The Theme of Secrets Conveyed in 'Lady in the Lake' by Raymond Chandler and 'the Woman in White' by Wilkie Collins
English and Literature
Submitted By mickie98
How is the theme of ‘secrets’ conveyed in your choice of extracts from “The Lady in the Lake” by Raymond Chandler and “The Woman in White” by Wilkie Collins?
Both ‘The Lady in the Lake’ by Raymond Chandler and ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins portray the theme of secrets in various ways. There is a repetitive theme of secrets created from beginning to end. Both authors triumphantly create secrecy and suspicion for both the characters and the readers. People keep secrets from one another throughout both of these books. E.g. In ‘The Woman in White’, Marian keeps it a secret from Laura that there is a woman (Anne Catherick) who looks exactly like her. These novels fit into the genre of crime fiction which automatically connects to secrets due to the style of the genre. Due to the fact that the authors have to keep information from the reader’s means that they do not deduce the mystery before the end of the book. As it is a crime fiction, the authors keep major plot points hidden from the readers.
The main body of secrecy in both texts are presented via the characters interactions. Despite being introduced to a wider array of characters in ‘The Lady in The Lake’, the characters in ‘The Woman in White’ appear to conceal more from the reader. In ‘The Lady in The Lake’ extract, we are introduced to Muriel Chess who reveals that she is Mildred Haviland.
Throughout ‘The Lady in The Lake’ extract, Chandler uses dialogue to present the theme of secrecy through the characters. He writes a conversation between Crystal Kingsley and Marlow in Kingsley’s apartment. Chandler uses dialogue to reveal that “Muriel Chess was really a girl called Mildred Haviland” so that it becomes evident that both the readers and the protagonist know the secret revealed.