Unseen analysis of of Miranda Grey and Frederick Clegg from 'The Collector'

Authors Avatar by abuelgasim (student)

Miranda claims that she is a person who dislikes the class system and that she does not care about class. However, from time to time she shows contempt for Clegg and most of all his class:

‘That’s not fair. I’m not a snob. I hate snobs. I don’t prejudge people.’


 ‘Some of my best friends in London are – well, what some people call working class. In

origin. We just don’t think about it.’

Like Peter Catesby, I said. (That was the young man with the sports car’s name.)

‘Him! I haven’t seen him for months. He’s just a middle-class suburban oaf.’ (40)

Within the short span of this dialogue between Clegg and Miranda, she is able to say that she first of all does not like snobs and that she does not care about class. Just seconds later, when she explains her disliking of Peter Catesby, she cannot help mentioning his middle-class origin. With that, she loses all her credibility when it comes to class and prejudice.

Before the attempted seduction and after her death, she is a ‘butterfly’ to him, but when she is ill, she is human. A parallel between the killing of a butterfly and negotiating with Miranda is drawn:

It was like not having a net and catching a specimen you wanted in your first and second

finger […], coming up slowly behind and you had it, but you had to nip the thorax, and it

would be quivering there. It wasn’t easy like it was with a killing-bottle. And it was twice

Join now!

as difficult with her, because I didn’t want to kill her, that was the last thing I wanted.


As already mentioned, Clegg uses chloroform and CTC as an anaesthetic both when he kills butterflies and when he kidnaps Miranda, but as he says, you have to “nip the thorax” if you do not have a killing-bottle. In a way, this is what he does when he refuses to give Miranda the proper medicine to cure her pneumonia. The ability to support the body with oxygen is prevented both when the thorax is “nipped” and when pneumonia is ...

This is a preview of the whole essay