Swollen shadow or swollen ego ?


Task one :

9. Camden Town High Street: 93 (from “It was six o’clock”)-97

From the beginning of the scene, the dark atmosphere is the first element that grabs our attention.Anna is so plunged into her darkness that she can not see the difference between day and night: ‘ Not that there’s much difference between the day and the night here, anyway,’I thought… The pavement looked as if it was covered with black grease.’ (93) . The imagery of the pavement covered with black grease is a metaphor to show her obscure and dark enveloped heart with the coat of sadness and helplessness.

In this scene the protagonist seems to adopt a different behavior when she is talking to Ethel Matthews. Anna wants to give a good impression by talking haughtily and trying to prove that is is financially stable.It is funny enough , because both characters are in a way belittling each other by criticizing and showing off their wealth and freedom. For instance, when Ethel is asking why Anna is staying in a such a miserable that does not equal her apparent social status she felt as if her ego was hurt : ‘ Oh I don’t need to be here,’she said haughtily….’Well I don’t need to be here  either,’ I said .’ I get as much money as I like any time I like.’I stretched , and watch my swollen shadow on the wall stretching too. (96)Ironically , Anna is for the first time the person having power , and not the person treated with pity. In fact, her shadows stretching represent her mental state and her soul , dark and swollen by the overpowering confidence and pretentiousness as if she was bored.In this passage, both are saying that they have got money or that they can have a source of money , however they are both lying about their true identity by creating a false image by the mask of snobbishness.

Lucas Moll , Leila Bencherif



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