How does Mr. Marks add to Lady Audley’s Secret?

Mr. Luke Marks is one of the smaller characters in Lady Audley’s Secret, but that certainly doesn’t make his characteristics any less unique.  He appears throughout the novel in many evidence revealing and foreshadowing events. While he doesn’t give much to the readers till much later, he is used as a way to give us more information and foreshadow the mystery behind the novel.  This is seen in as he is shown blackmailing Lady Audley in Chapter 14, pg 142.

Additionally he is the image of the common man by being very complacent when receiving what he wants, and thinks no further than what he will gain.  On pg 143, “Mr. Luke Marks, the hero of the occasion, thought very little of all this [the setting and atmosphere of his own wedding]”.  This image is also shown throughout chapter 17, when his habitual drinking leads him to spill more information than he should, which pushes the plot forward.  Later he speaks about his own blackmail to Mr. Audley, saying “No, you’re not agoin’ to stop my mouth with all your ‘Luke, Lukes!  I say again, what’s a hundred pound?” (pg 166).  This type of imagery for Luke and other characters such as the baronet and Talboy’s father, contrast the strong secret keeping and strategic mindset of the other female characters in this story.  Only Robert Audley seems to break out from this complacent mindset, as he continues to uncover the mystery of his friend.  This type of imagery reminds us that gender is a factor in how our other characters interact with each other.

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