Second Companion Book – Brideshead Revisited (Part 4)

Let’s turn our attention to the third of the four main characters: Lady Julia.  Lady Julia is the daughter of Lady Marchmain and the brother of Sebastian.  She is a very beautiful woman who marries first a Protestant man and then leaves him to live with Charles the narrator of the novel, and the final character to be discussed in the next post.

Julia was “living in sin” with Charles (who was also married) when, at the sight of her father’s deathbed, she decides immediately to cut all ties with Charles in the hope of removing her sin.  From that moment forward very little is said of Julia.

It is clear in the novel that Julia represents a woman who is lost in the moment.  She does not plan for a future nor is she willing to takes the necessary steps to fix her present life so that the future might be lived in a better way.  She knows what needs to be accomplished, she knows what is expected of her, but she lacks the courage to take action.  Near the end of the novel we are told that she is living in another country with her other brother and sister.  It is most likely that those three are searching for the faith of their mother.

While Julia may have the wisdom to know what steps need to be taken along the road to happiness, she simply lacks the courage of her convictions.  While she is not envious of those around her nor is she greedy, she is lazy or apathetic – wanting to accept what others think she should accept rather than taking the effort to decide what she needs to accomplish for herself.

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