I'm reading the book "The Moonstone" by Wilkie Collins and I read the book but still don't have answers to all the questions so if anyone who took it from American school can please help me out and post the whole test it'd be huge help its due on the 29th of June 2011 so please someone HELP ME ASAP!!!!!!!!
Answers 1Add Yours
The Unwelcome Return of the Past
The preface to The Moonstone alerts us to the fact that the diamond carries with it a menacing history that can arise and infect the present with bad luck. Thus contemporary English society must pay for crimes committed (by extension) by imperial England. This threatened return of an evil, or shameful past (in this case, John Herncastle's violent conduct), is a theme that defines many of the characters of the novel, as well as the diamond itself. Ezra Jennings, in Chapter IX of the Third Narrative in the Second Period, says, "Perhaps we should all be happier, if we could but completely forget!" He is speaking explicitly of Mr. Candy, but he is also referring to his own shameful past, which arises again and again in the present via painful gossip. Rosanna Spearman, too, finds she cannot escape her painful past, when she is immediately suspected of having stolen the Moonstone because of her history of being a thief.
The Moonstone seems to advocate a straightforward interaction with one's past as the surest way of escaping the haunting of that past. Thus, once Franklin Blake lives through his past again in the recreation of the night of the diamond theft, he becomes completely free from the shameful implications of that past.
The Moonstone stands, in the first place, as a symbol for the exoticness, impenetrability, and dark mysticism of the East—Gabriel remarks that the stone "seemed unfathomable as the heavens themselves" and "shone awfully out of the depths of its own brightness, with a moony gleam, in the dark." In the second place, the Moonstone is associated with femininity and even feminine virginity, through its associations with the moon and with pricelessness. The theft of the Moonstone from Rachel Verinder's bedroom by her nearly betrothed, Franklin Blake, can be read as a metaphor for her deflowering.