Magdalena’s Self-Destruction in Rose Tremain’s "Music and Silence"
Since Emilia was unable to forget her mother quickly, she had to leave and therefore the story could move on. Instead, when Emilia was not focused on the memories of her mother as much as she did immediately after her death, Magdalena’s presence was not necessary, and she was beaten to death.
When a person behaves in a particular way, it is not always easy to make a clear conclusion and find reasons, especially, if the lack of information about the past is present, as it is in case of Magdalena in Rose Tremain’s “Music and Silence”. The author gives a brief insight into one aspect of Magdalena’s childhood, her affair with the uncle and cousin, and the rest of what the reader gets to know about Magdalena is based on her present behaviour in the Tilsen house. In the novel, Magdalena is not given her voice, for example, like Marcus, even though he is a child of three years of age, and her participation in the novel is narrated by someone else, when she appears in someone’s thoughts. However, in the book, two chapters are dedicated to her, Magdalena’s Ascendancy and Magdalena’s Christmas Gift, but they do not express any other of her thoughts and worries, apart from the perverted ones or those full of hatred towards the memories of Karen, which she is supposed to clean out of Tilsens’ minds. Nevertheless, with all her negative sides that are especially highlighted in the novel and that have lead to Magdalena’s self-destruction, because of the choices she has made, especially regarding Ingmar and Wilhelm, Magdalena is an important character without which the story would take completely different course, and, possibly, without her it would have been less interesting.