Tofurther continue this, it is important to note the consequences and the way inwhich Lucy’s madness and subsequent spiral is perceived as a threat to the menin the novel, and by extension the nation. We will also come to see this ideaof feminine instability being a threat also in the Woman in White. To illustrate this it is prudent to cite RobertAudley and his dogged perseverance in exposing Lucy’s true nature, JonathanLoesber argues that “The object of Robert Audley’s search,… is Lucy’sdouble identity. Unlike other crimes and incidents, identity shifts are notlocalizable: they occur in the past, but they define the present in a way thatties them to the suspense arising from suggestions of inevitable sequence”(1986: 130). Robert’s feeling that Lucy challenges the most important dictatesof feminine social being leads back inevitably to the vicious cycle ofmasculine self-interest which forces female identity into a framework in whichwomen are categorized as “angels in the house” that is, beings with absolutemoral identities. Lucy’s four identities (Helen Maldon, Helen Talboys, LucyGraham, Lady Audley) and their connected behavioural patterns suggest thatvarious motivations and many factors have modified Lucy’s morality. In itselfthe number of identities Lucy has speaks to the unlikelihood that she wouldnavigate different situations with the same moral outlook or the same desire toact morally. To speak of just oneinstance, affluence makes Lucy pleasant and obliging.
She declares “I had beenpoor myself, and I was now rich, and could afford to pity and relieve thepoverty of my neighbors. I took pleasure in acts of kindness and benevolence”(354). She became scheming and dangerous when her husband left her, and whenher father shirked his responsibility toward her. The uncompromising Victorianideology which impels women to hold on to an invisible presence, and to onemoral typology is at the origin of Robert’s attitude, and also surely of Lucy’sdestabilized identity. When he discovers her secret, Robert calls on a medicalexpert, Dr.
Mosgrave to confirm that she is mad. Dr. Mosgrave initially rejectsRobert’s own diagnosis