Explore the Relationship of Sue and Maud in Fingersmith

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In Water’s ‘Fingersmith’ (2002) the reader is initially introduced to the main protagonists Sue and Maud through Sue’s prospective. Throughout the novel they become amoursly intertwined and their connection is strengthened by their physical lust for one another, bringing them together as one. The attraction between Sue and Maud is the central driving the plot of ‘Fingersmith’ serving one of the main sources of conflict as their ‘organs of fancy’ become inflamed. Water’s uses different perspectives within the novel, which succeeds in compelling the reader to become emotionally invested in the romantic relationship; this is striking given the problematic nature of sue and Maud’s relationship. The first part of the novel revolves around Sue’s attempt to get Maud to agree to marry Gentleman in secret so he could confine her in an insane asylum and take her fortune. The second part is narrated from Maud’s perspective, which reveals that Maud is in league with Gentleman and focuses on her ultimate plan to incarcerate sue to the insane asylum under her identity. The very existence of their relationship is due to the fact that Sue wishes to inflict grievous harm to Maud in order to benefit herself and contrariwise. Both characters clearly acknowledge their ulterior motives when narrating; this becomes increasingly prominent during Maud’s narration as she is aware of Sue’s ulterior motives as well as her own. Water’s deliberately does this to enforce that Maud is not the innocent party and is well aware of her manipulative actions. It is depictions of poignant events from both sue and Maud’s perspective that leads the reader to sympathise with their romantic feelings for each other despite the fact, both are actively working towards the other’s downfall. The significant quandary limiting the reader’s capacity to sympathise with the two female protagonist’ tender feelings for each other is the fact they are intentionally attempting to obliterate each other’s lives and plan to benefit from their efforts. Water’s approaches this problem in stages, firstly establishing sues’s perspective of life in the first part of the novel. Sue exhibits a distinct lack of true delight when she assumes that Maud is falling into their trap, chuckling and rubbing her hands when she thinks of how her plan is going to succeed. Sue deliberates ‘in a discontented sort of way; and the chuckle [is] rather forced’; implying to the reader that she doesn’t enjoy deceiving Maud in this manner. The use of the verb ‘forced’ enforces that sue is being made to do something out of willingness, showing the reader that there is a pressure upon her to carry out the act that was initially planned. However, sue states that she doesn’t know why she feels this way and consequently attributes to the ‘gloom’ of the house. Nevertheless, she states that the ‘gloom’ and the fact ‘the house [seems] darker and stiller than ever’ is because Maud is ‘gone’. The adjective ‘darker’ could be a metaphor for the external forces which repeatedly attempt to drive them apart and also forebodes the deceit that will take place. Water’s use of subtle hints at Sue’s attraction to Maud makes the subsequent development of their relationship more believable to the reader. Later in the novel the reader can see from Maud’s reaction to Sue’s kiss that she reciprocates Sue’s affections and is indeed sexually attracted to her. Maud automatically shifts her body ‘like she [can’t] help it’. Water’s uses the word ‘help’ to..................................... At the end of chapter five, the reader becomes to sympathise with their romantic feelings, however, the reader’s conception of their relationship is destroyed at the end of the first part of the novel when water’s reveals that Maud is working alongside Gentleman to condemn sue to the insane asylum in her place ‘it’s not me you want! What are you doing?’You ‘bitch’. This revelation of Maud being a villainous character forces the reader to re-examine...
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