The French Lieutenant's Woman Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. In Lyme, by some strata of society, Sarah Woodruff is known as the French lieutenant's whore. Ernestina has another name for her. Why and what is it?

She calls her Tragedy because in her prim Victorian upbringing, ladies would not use such crass language.

2. Sarah is described as not beautiful by any standards. What is it that captivates Charles so much when he first sees her face?

In her face there is no artifice, no hypocrisy, no hysteria, no mask, and no sign of madness.

3. How does Knowles interject himself into the novel?

He is the bereaved German Jew quietly working in the British Museum library, the unwelcome train compartment rider, and the famous artist at the end of the novel.

4. What are the indications of Charles as an eligible bachelor before his engagement to Ernestina?

He never enters society without being ogled by mamas, clapped on the back by papas, and simpered at by the girls.

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