To attitude, and also surely of Lucy’s destabilized identity.

further continue this, it is important to note the consequences and the way in
which Lucy’s madness and subsequent spiral is perceived as a threat to the men
in the novel, and by extension the nation. We will also come to see this idea
of feminine instability being a threat also in the Woman in White. To illustrate this it is prudent to cite Robert
Audley and his dogged perseverance in exposing Lucy’s true nature, Jonathan
Loesber argues that “The object of Robert Audley’s search,… is Lucy’s
double identity. Unlike other crimes and incidents, identity shifts are not
localizable: they occur in the past, but they define the present in a way that
ties them to the suspense arising from suggestions of inevitable sequence”
(1986: 130). Robert’s feeling that Lucy challenges the most important dictates
of feminine social being leads back inevitably to the vicious cycle of
masculine self-interest which forces female identity into a framework in which
women are categorized as “angels in the house” that is, beings with absolute
moral identities. Lucy’s four identities (Helen Maldon, Helen Talboys, Lucy
Graham, Lady Audley) and their connected behavioural patterns suggest that
various motivations and many factors have modified Lucy’s morality. In itself
the number of identities Lucy has speaks to the unlikelihood that she would
navigate different situations with the same moral outlook or the same desire to
act morally.  To speak of just one
instance, affluence makes Lucy pleasant and obliging. She declares “I had been
poor myself, and I was now rich, and could afford to pity and relieve the
poverty of my neighbors. I took pleasure in acts of kindness and benevolence”
(354). She became scheming and dangerous when her husband left her, and when
her father shirked his responsibility toward her. The uncompromising Victorian
ideology which impels women to hold on to an invisible presence, and to one
moral typology is at the origin of Robert’s attitude, and also surely of Lucy’s
destabilized identity. When he discovers her secret, Robert calls on a medical
expert, Dr. Mosgrave to confirm that she is mad. Dr. Mosgrave initially rejects
Robert’s own diagnosis