The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
How we cite our quotes:
The dockside was deserted and growing darker. I felt like taking myself up the gangplank in search of Mr. Grummage. But, alas, my good manners prevailed. I remained where I was, standing in a dream-like state, thinking I know not what. (1.61)
As the novel begins, there's a tension between what Charlotte wants to do and what she actually does. Charlotte would like to go find Mr. Grummage, but she's held back by what she thinks is proper. Instead of making her own decisions, she lets society decide for her. Plus, she's kind of just standing around, spacing out. (Earth to Charlotte! Wake up!)
"But Mr. Grummage, sir," I asked in dismay, "what shall I do?"
"Do?" Miss Doyle, your father left orders that you were to travel on this ship at this time. I've very specific, written orders in that regard. He left no money to arrange otherwise. As for myself, he said, "I'm off for Scotland tonight on pressing business." (1.70-1.71)
Though Charlotte has a bad feeling about the journey, Mr. Grummage convinces her that she has no choice but to follow the orders of her absent father. As Grummage is the only authority figure in sight, Charlotte will be doing just that. Also interesting are Grummage's motivations: he seems to care much more about business than about Charlotte's personal welfare, wouldn't you say? (Remind you of anyone else? Perhaps the captain and his desire for profit at all costs?)
Thus I forced myself to believe that I had acted the part of a foolish schoolgirl too apt to make the worst of strange surroundings. And so I found a way to set aside my worries and fears. (7.25)
After Charlotte sees the grinning nut head in the top cargo, she realizes there must be someone else on board; however, she actively chooses not trust her own judgment. Does she really have that little faith in herself, at this point? And if so, why might that be?