What happened in the past plays a prominent role in the world of "Christabel." There are constant reminders of Christabel's dead mother. In fact, the castle bells are rung every single morning just in case someone managed to forget about her in the span of 24 hours. It's almost as if someone (or something) is trying to prevent the development of new memories, forcing everyone to relive the misery of the past at the expense of creating any new happiness in the present. It sounds like a real blast.
Questions About Memory and the Past
How do you think the constant reminder that Christabel's mother died giving birth to her affects Christabel's life and overall personality?
Do you think Sir Leoline may be seeing his former friendship with Lord Roland through the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia?
How would the story be different if Christabel's mother were alive?
How does the death of Christabel's mother in the past affect Sir Leoline in the present?
Chew on This
Sir Leoline's extended mourning of his wife's death creates a major obstacle in the development of his relationship with his daughter.
Eventually, the townsfolk around Sir Leoline's castle are going to lose their patience with the constant tolling of morning bells. They will likely leave or overthrow his rule over their lands because they (rightly) believe him to be psychologically unfit to boss them around.