and late, these hands of mine shall do.” (441) Compared with her description “my hands were, and always will be, as awkward as a man’s” (233), we find even her hands are feminized by compulsion. In addition, Marian cries: “I [ Walter ] saw the big tears rise thick in her eyes, and fall slowly over her cheeks as she [ Marian ] looked at me” (441) Here Marian is described as a weepy woman, which works as “signifier of her new femininity”(237) as Elizabeth Langland discusses.
In the end, Walter highly praises Marian’s virtue: “that sublime self-forgetfulness of women, which yield so much and asks so little, turned all her thoughts from herself to me”(558) If women’s virtue lies in repressing her own desire and devoting herself to others’ happiness, this can be said to be an ideology fit to support patriarchal order. Thus Marian is transformed into an embodiment of virtue and reduced to “the good angel” (643)

(6) Conclusion
As we are approaching the end of the story, we find the roles of men and women are fixed and patriarchal order is reinforced. Through Walter’s energetic activity, the conspiracy by Count Fosco and Sir Percival is uncovered and Laura’s identity is reestablished. Sir Percival perishes in the fire by accident and Count Fosco is murdered by a secret society and found dead in a morgue in Paris. Walter and Laura get married and Laura gives birth to their son. Thus patriarchal order is strengthened even at the end.
It can be said that the social background of 19th century England requires such a conventional ending. According to Lillian Nayder, “Collins demonstrates that women lose their property rights and their legitimacy when they marry, and undergo a type of “civil death.”(74) At the same time, Collins suggests that “coverture may be a necessary evil, a means of providing for innately dependent women and counteracting the dangers of female emancipation.” (74) Collins thus considers “cultural anxieties about the sexual and economic autonomy granted women by the 1857 Divorce Act”(74) and adjusts to such social tendencies by making the ending moralistic and conservative.
However, if we pay attention to the details of the ending, we find Collins does not totally flatter the male-oriented society. When Walter almost finishes his story, he writes “The pen falters in my hand”(643) Walter thus abandons his “metaphorical penis”(3) as Sandra Gilbert & Susan Gubar discusses. Furthermore, he adds, “let Marian end our Story”(643) and proclaims that he is prepared to hand a pen to Marian. This means creative ability in writing is not just exercised by men: The Woman in White is the story composed by both male and female narrators.

Works Cited
Collins, Wilkie. The Woman In White ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998 )
Gilbert, Sandra M. and Guber, Susan. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteen-Century Literary Imagination ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979 )
Heller, Tamar. “The Woman in White: Portrait of the Artist as a Professional Man” in Dead Secret: Wilkie Collins and the Female Gothic ( New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1992)
Langland, Elizabeth. “New Woman in Old Guises” in Nobody’s Angels: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture ( Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1995 )
Miller, D.A. “Cage aux folles: Sensation and Gender in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White” in The Novel and the Police ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988)
Nayder, Lillian. “Sensation Fiction and Marriage Law Reform: Wives and Property in The Woman in White, No Name, and Man and Wife” in Wilkie Collins ( New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997 )

