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Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”

Introduction

The character of Franklin Blake is depicted as a reliable narrator as he can explain some events of the party and can prove his innocence. Now it is certainly tempting to interpret this silence on Gabriel Betteredge’s birthday part simply as generosity and compassion.

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Thesis Franklin Blake’s story is reliable and trustworthy as he explains his actions and proves his innocence by facts and real life stories.

Main body

From the very beginning, Wilkie Collins depicts that Rosanna Spearman creates the mystery and believes in criminal behavior of Franklin Blake. He cannot prove her worlds but feels that it was he who committed the crime. Were the purpose of her silence solely to perform the legitimate “service” of saving her friend from disgrace, it is hard to understand why he should react quite so self-consciously. This is suggested partly by his thinking of his silence as a “service,” for that word and several others used more or less synonymously appeared frequently in the early chapters of the novel as an ironical commentary on the way in which Gabriel Betteredge rationalized away the considerable element of self-interest and vanity in her seemingly benevolent concern and his matchmaking scheme for the latter. “Gabriel,” says my lady, “here is news that will surprise you. Franklin Blake has come back from abroad” (Collins, p. 295).

Franklin Blake is a reliable character because he explains events and actions logically and objectively while Gabriel Betteredge is influnced by personal fears and terrors. Franklin Blake proves that he did not steel the diamond and was not involved in a theft. But if Gabriel Betteredge’s silence has also been prompted in large part by a desire to save her own face, then her decision makes perfect sense, for after he has secured Mr. Franklin Blake this need not be as decisive a consideration as it was before. Perhaps readers are even to wonder whether Gabriel Betteredge will confess at all! Is it not possibly a sly stroke of irony that the author speaks of nothing more than Gabriel Betteredge s intentions. The inference would seem to be that it is thus a further sign of Gabriel Betteredge reformation. Franklin Blake’s language is ingeniously contrived to invite both views, and thereby to reveal that Gabriel Betteredge’s motivation is complex, mixed, ambivalent. n the other hand—and by the same tokenrelief from the pain caused his by contemplating pain and also from the pain of experiencing a face to-face encounter with Gabriel Betteredge’s resentment. In fact, Franklin Blake praises truth and sincerity gives all information needed for investigation. “We must now try to solve the mystery of the smear on the door-which, you may take my word for it, means the mystery of the Diamond also–in some other way. I have decided to see the servants, and to search their thoughts and actions, Mr. Betteredge, instead of searching their wardrobes” (Collins, p. 79).

The narrative of Gabriel Betteredge shows that the formality in the speeches of suffering throughout the mystery-cycles is due to many causes: the strength of convention, the narrative function of most of the speeches, the element of doctrine which must be expressed, the very noticeable rhyme schemes. In addition, there is hardly time to dwell very long in each of the cycle pageants on any one expression of grief; the play must move along rather quickly, covering the necessary ground without much elaboration. “But I can tell you one thing, Mr. Betteredge –if we don’t find the Moonstone, they will. You have not heard the last of the three jugglers yet.” (Collins p. 104). The cycle drama is symbolic drama, and its conventions are, at least in one respect, a kind of dramatic shorthand. The strain of lyric lament, however, is not a characteristic of the speeches given to evil figures, whose mode of suffering is wrathful or desperate, but it does characterize the innocent sufferers. Except for the traditional plaints connected with the Passion, the situations which give rise to the expression of innocent suffering all involve some kind of domestic bond. Though evil in the mysteries could be laughed at, it could not lightly be dismissed; even in its most grotesque or ludicrous manifestations it remained a ubiquitous force in the earthly existence of man. Along with the comedy of evil other conventions were being firmly established: the discomfiture of the godless was consistently represented by two basic emotions–wrath and despair; the suffering of innocents, on the other hand, was dramatized in lyric lamentation, and consistently arose from established situations either as part of passion or within a domestic context. And all the elements of suffering and evil were rendered endurable and intelligible in terms of the over-ruling, benevolent, and just scheme of Christian providence. Awareness of this scheme, both in its ideological and dramaturgical dimensions, was the key to the interpretation of suffering and evil on the medieval stage.

Conclusion

In sum, Franklin Blake’s narrative seems reliable to readers because he does not manipulate other people and does not create a mystery as Gabriel Betteredge does. Moreover, while Gabriel Betteredge’s way of responding to Mr. Blake’s praise and of the good he thinks he has done him does indeed protect reputation by concealing the fact of her foolish infatuation, it is clear that Gabriel Betteredge’s immediate intent in checking her head-shake of denial, in exclaiming,

Works Cited

Collins, W. The Moonstone. Pyramid, 1950.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 17). Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/wilkie-collins-the-moonstone/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 17). Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”. https://studycorgi.com/wilkie-collins-the-moonstone/

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"Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”." StudyCorgi, 17 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/wilkie-collins-the-moonstone/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”." October 17, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/wilkie-collins-the-moonstone/.


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StudyCorgi. "Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”." October 17, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/wilkie-collins-the-moonstone/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”." October 17, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/wilkie-collins-the-moonstone/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone”'. 17 October.

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