The woman in white key quotes
Throughout history women have inspired and motivated society towards greater strength, courage, and justice. If you had the opportunity to ask the greatest women of all time for advice, wouldn't you jump at the chance? Drawing from the timeless wisdom of leaders such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and Michelle Obama, each page of Great Quotes from Great Women offers motivation for your daily challenges, or inspiration to get back on your feet. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Secrets by Bernard MacLaverty - Grade 9 Analysis and Exploration of Key Quotations
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The Woman in White Quotes
This image of Laura practically melting is crucial to understanding her character, or lack thereof. Laura is a bit like a shadow, a blank slate of a romantic lead who's never very well defined. You can read more about Laura's lack of definition in her character guide. Think of her as you thought of the first woman who quickened the pulses within you that the rest of her sex had no art to stir. Here's further proof of Laura's blank-slatehood in this line from Walter.
Walter basically tells readers to superimpose their own ideal woman onto Laura, making her a sort of everywoman heroine… and sex symbol. To associate that forlorn, friendless, lost woman, even by accidental likeness only, with Miss Fairlie, seems like casting a shadow on the future of the bright creature who stands looking at us now.
Anne and Laura's close ties are at the core of the book's identity theme. At first glance Anne seems like a negative image, or the opposite of Laura. But Anne herself has some positive qualities such as a willingness to act that the super-passive Laura lacks. If ever sorrow and suffering set their profaning marks on the youth and beauty of Miss Fairlie's face, then, and then only, Anne Catherick and she would be the twin-sisters of chance resemblance, the living reflexions of one another.
This idea of a "twin-sister of chance resemblance" and the concept of "living reflections" pretty much sums up the book's identity theme. But resolute, clear-minded Miss Halcombe, was the very last person in the world whom I should have expected to find shrinking from the expression of an opinion of her own.
Gilmore introduces an interesting question here—whether or not you can ever really know another person and predict how they will behave. In the world of The Woman in White , the answer is "Nope. Everyone is mysterious. He could only assume that the intensity of Miss Halcombe's suffering under the loss of her sister had misled her judgment in a most deplorable manner; and he wrote her word that the shocking suspicion to which she had alluded in his presence was, in his opinion, destitute of the smallest fragment of foundation in truth.
Laura's loss of identity has pretty widespread effects. Walter and Marian are altered by their connection to Laura, and the rest of the world pretty much thinks they're nuts. The diction here is worth noting: lots of big words and almost legal lingo, which is Walter's way of dealing with an emotional situation.
Words of wisdom from Mr. Even in the eyes of the law, identity isn't necessarily absolute, which was a scary thought for the Victorians. The idea that he was not Sir Percival Glyde at all, that he had no more claim to the baronetcy and to Blackwater Park than the poorest labourer who worked on the estate, had never occurred to my mind. Sir Percival not really being Sir Percival kind of blew our minds, too. We like the Victorians are trained to take people on their word, and are rattled when people are dun dun dun not what they appear to be.
In one of the coolest scenes in the novel, a servant mistakes Walter for Sir Percival. It's like a thematic anvil to the head. Mistaken identity! Freaky connections! You are aware that he had me watched before I left England; and that he probably knows me by sight, although I don't know him? Sight and recognition are a crucial part of the book's identity theme. The idea that Sir Percival may know Walter but that Walter doesn't know Sir Percival is all sorts of terrifying: recognition is, as this quote expresses, power.
Time alters nearly every character in this novel—people suffer from illness Marian , eating too many pastries Fosco , trips to South America Walter , and stays in asylums Laura. Physical alterations become downright commonplace, but the real trick is determining whether physical changes alter people's inner selves.
How does identity change over time? Here was a stranger utterly and helplessly at my mercy—and that stranger a forlorn woman. No house was near; no one was passing whom I could consult; and no earthly right existed on my part to give me a power of control over her, even if I knew how to exercise it.
