Shades of Gray

by Carolyn Reeder

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What false accusation does Will make against Meg in Shades of Gray?

Quick answer:

In Shades of Gray, Will falsely accuses Meg of reading his letter from Doc Martin.

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In chapter 10, Will receives a letter from Doc Martin. The letter informs Will that Martin’s sister, a widow, has moved in, which means that Martin can now give Will a “proper home.” If Will wants, he can leave the country and return to Winchester. Initially, Will is excited. The prospect fills him with “elation.” He’ll get to hang out with his friend again and be doted on by Lizzy.

However, after thinking things through, he realizes how much he’s come to appreciate living with Aunt Ella and Meg. He concludes that Martin’s sister probably won’t be as kind as Aunt Ella. He then becomes aware of how he’ll miss Meg. He admires Meg’s personality and her work ethic. Will likes that she’s not “silly and helpless like other girls.” It appears if the choice won't be so easy after all.

The decision makes Will anguished. His heart becomes “heavy.” In chapter 11, he seems to take out his disquiet on Meg. He finds Meg in his room and asks her what she’s doing. The letter then falls from the Bible. Will reacts with anger. “How dare you read my letter!” he yells at her. Meg tries to reply, but Will doesn’t let her. He tells her to leave, and she does.

Moments later, Aunt Ella arrives and explains to Will how upset Meg is. She tells Will that his accusation is false. Meg was in his room cleaning. Meg didn’t read the letter. Even if she wanted to read the letter, she couldn’t, as Meg doesn’t know how to read.

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