ENGL 121 A13
14 October 2014
The comparison between Watchmen & Lady Audley’s Secret
Both the works of Watchmen and Lady Audley’s Secret are fiction tales that mirror themes of ideology and class, and the accompanying tension. Moreover, in each of the works there are some local events and issues that close connection with the time of release and the contents of these two works. Specifically, in the former work there was the underlying event 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 to urban society, 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 her identity is evidence of the extent of this shift. Similarly, in the circumstances of Watchmen, there are some underlying tensions 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. The interplay between these characters holds relevance not only in the past time period, but also has a close association with world event sin the present time. In other words, still exists conflict between the East and West that persists to today, and so even modern audiences could benefit from this connection being pointed out in the novel, for those not aware. Of course, when Veidt blames the Soviets for the turn of events, the reader can appreciate that it was not the Soviet nation that orchestrated the entire hit. However, there were certainly tensions between the United States and Russia during the Cold War. As such, citizens or outlaws alike of each country could certainly extrapolate actions, especially when it came to those that were more serious or controversial. 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 character of Phoebe Marks, among others, will be introduced and their dialogue and actions analyzed in order to get to better understand what is suggested about the shift in British society. 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.”(Braddon 298) 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.”(Braddon 725) The fact that this theme continues throughout 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,...
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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