One followed by a zero

  1. After Jeffries lets her go, she thinks, “But as soon as he let me go I stopped hating him” (20)

Jeffries was kissing Anna, she despised him. After, he let her go, she ceased hating him. Obviously, this demonstrates that Anna is insecure about her feelings toward men. This is a situation that she isn’t familiar with. She thinks that the problem is Jeffries. However, the problem is in herself. She doesn’t know what she wants. Anna is confused, lost, naïve and innocent.

  1. After she turns down his advances, she says she has a secret feeling, like “when you are playing hide-and-seek” (21).

This scene demonstrates that Anna isn’t comfortable in her skin in the situation when Walter kissed her. She sought refuge in a room that was cold but red. She thinks she can escape from him, but she has nowhere to go.

  1. 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).

Anna went beyond her daily life routine. For the first time, she found herself in a romantic situation. She doesn’t know how to behave and this stressed her a lot.

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).

She thinks that everything is fictitious. Even though there was a fire in the room, the room was cold. The fire wasn’t hot enough to make her love London like she loved the West Indies.

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).

Perhaps, Anna is the youngest girl in her group friends. For instance, Maurie is ten years older than her. Anna wants to show Maurie and her other friends that she isn’t a virgin (she knows how to talk to men). In her entourage, being a virgin was a shame. It is the way that she proves to her friend that she isn’t naïve and innocent. She has character.

By Giuseppe Gallo and Ilyas Mohamed


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