Posted by Cassia on November 07, 1997 at 13:18:50:
In response to Blanche, written by Kate on November 06, 1997 at 21:17:17
Yes, Christabel brings more money to the relationship, and possibly more talent (though no one knows this because no one has seen any of Blanche's pictures), but I think their endeavour to live as independent women was a partnership in which they were equally commited.
IMHO, the only person who believes their relationship is Blanche. And she didn't come to beleive that until Ash came onto the scene. The attempt to live independantly was noble but always precariously balanced since they didn't have much money. When Ash appears the balance is shaken and as the relationship continues, it becomes impossible to recover.
I actually think that Blanche is a nice person who is betrayed by someone she loves very dearly, betrayed not only as a lover (or if you will, a close personal friend) but also financially. In legal terms she had altered her position in reliance on Christabel's assurance of support, and as a result is left destitute when Christabel deserted her, with apparently no consideration of how her actions would affect Blanche whom Christabel knew to be without any income.
But we don't really know this, do we? If Christabel had left money in the bank at Blanche's disposal, would Blanche have used it? Blanche may be betrayed, she may be kind but she is also proud. Many proud people wouldn't take money from anyone they feel betrayed by.
If Christabel had left any money, it would have been best to leave it in cash with the maid.
] Yes, Blanche behaves badly by stealing Ash's letters, but this is only at the point where she sees the correspondence as potentially destroying the endeavour, the household, the relationship and her capacity to be independent. Selfish, yes, but also understandable IMO.
As to the vexed question... I have just come across the poem at the beginning of Chapter 20. This is obviously written to someone who is dead. We don't have a date, but I think it's highly unlikely to be about Ash ... so is it about Blanche, for whom, as we know, she felt such guilt?
It does seem to be Blanche. There is both regret and hope in it. IMO, Christabel did everything so quickly she never had/took the oppurtunity to explain what was happening to Blanche. Perhaps that is the greatest betrayl of all, not trusting Blanche's judgement.
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