The Moonstone

Decent Essays

Following the concept of the novel as an epistolary, the prologue is an extract of the family papers written in India by an unnamed cousin of Herncastle who depicts the events leading up to Herncastle’s looting of the treasury in Seringapatam. The prologue plays an important role in informing the readers that before the Moonstone goes missing from Rachel’s boudoir, it is foremost stolen from the Indians by an Englishman. By beginning the novel with a “striking… scene of brutality and greed committed by an English soldier” (Free 347), Collins sets the tone of his argument for the rest of the novel. The fact that it is an Englishman who commits the crime is crucial. This is significant because Collins was writing The Moonstone during the height of British sovereignty in India and he begins the novel with an Englishman, not an Indian, as …show more content…

Collins seems to side against imperialism as he marks Herncastle as the one responsible.
As mentioned earlier, the prologue is an excerpt from the family paper, which highlights the family’s desire and intentions to keep this story within the family and away from the public. The author of the prologue states this intention as well: “I beg it to be understood that what I write here about my cousin… is for the information of the family only” (Collins 15). Although, to digress, another irony is how it is now included in the archive, “that is, in fact, The Moonstone,” (Free 340), thus exposed to the public. The cousin goes to the extent of writing anonymously in order to avoid backlash for exposing a fellow family member. Specifically, he writes, “I cannot

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