Subliminal messages

Alexa Nunziato and Andrew Augoustis

Vincent and Germaine are in a dispute which seems to happen quite often according to Vincent’s reaction. However, when Walter refers to their argument, he is actually referring to him and Anna. Anna wonders what is wrong with Germaine, a girl she likes since she seems to have the same opinions as Anna about England. He explains to Anna that Vincent is going away from some type and that Germaine wants Vincent to leave her “more money than he can afford” (72). He follows this by saying he will be going to New York as well. At this point we assume that Walter is trying to tell Anna not to be angry about him leaving with Vincent to New York, like Germaine is. In Addition, that Anna should not expect any money from Walter, as Germaine supposedly expects from Vincent. Basically Walter is acting as though Germaine is being ridiculous and acting childish, which would prevent Anna from acting this way to, since she wouldn’t want to disappoint Walter. Walter just doesn’t want to have to deal with this type of drama. Anna finds out that Walter is leaving. Inside she is probably said, being subconsciously dependant on Walter for some type of source of happiness. She wants to keep Walter satisfied and avoids conflict by simply agreeing to everything he says. Anna wants to keep Walter happy and bottles up her thoughts, and Walter is aware of this. He just wants to do his thing without having to deal with Anna who doesn’t truly care about. This ‘relationship’ is clearly an unhealthy one, especially for Anna.

Anna describes her surroundings in a way that sets a dark mood throughout the scene. She reflects upon her time in her home before she came to England in a very dark, depressing, and scary way. This is unexpected because she always referred to the West Indies as her happy place. She begins to remember how she used to imagine a quiet night back at home. The entire passage referring to her past is referring to her purity and the fact that she is a virgin. She describes the forest, which is actual a symbol for herself: “The moon and the darkness and the sound of the trees, and not far away the forest which nobody had ever been- virgin forest” (71). She is virgin which refers to the forest nobody has ever been to. She refers to “crac-cracs” and imagine these sound which represent her thinking about sex, which shows how innocent she is cause who really says that? As we read this passage we think wow this is so creepy and it end with Hester straight up stating: “This place gives me the creeps at night” (71) as Anna finishes describing the verandah as “ghostly” (71). She puts emphasis on the fact that she is a virgin, and Walter is the one she lost her her virginity to. Walter is definitely important to Anna in this way and this relates to the conflict with her keeping everything on the inside, and avoiding any conflict with Walter. This also shows how she is still living in the past, in the West Indies, which might be the greater conflict on the  novel.

Anna’s personality is a particular one where she is brutal honest in her thoughts but refuses to always let them show. When she observes Vincent and Walter and she states that she “hated the the way they were looking at each other”. Her language is very strong and she uses the word “hate” which leads to a simple yet very effective sentence for us to understand how Anna feels. It is like they were planning something she didn’t know about and Anna didn’t like it. They were looking at each other as if they were mocking the way Germaine was acting, a look that Anna would never want to be about her. Throughout the novel she uses the word hate a lot which demonstrates an angry and depressive side to her personality. This relates to her painting many grotesque pictures throughout the novel and in this scene. Anna refers to “glass” (72) twice within this scene, which consists of her looking out the window. Anna looks through the window and states, “Like when you’re a kid and you put your face very near to the glass and make faces at yourself” (71). Usually this would be cute. However, because of the mood she set throughout the scene we are left imagining Anna making these scary distorted faces to the window showing a grotesque or unreal imagine of herself. This would show many discombobulated images.

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