The Moonstone

The Theme of the Haunting Past Chapter IV of The Moonstone 11th Grade

One of the main themes developed in the passage from the novella “The Moonstone,” by Wilkie Collins, is the indelibility of memories and by consequence, of the past. The past comes back to haunt the present constantly throughout the passage, building tension as well as gripping the reader’s attention. The author uses setting, style of narration, characterization and imagery to enhance the theme of the haunting past.

The passage suggests that the work is a fictitious novel due to the form of prose as well as its lack of factual reference. The beginning of the passage contains great amounts of description and clearly introduces the theme of the haunting past in the novella. The walk taken by Rosanna is described as “horrid” (line 2), “melancholic” (line 3), “the loneliest” (line 4), “the ugliest” (line 4): these adjectives clearly set the mood of sadness, pensively and isolation in the prose. The reader realizes through the facts that the setting is characterized with human feelings and following that the description of the setting is also applicable to the character of Rosanna. Rosanna appears as wanting to disappear, something that can be linked to the idea that she is craving to forget the past. The repetition of “quicksand”...

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