The Woman In White Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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Hatright’s association with Pesca; it is the Italian – returning a favour to Hartright for saving him from drowning – who secures his position as Drawing Master employed by Frederick Fairlie. The first narrator observes: If I had not dived for Professor Pesca when he lay under water on his shingle bed, I should…never have been connected with the story which these pages will relate. (p.37) Contemporary critics tended to link – wrongly I believe – novels of incident such as The Woman In White to sensationalism and novels of character to realism. I will illustrate later how I feel this judgement is flawed but I am merely pointing out here that the supremacy of plot breached the realistic faith. As an adjunct to this, it must be admitted that depth of character (with the

possible exception of Count Fosco) and plausibility of motive is wanting to a certain extent within The Woman In White. Frederick Fairlie is just a hyperchondriac; Marian Halcombe’s characteristics are seen to be those of strength and bravery; Laura is weak-willed and sensitive while Hartright is a combination of the latter two. It would be a mistake to say that the figures which populate the novel are colourless – they are not – but they do lack the complexity of, say, a Dorothea Brooke. In addition, traditional realism demands that the actions of a character and motives behind them be plausible, be `believable’. Plausibility does seem lacking in sections of the novel. Walter Hartright’s sudden move to Honduras is a prime example of this. He becomes timid, frail and

effete, deciding to go to `another country to try a change of scene and occupation’. He is merely said to be making `excavations among the ruined cities of Central America’. There is no real description about the thought process behind such a decision. Pyschological realism appears, on a superficial inspection, to be neglected. 32b