The murder in Florence greatly influences Lucy and George in different ways, but the experience links the two young people together.
For Lucy, the experience is confusing not only because she watches a man die, but also because she is not sure how to deal with George and how he makes her feel. She recognizes that he is neither chivalrous nor proper, but she sees trust and kindness in him. However, Lucy, fearing gossip and disapproval, asks George not to tell anyone about her "foolish behavior" that is her fainting and carried by George. As they gaze down to the roaring river, Lucy sums up their experience saying, "How quickly these accidents do happen, and then one returns to the old life."(35) She says that events like the murder happen and that the witnesses go on living life as usual. Under the mask of formality, she tries to live her life as usual in the way she has educated. .
For George, the experience is also important. Witnessing the murder with Lucy, he is changed. The murder put him into a muddle and his emotional response to the man's death forces him to reevaluate his pessimism and unhappiness. To Lucy's comments about living as usual after a tumultuous event George simply replies mysteriously, "I shall want to live."(35) He tells Lucy that he will not return to life as he lived it before; now, he wants to live. The experience has made him appreciate life, perhaps partially because he shares something extraordinary with Lucy. .
Later in the novel, the readers see that the experience has clearly changed Lucy as well, but she is quite anxious about how. "Lucy was left to face her problem alone This solitude oppressed her; she was accustomed to have her thoughts confirmed by others or, at all events, contradicted."(37) She feels alone because she now has to keep secrets. She is becoming more independent, when before she never had to do anything on her own. The new independence brings some freedom, but it also brings loneliness.