Charlotte Lapointe and Claudia Keurdjekian
- The two couples at the hotel: 73-75
Where does the conflict in this scene come from? In other words, what does Anna want? What do the other characters want?
Anna wants to be taken seriously, yet she never is because of how young she looks. The characters that are with her in this scene tease her on this, not because they want to be mean but because they want to have a good time, at Anna’s expense.
For your scene, describe what each character is literally saying. Explain any possible subtexts that are lurking beneath the surface.
What is said by each character is this scene is, for the most part, what is literally meant. They are not hiding their meanings beneath the surface but rather laying their cards on the table.
Germaine makes a comment about how young Anna looks, Vincent teases Walter on this; says he’s been ‘baby-snatching’. They laugh and tease her because of how young she looks. All of this is said outright, no sugar-coating or subtext needed.
Does anything funny happen in your scene? If so, cite it. What, exactly, is funny about it?
Anna loses her temper and burns Walter’s hand with her cigarette because he, and all the other characters in this scene, are laughing at her. Germaine even praises her for it, “‘Bravo, kid,” Germaine said, ‘Bravo.’” (Rhys 74). This scene demonstrates a ‘war of sexes’ in a sense; the alliance that forms between Germaine and Anna, by Anna’s burning of Walter’s hand, is quite comical.
Cite something that Anna says or does that demonstrates her personality. Why did you choose this passage? What do you think it says about Anna’s personality?
“I pulled my hand away. I thought, ‘No, I don’t like you.’” (Rhys 74). Vincent thinks very highly of himself; is very pretentious. The fact that Anna pulls away from him means that she isn’t buying into his ‘charms’. Anna is a very blunt character, does not like people who beat around the bush and speak without intending to say anything meaningful. She may not say it out loud, but characters like Vincent annoy her, because of the ‘fakeness’ of their personalities. Her personality is also demonstrated when she burns Walter’s hand, because it shows that her being young does not mean she is weak; she does not like to be made fun of and ‘stepped on’.
Highlight one moment from the scene where Anna focuses on a particular sense, or a combination of senses. How does this emphasis on sense imagery give us greater insight into the conflict inherent in this scene?
“I was smoking, and I put the end of my cigarette down on Walter’s hand. I jammed it down hard and held it there, and he snatched his hand away […]” (Rhys 74). Anna focuses mostly on touch for this moment; giving the reader a clearer image of what is going on, using words like ‘jammed’ and ‘snatched’ to add emphasis to the abrupt movements of the characters.