Alex and Neta

12. After Anna turns down Jeffries’ advances, she says, “[I felt] as if I wasn’t there [. . .] as if I were looking at somebody else [. . .] as if I had gone out of myself, as if I were in a dream” (20-21).

Since Jeffries treats Anna as though she were a silly stupid girl who was incapable of understanding anything, she feels invisible. The lack of recognition of her as a worthy human being makes her feel as though she were in a dream. She doesn’t really exist in Jeffries reality.

13. The way Anna phrases her description of the room is interesting to consider. She tells us that “[t]he fire was like a painted fire” (21).

In this moment, Anna feels cold. Nothing feels real. The fire, the pillow and the room offer her no comfort and she feels out of place as if she doesn’t belong. Everything is cold and she is hot; she is in contrast with everything around her. The fire seems painted because she is somewhere between dream and reality.

14. When she’s leaving the room with Jeffries, Anna thinks about what her friends might think of her behaviour: “The girls would shriek with laughter if I were to tell them this. Simply shriek” (21).

She wants to be respected as a woman in her group of acquaintances so she feels stressed about what they would think of her. She feels ashamed and embarrassed because she doesn’t want to be viewed as a child while struggling with her own inner conflict.

15. Anna describes being in her room “like being in a small, dark box” (22).

She feels isolated in this room and apart from the rest of the world. She is like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. Just like in the other room, she is cold and can’t warm up. The cold is a symbol for how alone she is in this new world.

16. On the subject of clothes, Anna thinks, “People laugh at girls who are badly dressed. [. . .] And the shop windows sneering and smiling in your face. [. . .] I’ll do anything for good clothes” (22).

Here, she bases her identity on other people’s opinion. Her self-worth depends on how others see her and not how she sees herself. She thinks clothes can change her and change how she is perceived in society.

17. Anna finds a surprise when she opens the letter from Jeffries: “there were five five-pound notes inside” (23).

The money represents what Jeffries thinks of her. She projects that onto herself. On one hand it means he cares for her but on the other it means he is treating her like an escort. And just like that she got used to her new role and the money made her forget about all her other troubles.



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