Why does Helen hide her painting and journal from her husband?

Expert Answers
sfwriter eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Helen has good reason to hide her paintings and her journal from her husband Mr. Huntington.  Her painting is a means for her to support herself, and anything that might effect her independence from Huntington is something that Huntington would want to destroy.  Later in the novel Huntington actually destroys some of her painting equipment so that Helen may not support herself and Arthur apart from him.  Helen's journal has statements critical of Huntington in them, which a wife would naturally not want a husband to see, but also it contains some of her plans for escape from Grassdale.  If Huntington were to find these plans he would be not only angry, but able to prevent Helen from leaving home.  Huntington was a control freak, who didn't allow Helen to have anything of her own independent from her husband, though he was, himself, an adulterer and absent from home for long periods of time.  For Helen to preserve anything of her own she had to hide it from her husband.

atiesha | Student

yeah sfwriter is right. in short basically helen needs it to support hereself because she is trying to run away. big Arthur won't give her money so she will do it on her own

Read the study guide:
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question