Chapter Summaries & Analyses
Miranda begins keeping a secret diary a week after her kidnapping. Journaling provides some escape from her claustrophobic cell. In the first entry, she thinks of escape and laments that neither her parents nor her friends know her whereabouts. Above all, she tries to decipher Frederick’s motives—she doesn’t understand why he kidnapped her if his intent isn’t sexual. His polite, obsequious manner clashes with her expectation that, as a kidnapper, he would be callous and violent.
Frederick (who Miranda thinks is named Ferdinand) blushes whenever Miranda mentions sex or catches him in a lie. He dresses, speaks, and decorates like a working-class man pretending to be bourgeois. He is gangly, stiff, and looks perpetually aggrieved under his false humility. His eyes betray a hidden part of his psyche: “[H]is eyes are mad. Grey with a grey lost light in them” (105). Upon learning he’s an atheist, Miranda finds she wants to believe in God; she begins praying daily for deliverance.
Get access to this full Study Guide and much more!
Frederick changes Miranda. She notices that she’s always reacting against him: “He makes me change, he makes me want to dance round him, bewilder him, dazzle him, dumbfound him” (115). Imprisonment starves Miranda of human contact to the extent that she begins asking Frederick to stay with her after dinner.
By John Fowles