Study Guide

The Mysteries of Udolpho Manipulation

By Ann Radcliffe

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If there's a crown for the king of manipulation in The Mysteries of Udolpho, Montoni gets it. Emily's a smart girl, but Montoni knows every trick in the book. Plus, he's so freakin' persuasive. When Em isn't willing to sign away her property rights, he appeals to the one thing that makes her weak in the knees: her sense of propriety. Oh, and then he threatens her physical safety. Whatever works, right?

Montoni may get A's across the board in Manipulation School, but there are plenty of other willing pupils ready to take up his techniques. Barnardine also knows just what buttons to push to get Em to accompany him to a dark corridor of the castle. Even Em demonstrates some manipulation skills of her own, convincing Dorothée to take her to the Marchioness's rooms.

Questions About Manipulation

  1. What kind of techniques does Montoni use to manipulate his minions? How do these differ from the way he manipulates Em?
  2. Is Madame Cheron successful at manipulating others, or does the player get played?
  3. Does sweet little Em value her skills as a manipulator? Is she even aware that she's manipulating others?
  4. Why can't Valancourt succeed in manipulating Em?

Chew on This

Emily's many fainting fits are a subconscious way she manipulates others to do her will.

Annette is totally guileless—she has no idea how to manipulate others, but she gets by just fine on being sincere.

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