The Moonstone


First Period, Chapters XII–XIV

Summary First Period, Chapters XII–XIV

Thus far in the novel, Betteredge has simultaneously called attention to, and smoothed over, issues of class in the Verinder household. Betteredge is an older, trusted servant, and thus, while he respects the divisions of the household, he is also allowed to cross them at times (advising Lady Verinder, for example). Yet after the crime is committed, household class divisions become exposed in a fraught way. Thus, the servants are the first ones suspected by Superintendent Seegrave and are submitted to a search. One of Cuff's early triumphs is to level the household, by asking Lady Verinder for permission to search everyone from herself down. This equal treatment successfully mollifies the servants. The other issue in these chapters of exposing class differences in a painful way is Rosanna's love for Franklin Blake. Betteredge is nearly cruel in his dismissal of the folly of that possibility, while Penelope and Cuff are more understanding. Yet even the sympathetic Penelope deems it "monstrous" that Rosanna would ignore class differences in such a way. Issues of class will become less apparent through the rest of the novel, which is not narrated by servants.