Michaela Brickner: Greed and Selfishness

Mr. Datchery in solving the mystery of Edwin Drood could finally reveal his disguise. He took off the white wig and dark brown hair fell down to reveal the mystery behind his identity to be Helena. Helena pursing her brother’s innocence found a ring hidden away at John Jasper’s home. Helena, disguised as Mr. Datchery, went straight to Mr. Sapsea and the Mayor who happened to be dining with Mr. Grewgious, who was the only other person to know of this unique ring.

Mr. Grewgious identified the ring as being Rosa’s mother’s ring, and the one he had given it to Edwin Drood for his proposal of marriage. The three men were astonished to learn where she found the ring, for Edwin’s Uncle always seemed to care deeply about his nephew. Helena, however, described to them Jasper’s actions and obsession with Rosa. The men and Helena immediately found Jasper at the opium den and confronted him with their allegations.

Jasper, having no recollection of the ring or murdering his nephew was mortified by what they had found. His own suspicions he had were confirmed in a matter of seconds. He suspected he may have committed the act, for he fantasized about it thousands and hundreds of times while in opium dreams. He voluntarily went to jail but after months of his punishment took his own life due to the guilt of his actions.

Nevile, Helena, and Rosa were finally at peace finding the truth of what happened to Edwin Drood. They continued on their lives as before, but were always reminded of the horrible crime that was committed.

Greediness and selfishness when acted upon do not end in success for any individuals. If everyone acted on things or people they wanted the world would have far more violent and vindictive actions. Jasper, wanting Rosa did anything in his power to make his dream become a reality in his opium dreams. However, his opium dreams eventually did become his reality, he ended up murdering one of the people he truly loved and cared for and destroyed his own life. Individuals need to consider their actions and the consequences that will result from actions of selfishness. Greediness does not always get a person their desires.


Explanation:

In my reading of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, I came to the conclusion that John Jasper murders his nephew Edwin Drood. Jasper has a motive to murder Drood, which is his obsession and love for Rosa. Jasper proclaims his love to Rosa, “‘No one should come between us. I would pursue you to the death’” (p.176). Death in this quote I believe is referring to him doing whatever he can to be with Rosa, even if it means killing someone. Jasper also did not know of the ring Drood had in his pocket, which is one explanation of why only the watch and shirt pin are found in the river. Jasper never talks about his nephew’s disappearance or murder, “Mr. Crisparkle and John Jasper met daily under the Cathedral roof, nothing at any time passed between them bearing reference to Edwin Drood after the time, more than half a year gone by…” (p.206). Jasper not talking about Drood with someone he met with daily after a half of a year has gone by is suspicious. This may be an unconscious process of not talking about him and his own mind protecting him from his actions. Jasper also has a way to dispose of Drood without anyone finding him at the cemetery with the help of Durdles. Jasper is also described as savage like and mad, “Impassive, moody, solitary, resolute,…he lived apart from human life” (p.206). Jasper is unconsciously punishing himself from his own opium actions.

Jasper is an opium addict and has lapses in his memories. He converses with the opium women about his thoughts of committing a certain act over and over while high on opium (p.210). I interpreted the act he is referring to as murdering his nephew Drood. Jasper murdered Drood while in an opium dream and is unsure if he truly committed the act. He has thought about it so many times that he is not sure what the reality even is, “I did it over and over again. I have done it hundreds of thousands of times in this room” (p.210). Jasper’s obsession for Rosa over came him while in an opium dream resulting in him murdering Edwin Drood.

Through class discussion, I interpreted Helena to dress up in disguise as Mr. Datchery. The first description of Mr. Datchery is, “ a white-haired personage with black eyebrows” (p.163), Helena being from Ceylon has dark hair which matches the description of the black eyebrows. Mr. Datchery also does not remember his name and tells the waiter to look in the hat. His white hair is also unusually thick and large suggesting it is a wig and Helena has dressed up as men in the past. He also shows interest in the Drood mystery, “‘Would His Honour allow me to inquire whether there are strong suspicions of any one?’” (p.168). Helena is invested in the mystery because her brother is the top suspect. This would give her motivate to dress in disguise and keep informed on the investigation. Also, Helean and Mr. Datchery do not appear to be in the same scene from my reading.