”The Beetle: A Mystery” by Richard Marsh Essay Sample

9 September 2017

A survey of the symbolism in Richard Marsh’s novel

The development of a human to a monster bug can be described as actual phantasy. But more than a scientific reading. the book calls for cultural and ethical grasp. To understand the interior beds of significance in Richard Marsh’s novel. “The Beetle: A Mystery” . we need a clear position on the life and times in the late Victorian London. The metropolis was in the clasps of a radical societal alteration which was coercing persons to redefine the recognized constructs of race and gender.

Robert Holt. the unfortunate clerk represents the lower strata of an unequal societal order. The rich were acquiring richer while a immense ball of the population was plagued by unemployment and famishment. The Beetle’s abode is symbolic of the sordidness in which the people of the slums lived. “…an uncomfortable olfactory property greeted our anterior nariss. which was suggestive of some evil-smelling animate being. ” The Beetle symbolizes the debasement of society. when human existences were reduced to the lives of barbarians. forced into a life of offense and immorality. As we move through the streets of the nocturnal metropolis. we are brought face to face with the Gothic horror of poorness at its worst.

London was besides aggravated by the outgrowth of two sexual issues. Homosexuality was viewed as a something that was unnatural and hence inhuman. The uncertainness of the gender of the Beetle is brooding of the confusion felt by the common adult male in this respect. The other issue was the growing of the new adult female. In the novel. Marjorie Lindon is every inch the modern face of womankind. strong. passionate. hankering for equality. While her male parent is a personification of orthodoxy. who views “a speechifying adult female as a thing of horror” . Marjorie passively admits that she doesn’t happen anything incorrect about flooring her male parent with unacceptable behaviour. Under the influence of the Beetle she throws off her female garb and wears a man’s apparels which was considered tantamount to profanity. Marjorie is lacerate between her demand to be recognized as an intelligent person and the ties that bind her to her male parent. She stands as a menace to authorization and displays broad thought. But like most people she abhors beetles with “a rooted. and. seemingly. unlogical disfavor. ”

This baseless antipathy to things that are foreign was a trademark of upper category British who considered themselves superior to every other being on Earth. Consequently. other races and nationalities were relegated to a lower degree of being. Their inability to grok the niceties of the supernatural led them to reject the whole thought as rubbish. When Marjorie Lindon puts off the visible radiation to get away from her tormenter. she realizes that she had made “a dangerous mistake. I had exchanged bad for worse. The darkness Lent added panics. ” Richard Marsh makes it clear that ignorance -depicted here as darkness- merely made affairs more complicated.

The supporter. Paul Lessingham is declarative of the political convulsion and the general craze associated with reform. Bing stalked by the Beetle he can non travel off from his yesteryear. Neither can he bask the present or look frontward into the hereafter. This is the hypnotic impact that the Beetle had on people. Unable to acclimatise with the switching skylines of race. category and gender. they found themselves enveloped in the stabs of hallucinating anxiousness. The Beetle is at the same time absorbing and upseting. Even the practical. scientifically inclined Sidney Atherton. fails to understand its deduction. Here Richard Marsh openly criticizes the nondescript nature of modern engineering which was supposed to do things easier for the populace but created obfuscation alternatively.

The romantic melodrama and the detective secret plan placed the novel in the popular fiction class. butThe Beetlebases testimony to the prostration of societal norms that existed in the

19Thursdaycentury and the materialisation of a more unfastened minded. indifferent and tolerant new coevals.


Dalby Richard.Richard Marsh: Novelist ExtraordinaireBooks and Magazine Collector 163 ( 1997 )
Marsh Richard.The Beetle. A Mystery. London: Skeffington & A ; Co. 1897

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