First of all: um, creepy. Second of all, check out the difference between the stranger being helpless before Walter and Walter having a sense of power. Power is an action in this novel: Walter doesn't have power in this situation because he doesn't choose to exert it. The lady not being at hand to speak for herself, her guardian had decided, in her absence, on the earliest day mentioned—the twenty-second of December—and had written to recall us to Limmeridge in consequence.
Ah: gender fail, Victorian-style. The fact that women lack power is a common theme throughout the book and was actually a concern of Collins's in real life. Laura doesn't even have the power to decide when her own wedding day is going to happen.
I caught Sir Percival looking at him for approval more than once in the course of the evening. Aww, even Sir Percival needs approval. He's human too! And in this novel, seeking approval means a failure to exert power. Bad move, Percy. The confession of her heart's secret burst forth from her in those pleading words.
I had no right to hear them, no right to answer them; they were the words that banished me, in the name of her sacred weakness, from the room. It was all over. Even a confession can be read as a weakness. It's a "sacred weakness," sure, but a weakness nonetheless. To be truly powerful, apparently, you need to banish all those pesky "heart's secrets" from your life.
How boring. Thank God for your poverty—it has made you your own mistress, and has saved you from the lot that has fallen on me. The idea of poverty being empowering seems contradictory, but given how victimized Laura's marriage made her, it makes sense that she'd become a sudden advocate of poverty. Laura has become a fan of the " freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose " school of thought. But I was so strongly impressed, so deeply interested, that nothing of any importance can possibly have escaped me.
Laura ties together memory and power here. That may seem like an odd sort of power to have, but most of the book's scenes of power revolve around mental power: the ability to manipulate, to control, to convince, to remember, etc. One way is to knock her down—a method largely adopted by the brutal lower orders of the people, but utterly abhorrent to the refined and educated classes above them. The other way […] is never to accept a provocation at a woman's hands. It holds with animals, it holds with children, and it holds with women, who are nothing but children grown up.
Fosco's theory of power is terrifying. This scene probably sheds more light on Fosco's character than any other in the novel. His ego, contempt for others, cruelty, and need for control all come to the forefront here.
If the machinery of Law could be depended on to fathom every case of suspicion, and to conduct every process of inquiry, with moderate assistance only from the lubricating influences of oil of gold, the events which fill these pages might have claimed their share of the public attention at the Court of Justice.
Collins's "if" statement here really sets the tone for the way the law is treated in this book. The law is great in theory, but it's actually less than useful in Laura's case. Walter really sets up the narrative style here and gives new meaning to the phrase "courtroom drama. Which is too bad—those British barristers are pretty fabulous in their wigs. If, after due reflection on those two subjects, she seriously desired that he should withdraw his pretensions to the honour of becoming her husband—and if she would tell him so plainly, with her own lips—he would sacrifice himself by leaving her perfectly free to withdraw from the engagement.
Gilmore's diction and style all point to his being a lawyer—he likes big words and legal-sounding phrases. Having Gilmore describe Sir Percival's actions as super-reasonable add to the tension in this scene though, since we already know how shifty Sir Percival is.
The poor girl looked so pale and sad, and came forward to welcome me so readily and prettily, that the resolution to lecture her on her caprice and indecision, which I had been forming all the way up-stairs, failed me on the spot. A good lecture is no match for a weepy Laura Fairlie, apparently. We're starting to think that Laura's superpower of emotional meltdown is pretty rad.
The principle I maintain is a recognized principle. If you were to apply at the nearest town here, to the first respectable solicitor you could find, he would tell you, as a stranger, what I tell you as a friend. He would inform you that it is against all rules to abandon the lady's money entirely to the man she marries.
Gilmore lays the smack down here, legal-style. The book doles out a lot of negative commentary about marriage, but Gilmore raises a good point by noting that there are "principles" in place that can protect wives. Unfortunately, those principles only work if they are actually enforced. Which gets on best, do you think, of two poor starving dressmakers—the woman who resists temptation, and is honest, or the woman who falls under temptation, and steals?
You all know that stealing is the making of that second woman's fortune […] and she is relieved as the breaker of a commandment, when she would have been left to starve as the keeper of it.
