"Lady Audley's Secret" by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and "The Erasers" by Alain Robbe-Grillet

Essay by krissibeaneryCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2007

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 10 times

Details, Details, DetailsMary Elizabeth Braddon's "Lady Audley's Secret", is a Victorian novel that challenged society's views of the woman. Quite the contrary, Alain Robbe-Grillet's "The Erasers", is a modern, Nouveau Roman novel that plays with our learned concepts of time and order. Though both from very different genres of literature and both with different agendas in terms of affecting society, Braddon's and Robbe-Grillet's works both illustrate a murder mystery and, therefore, a detective who must pay close attention to detail in order to solve the mystery.

"The detective's super-vision," or his ability to focus his attention on the tiniest details, "is dramatized by being exercised on what would seem to resist it most: the ordinary, 'trivial' facts of everyday life" (Pallo 470). Lady Audley's Secret focuses on the protagonist as he is using his "super-vision" to piece together the tiny details of the mystery, whereas The Erasers allows the reader an inside look at the detective's mind while he is exercising his "super-vision" in his "ordinary" life.

We are given two different views of the inner workings of a detective's mind and how he uses his mind to observe aspects of both the mystery and everyday life. The super-vision is what makes the detective.

In Lady Audley's Secret, the protagonist, Robert Audley, subtly reveals to his new aunt, Lady Audley (Lucy), that he indeed knows her secret. Lucy has gone to great lengths to conceal her true identity and leave no traces of misconduct, but the tiniest threads, "incautiously" left behind and out of sight of her "over-cautious" nature, are what give Robert the ability to use his super-power to begin slowly weaving the "wonderful fabric" of circumstantial evidence that will ultimately lead to her definitive demise (Braddon 119-20).

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, circumstantial...