I for Isobel


Amy Witting

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Caroline Mansell Character Analysis

A little girl staying at the lake house where the Callaghans are vacationing. Although Isobel is not allowed to tell anyone that it is her birthday, she shares the news with Caroline but warns her that it is a secret. Caroline promptly tells her father, Mr. Mansell, who gives Isobel a brooch for her birthday—much to May’s horror.

Caroline Mansell Quotes in I for Isobel

The I for Isobel quotes below are all either spoken by Caroline Mansell or refer to Caroline Mansell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Text Publishing edition of I for Isobel published in 1989.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Birthdays, injustices, parents all vanished. [Isobel] sat on the floor reading till the noise of cups and saucers in the kitchen warned her that the grown-ups would be coming in for afternoon tea, then she went to the little room where she and Margaret slept, next to their parents’ bedroom. It was too hot there, but if she went outside to the cool shade of the fig tree, Caroline and Joanne Mansell would come asking her to play with them, or Margaret would want her to go for a swim. Besides, it wasn’t hot in Baker Street. What a lucky thing that she had found this new place in time to spend the birthday there. Presents didn’t matter so much, if life had these enchanting surprises that were free to everyone.

Page Number: 7-8
Explanation and Analysis:

The sound of her mother's quick, foreboding tread made her push the box in a panic under her pillow. Now, she remembered: she had been told not to tell, and she had told. She had told Caroline, who had told Mr. Mansell, and retribution was coming, as her mother advanced with set face and luminous glare and began to slap her, muttering, “Don't you dare to cry. Ungrateful little bitch. Don't you dare to cry. You little swine, thankless little swine, you couldn't say thank you, couldn't even say thank you.” Slap, slap. “Don't open your mouth, don't you dare to cry.” There was not much to cry about, for her mother's intentions were far more violent than her blows. Her hands flapped weakly as if she was fighting against a cage of air.

Related Symbols: The Brooch
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
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Caroline Mansell Character Timeline in I for Isobel

The timeline below shows where the character Caroline Mansell appears in I for Isobel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Birthday Present
Mothers, Daughters, and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Poverty, Abuse, and Violence Theme Icon
Transience and The Search For Belonging Theme Icon
...she reaches it, she sees another one of the lake house’s guests—a little girl named Caroline Mansell . Isobel, unable to contain herself, asks Caroline if she can tell her a secret.... (full context)