Ah, gather round children, it's time for moral lessons with Count Fosco! He's not exactly Mr. Fosco here argues that breaking the law is okay, since laws are more like guidelines than written in stone. Relativism is Fosco's middle name. A very little reflection, when the capacity to reflect returned, convinced her that any attempt to identify Lady Glyde and to rescue her by legal means, would, even if successful, involve a delay that might be fatal to her sister's intellects, which were shaken already by the horror of the situation to which she had been consigned.
Marian has to make a hard choice here to not rely on the law and official channels to rescue her sister. The style here is worth noting: Marian tells her story to Walter, who relates it dispassionately to us, going so far as to refer to Laura as "Lady Glyde. I knew that the motive of securing the just recognition of my wife in the birthplace from which she had been driven out as an impostor, and of publicly erasing the lie that still profaned her mother's tombstone, was far purer, in its freedom from all taint of evil passion, than the vindictive motive which had mingled itself with my purpose from the first.
Walter clearly consulted his thesaurus before he started writing this section.
25 Inspirational Quotes By Powerful Women
To associate that forlorn, friendless, lost woman, even by an accidental likeness only, with Miss Fairlie, seems like casting a shadow on the future of the bright creature who stands looking at us now. Tear it out; trample it under foot like a man! We both waited for a minute, in silence.
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‘The Woman in White’ Review: A 19th-Century Tale for Our Political Time
After the death of his father in February , he published his first book, Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq. With the publication of his first novel, Antonina; or the Fall of Rome , Collins found his calling. Collins is mostly known for his novels, but his works also include short stories, plays, journalism, and biography. His close friend, Charles Dickens, actually acted and helped produce some of his plays. With the publication of The Woman in White , Collins moved away from theater to focus more on novels that fell under the new genre he helped create: sensation fiction. Collins never married, but he did live a woman named Caroline Graves and her daughter. He had another mistress, Martha Rudd, who he had three children with.
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If this is your first time registering, please check your inbox for more information about the benefits of your Forbes account and what you can do next! And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on. They set out to do something they love and it just so happens that they are the first to do it. Secretary of State.
Check out our editors' picks to get the lowdown on the movies and shows we're looking forward to this month. Browse our picks. In Victorian England, Laura and her half-sister Marian are entwined in a terrifying web of deceit.
The Woman Warrior
If the machinery of the Law could be depended on to fathom every case of suspicion, and to conduct every process of inquiry, with moderate assistance only from the lubricating influences of oil of gold, the events which fill these pages might have claimed their share of the public attention in a Court of justice. But the Law is still, in certain inevitable cases, the pre-engaged servant of the long purse; and the story is left to be told, for the first time, in this place. My sister Sarah, with all the advantages of youth, was, strangely enough, less pliable. But the idea of absolute insanity which we all associate with the very name of an Asylum, had, I can honestly declare, never occurred to me, in connection with her.
Find out more. The swordswoman and I are not so dissimilar. May my people understand the resemblance soon so that I can return to them. What we have in common are the words at our backs. The idioms for revenge are "report a crime" and "report to five families. And I have so many words—"chink" words and "gook" words too—that they do not fit on my skin.
The Woman in White Quotes and Analysis
Thus, the story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness—with the same object, in both cases, to present the truth always in its most direct and most intelligible aspect. This quote comes from Walter's narration, early in the novel, as he explains the story's unusual structure. Rather than the entire narrative being presented from a single point of view, the many characters' perspectives will be included. The complicated plot makes this structure necessary, since there are many times when a key character is not present and therefore cannot speak to what events were taking place at this time. However, this quote also reveals the deeper philosophical motive behind the novel's structure. Walter compares the narrative to court testimony and emphasizes the importance of truth. By suggesting that the highest standard of truth can be achieved when many individuals contribute their stories, Walter implies that it can be unwise to rely too heavily on any single perspective. In a sense, this implication foreshadows the events of a plot that turns heavily on lies, deception, and forgery—a plot that reveals how dangerous it can be to believe what someone is telling you, or what seems to be the truth.