Re: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Posted by guillermo maynez on 8/2/2012, 17:28:57, in reply to "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"
Steven: you could have landed a job at Scotland Yard. Those seem to be the questions to ask and the hypotheses to work from. Now, as far as the novel gets, there has to be some obscure course of action for Jaspers to explain. Dickens was a master of plot twists, but in the half-novel that we have, Jaspers's conduct has gone too far down the path of crime (or at least misdemeanor) that, whatever happens, there has to be some explanation for all that Jaspers has done (and thought and said and written). |
Dickens had a habit of introducing crucial characters at the last minute, or giving previously non-important characters a decisive role, that we can't know how many were still in store (as you point out in one of your options). But Datchery is definitely an important one, probably, as you say, a detective in Grewgious's (what a name!) service, and Tartar and Princess Puffer (a great nickname!) also suddenly appear or have new roles.
So: I think Edwin is dead, Jaspers will be found out as the culprit and much of the second part will be devoted to an exploration of the dark depths of the human criminal's mind, the Landlesses will cease to be so, Rosa will marry Tartar, Neville will meet someone else to get maried to and leave for India, and Helena will marry Crisparkle. Mr. Grewgious will retain his senses and stay single (frequently visited by their loving neighbours Tartar and Rosa), and stay away from Mrs. Twinkleton. Don't be cruel to poor and good and clever Mr. Grewgious.
How does it sound?
: --Previous Message--
: WHAT the hell happened to Edwin Drood?
: We should try to point out our theories of the
: I've been trying to think this through systematically,
: thinking about the writer as well as the story.
: Did Dickens himself even know how it would end? He
: wrote his stories as they were being published. I read
: yesterday that when sales of Martin Chuzzlewit were
: lagging, he transplanted the novel to America. If he
: could move a novel to another continent, could he have
: left his decision on Edwin's true fate to the last
: minute? I think not. The mystery is so central to the
: novel that Dickens had to know how he was going to
: resolve it well in advance.
: In Dickens' other novels he often pulls big surprises
: near the end, usually happy ones, which would suggest
: that Edwin is going to reappear. Typically he would
: fall in love with Helena and marry her while Neville
: and Rosebud pair up. Then would come the second
: surprise, that Neville and Helena aren't really
: "Landless" at all, but the inheritors of
: great wealth.
: But Edwin Drood isn't a typical Dickens
: novel--starting in an opium den, for example--so
: perhaps we shouldn't make such a happy assumption.
: So the possibilities are:
: A. Edwin isn't dead
: a. He ran off on his own for some reason
: b. He's been kidnapped
: B. Edwin is dead
: a. Murder
: b. Accident
: And if the solution is either kidnapping or murder,
: who is the villain?
: 1. Jasper
: 2. Another character we've met
: 3. Someone who has yet to appear
: Of course, everything so far points to murder by
: Jasper, which is why most of us would tend to think
: that can't be the answer. Nonetheless, he is obviously
: up to no good--drugging people, exploring the
: cathedral crypt, and stalking. There are plenty of
: clues suggesting that Jasper has stolen or copied
: Durdles' key to Mrs. Sapsea's tomb, and for what
: reason if not to hide Edwin's body? (Edwin's living
: person? not likely since months have now gone by) Why
: did he collapse when Grewgious told him Edwin and Rose
: had broken their engagement if not because he
: regretted some fell deed? He should have been
: delighted that the path to Rose was now open for him.
: If not Jasper, then who is the murderer/kidnapper? Hot
: tempered Neville, the original suspect? It wouldn't be
: much of a mystery if that turned out to be the case.
: Agatha Christie might have made Mr. Crisparkle the
: killer, but that's not in character for the 19th
: century. Nor is the 21st century twist that would make
: Rose Bud the killer. In any event, she'd have wanted
: to marry him first to grab his inheritance.
: Money has to play a part in the mystery somewhere. If
: Jasper didn't murder Edwin for love, he most certainly
: was planning some misdeed for money to pay for his
: opium habit. There has to be a secret lurking behind
: the parentage of Neville and Helena.
: And who is Mr. Datchery, the mysterious stranger who
: is apparently tracking Jasper? A detective? If so, put
: on the trail by what agency? Or a private
: investigator? If so, paid for by whom and with what
: reward in sight? What role does Mr. Sapsea play in all
: this other than providing comic relief?
: My theories are:
: - Edwin is alive, and even though his disappearance
: was involuntary, he has chosen to stay in hiding.
: - Neville knows where Edwin is. He is being too quiet.
: - Edwin's disappearance involves a ship, and Tartar is
: either hiding him on his yacht or will be involved
: somehow in his discovery.
: - There is a great secret involving the cathedral
: tower and most probably Mrs. Sapsea's tomb that has
: been the driving force behind everything. Jasper knows
: something of the secret, and has been looking for it.
: The novel opens with him having an hallucination of
: the tower, indicating that is what is most on his
: - Datchery is employed by Grewgious to try to uncover
: what Jasper knows about the cathedral's secret, at
: which point Edwin will come out of hiding.
: - Either the cathedral's secret involves the brother
: and sister or they will separately come into an
: inheritance. There's also a strong likelihood that
: Rose's inheritance is an issue and tied somehow to the
: secret of the cathedral. It may be her money that
: Jasper is after, not her person.
: - The disclosure of the secret will lead to Jasper's
: killing himself with an overdose of opium.
: - Edwin will marry Helena; Neville will marry Rose.
: Mr. Grewgious and Miss Twinkleton will hit it off as