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The Race, Women, and Empire in The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone is one of the masterpieces of mystery. As T.S. Eliot wrote: “The Moonstone is the first and greatest of English detective novels.” The novel, based on a yellow diamond called The Moonstone, questions the established order of the class system, patriarchy, and colonialism.
The Moonstone is plundered by John Herncastle at the time of the storming of Seringapatam in 1799. After Herncastle’s death, the moonstone is presented to Herncastle’s niece, Rachel Verinder as a birthday present. During the evening of her birthday party, the moonstone is stolen from Rachel’s cabinet. As a result of this incident, confusion ensues and the order in the Verinder family is destroyed.
Just as the moonstone was plundered from the Indians by the British, so Franklin and Ablewhite steal it from Rachel. It is noteworthy that Rachel was “small and slim” and has black hair which matches her eyes. These physical features usually belong to people in colonized countries such as India and this symbolizes the fact that Rachel is categorized as one of the exploited.
Here, let us examine the scene where the moonstone is stolen. While under the influence of opium, Franklin goes to Rachel’s room and takes the moonstone out of the cabinet drawer. Witnessed by Rachel, she later explains:
‘There are three glasses in my sitting-room. As you [Franklin] stood there, I [Rachel] saw all that you did, reflected in one of them.’
‘What did you see?’
‘You put your candle on the top of the cabinet. You opened, and shut, one drawer after another, until you came to the drawer in which I had put my Diamond. You looked at the open drawer for a moment. And then you put your hand in, and took the Diamond out’
It is possible to interpret Franklin’s reflection as Franklin’s second self, so Rachel discovers another side of Franklin she’d never known before.
On the top of all this, Rachel’s witnessing of the theft is seen by Ablewhite. As soon as Franklin takes the moonstone, he hands it to Ablewhite and asks him to deposit it with a bank for security. The following morning, Franklin remembers nothing and Ablewhite plans to possess the moonstone as well as Rachel. Later Ablewhite is killed by three Indians on his way to Amsterdam.
Next, let us turn to how Sergeant Cuff investigates the case. Cuff finds “the small smear” on Rachel’s room’s door on which the paint was wet until three o’clock in the morning. He decides the criminal’s clothes would have been smeared and tries to check the clothes of everyone who lives in the Verinder house. However, Rachel refuses to have her clothes checked and Cuff suspects her. In reality, it is the maid Rosanna who hides Franklin’s smeared gown and makes him a new one. Rosanna commits suicide after she thinks she has been rejected by Franklin and now it seems the teuth will be lost forever.
One year later, Franklin restarts his own investigation to find the real criminal. He reads Rosanna’s letter to him and this letter shows she had hidden a box in the quicksand inside which is a clue to the mystery. After getting the box, Franklin examines its content and finds another letter by Rosanna as well as Franklin’s smeared nightgown. Franklin realizes he is the thief.
Thus, Franklin’s stained nightgown transforms his world into something grotesque. This has the same effect as Holbein’s “Ambassadors” which Jacque Lacan constantly refers to. At the bottom of the picture, a viewer can see an amorphous spot and it is only when, on the very threshold of the room in which the picture is exposed, and the visitor casts a final glance at it that this spot acquires the contours of a skull, disclosing the true meaning of the picture - the nullity of all terrestrial goods.
Next, let us examine Rosanna’s letter to Franklin: “Sir - I have something to own you. A confession which means much misery, may sometimes be made in very few words. This confession can be made in three words. I love you.” This letter also has the same effect as the stain of Franklin’s nightgown. Franklin has never thought of himself as a thief nor the object of Rosanna’s desire.
It is Ezra Jennings, Dr. Candy’s assistant who brings salvation to the Verinder House. Jennings’ appearance is thus described:
“His gipsy-complexion, his fleshless cheeks, his gaunt facial bones, his dreamy eyes, his extraordinary parti-coloured hair, the puzzling contradiction between his face and figure which made him look old and young both together…”
Here, we find diverse contradictory elements in his appearance. Though Franklin regards this appearance as “unfavourable,” he cannot resist Jennings’ mysterious power that appeals to his sympathy.
It is not just his appearance but also his identity that shows the sign of multiplicity. According to Jennings, “I was born, and partly brought up, in one of our colonies. My father was an Englishman; but my mother -…”
In this way, Jennings has multiple identity that is an “English gentleman” and “colonial Other.” Thus Jennings belongs to both England and the colonized nation, the dominant and the dominated. What does Jennings’ ambiguous position suggest? It may imply the possibility that different people might cooperate in harmony.
Jennings carries out the experiment to prove Franklin’s innocence. Jennings arranges the same condition as last year’s and lets Franklin take opium. This experiment demonstrates Franklin took the moonstone under the influence of opium. As Franklin is found innocent, he reconciles himself with Rachel.
The question remains whether it is really a true happy ending. Franklin steals the diamond in a state of unconsciousness. This means that though Franklin pretends to be a kind-hearted decent lover in his everyday reality, this illusion rests on a certain “repression” on overlooking the reality of his desire.
Considering Rachel’s character “absolute self-dependence” it is hard to predict their happy life will continue. It is possible that another personality repressed in Franklin emerges and tries to control Rachel. It should be time Rachel’s rebellion begins and it also symbolizes India’s rebellion against British colonialism.

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