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Watchmen and Audley Proposal Essay


Submitted By jstmee
Words 724
Pages 3
Mengfan Chen
Neale Barnholden
ENGL 121 A13
September 23rd, 2014wee

Watchmen and Lady Audley’s Secret Both works of the “Watchmen” and “Lady Audley’s Secret” consist of fiction tales that mirror themes of ideology and class, and the accompanying tension. Moreover, in each of the works there is some local events and issues that seem to have a close connection with the time of release and the contents of these two works. Specifically, in the former work there were the underlying events of an increase in the urbanization of Britain. This was accompanied by a greater accumulation of wealth by part of the population, and this led to the formation of classes, so many people increased in their rank in society. Furthermore, the swelling of the population also meant that there was a shift from the small village of the past where the locals could be well acquainted with everyone, and all their daily affairs or unusual controversies. The shift from Lady Audley holding the traditional role of a house keeper who is completely innocent and harmless, to a violent and dangerous person going to lengths to conceal their identity evidences the extent of this shift. Similarly, in the circumstances of “Watchmen,” there is some underlying tension between the United States and Russia through what is known as the Cold War era. While there was suspicion between these two nations, and many accusations, this trend holds true as the characters place blame on one another, continuing this cycle. Specifically, there is an interchange between Rorscach and Veidt in a certain chapter, and in one occasion Veidt goes so far as to blame the “Soviets,” making the connection very clear to the reader. By focusing on the tensions between these characters specifically as it relates to the death of the Comedian, the underlying theme in “Watchmen” will be exposed by way of analysis. A few quotes from “Lady Audley’s Secret,” have also been extracted and will be analyzed so as to connect the plot events with local settings of the time. For example, the characters of Phoebe Marks, among others, will be introduced and their dialogue and actions analyzed in order to get to the core of what is suggested about the shift British society being better understood. In one occasion, there is the quote, “Phoebe Marks was a person who never lost her individuality. Silent and self-constrained, she seemed to hold herself within herself, and take no color from the outer world.” One theme that is also intended to be pursued is the “madness” that is constantly connected to Lady Audley, and this makes it unclear if this means there is some mental issue, or just something less severe: “He forgot that love, which is a madness, and a scourge, and a fever, and a delusion, and a snare, is also a mystery, and very imperfectly understood by everyone except the individual sufferer who writhes under its tortures.” The fact that this theme continues through the novel means that it is worthwhile to analyze by way of extracted speech. Additionally, the issue of “outward appearance” shifts in this novel from what it previously meant for this society, as the big city makes it easier for people to morph, and also means that people could literally be unknown or anonymous, if they wanted to: “He was a square, pale-faced man of almost forty, and had the appearance of having outlived every emotion to which humanity is subject.” This shift of the increase in individualism means that carrying out more crucial actions such as crime investigation are made more difficult than ever before: ‘"Circumstantial evidence," continued the young man, as if he scarcely heard Lady Audley's interruption-"that wonderful fabric which is built out of straws collected at every point of the compass, and which is yet strong enough to hang a man." In other words, the fact there are less eyewitnesses and the city is much more wide and dense means that people are not looking around, and instead are busy with other events. However, as it relates to Lady Audley, this shift of society invests her with greater power to progress with her delinquency.

Work Cited

Moore, Alan and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics, 1995.

Braddon, Mary Elizabeth. Lady Audley’s Secret. Edited by Natalie M. Houston. Broadview: Peterborough ON, 2003.

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