Last Updated on April 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 305
A cursory glance around the park indicates that Peter is not alone; he notices the Smiths, then realizes that something is wrong, as they appear quite upset. With their unhappiness made apparent, the narrative switches from Peter's perspective to Lucrezia's. She worries, knowing that it is nearly time for Septimus to meet with Sir William Bradshaw, the second physician who will be evaluating him. Dr. Holmes—their first physician—proved incapable of helping Septimus and has requested that the highly-regarded Sir William take over his case.
Lucrezia is concerned about her marriage and the state of her life. Despite her love for her husband, she is upset about the difficulties she is experiencing and longs for her life before she met Septimus. She questions why she must suffer and is confused by her husband's reactions to his traumatic experiences in the war, including the loss of his friend, Evans. Lucrezia feels that many people have seen terrible things in the war and finds it difficult to comprehend why Septimus reacts as he does. Unfortunately, her sadness only seems to push Septimus further away, causing him to feel isolated and trapped.
Septimus has frequent hallucinations, and his mental state is erratic, characterized by fragmentation, paranoia, and delusions. He records messages that he strongly believes are being communicated to him by shadowy figures beyond the grave, and he thinks it is his duty to share these otherworldly truths with others. These encounters leave Septimus feeling anxious, particularly when they are with or about Evans.
As they walk around Regent’s Park, Lucrezia notices a familiar far-away look in Septimus’s eye and, with difficulty, snaps him back to the present morning by telling him that they need to leave for their appointment or risk being late. Septimus complies with hesitation and questions whether Lucrezia has ulterior motives.