Charlotte Gray Part 2, Chapter 7 Pgs.225-227, comparison with Flare Path Pgs. 8-11

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 “Charlotte Gray” Part 2, Chapter 7 Pgs.225-227, comparison with “Flare Path” Pgs. 8-11

Summary of events in the chapter

  • Charlotte travels to Levade’s house (Julien’s father) in the disguised form of Dominique Guilbert.
  • Charlotte agrees to work for Levade in order to secure a room. She learns of his lifestyle which is irregular and uncommon.
  • Charlotte visits Andre and Jacob at the Cariteaus’ house where she begins to tell ancient Greek legends. However, Jacob keeps interrupting her to question about his parents. Charlotte struggles to tell them (as they have been sent to a concentration camp) and Sylvie notices this so she requests her to leave.
  • Julien informs Charlotte of Mirabel’s urgent message and this causes Charlotte to regain hope that Peter may still be alive.

Thematic connections and distinctions

  • A sense of purpose /selfishness is prevalent in both “Charlotte Gray” and in “Flare Path” as both Peter and Charlotte want to obtain a room for a reason. Although, in “Flare Path” the purpose is not as clear and it only becomes clear once the reader has read on. Both have the love to be the reason because Charlotte wants to find Peter from the house (“It was from this house that she would find Gregory”) whilst in “Flare Path” Peter wants to convince Patricia to leave the house with him.
  • The theme of love is present in “Flare Path” as it carries positive connotations and during WWI times Rattigan was writing for an audience during WWII, so he didn’t want his audience to dwell on the war instead notice that there are still noble beliefs of love during times of war. Similarly, in “Charlotte Gray” as it is written much later, the theme of love is used to depict that love overcomes everything. A concept that was commonly used as it enticed the modern audience and caused them to read more. *Contextual point- Movies such as Beauty and the Beast (1991) showing that love conquered all.
  • The theme of dependence is also present because Charlotte and Peter both get assisted in obtaining a room. Peter is denied from getting a room but as he is seen to be a “friend” of the Countess. Shown by “Mrs Oakes, do try and fix him up if you can” Similarly Levade is aware of Charlotte due to Julien informing him about Charlotte (“He’s spoken to me about you”) and as Julien is attracted to Charlotte it can be inferred that all the information was positive.
  • Peter Kyle is seen to be disrespectful due to him being an actor as he deems himself to be better than others. This is shown by “and asking for a room.// and not getting it” as well as “God, what a –” showing lack of respect towards Mrs Oakes. In contrast, Charlotte tries to compose herself and agrees with all of Levade’s views in order to make sure she is offered a room. Her control of her behaviour is seen by the fact that she didn’t want to live with him (“she did not want to live in the same place as this man”) yet she tried her best to appease him. (“I could be as quiet as you like”, “Whatever’s convenient”)
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Public taste and context

  • Both Peter and Charlotte carry a very selfish purpose as Peter is willing to break up a marriage just to get Patricia to come with him. Charlotte is also very selfish as she is willing to jeopardise a mission and abandon others to find Peter in France.  Her selfishness is seen as she constantly lies to Levade about reasons of staying at his house. The fact that she can be so selfish reflects on the audience as its much later hence the feelings towards war have died down. However, in “Flare Path” Peter leaves without ...

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