The scene I will be altering in Voyage in the Dark is the one where Anna decides to have an abortion which starts around page 143. What I had in mind was re-writing the scene and imagining what would happen if she kept her baby. This would of course alter things afterwards: the abortion scene would not exist, and the final scene will not be the same either. I would also make Walter come back, because I always believed that Walter truly cared for Anna and that he didn’t only appreciate her physically but emotionally as well. I would re-introduce him when Anna decides to tell Vincent about the baby but instead of it being Vincent it will be Walter in my case. While reading the novel I was confident that Anna would have kept the baby with the reason of this being that the child is the only thing she can call family and the only thing that would be stable in her life from that moment on. Knowing that she would have that baby to take care of to finally free her from her depression and loneliness. Despite the fact that I will be bringing Walter back into the picture, this will not get off track the dark and caricaturist feel of the novel. Jean Rhys does an excellent job at introducing almost like this dark humour into the story while telling a story in such a unique way that I hope to inherent for my scene.

What i have so far:

While I lay there shivering in my bed, Laurie knocked on my door three times and entered. What is the point of knocking if you’ll come in either way?

She handed me a letter and said “Ethel wrote to me. She says you owe her money for rent and damages to her flat. I didn’t pay much attention to it to be quite honest I just though you would want to take a look at it before I toss it in the fire.”

The idea of wood crisping under the fire caused chills down my back. I decided to read the letter, and find out what obnoxious lie Ethel has come up with this time.


Laurie walks in once again knocking and entering my room with no time for me to answer and this time i cannot contain myself

“Why do you do that?” I said

“Do what?”

“Knocking is useless if you don’t wait for the person to answer you.”

“I knew you were in bed, it’s just a habit I guess.”

As she walks over to the bed I hand her the note in hopes that she will take it and leave me alone. I’m quite tired lately. I feel sick to my stomach especially in the morning and these weird dreams won’t stop haunting my thoughts. There must be something terribly wrong with me and I don’t want to admit it.

My train of thought is interrupted by Laurie’s voice.

“What did you think of the letter, did you read it all?”

“That woman got no class writing to you about me like that. She don’t even know me. That cow. I was her only friend and now look how she’s treating me. Aren’t I glad I got outta there.”

A few hours later I woke up to the sound of a Laurie’s voice again, but this time she was not alone. The voice was barely audible but it was certainly a man’s voice. I felt sick again. My insides felt like they we’re experiencing a horrible sea storm so I got up and directed myself towards the toilet, taking pauses to steady my step and clear the nausea.

Just as I climbed back into my bed, Laurie yells for me

“Anna, tidy up and come downstairs, I need you to meet someone”

meeting another one of Laurie’s “friends” is not how I wanted my night to play out but I steady myself and head to my clothes to find something somewhat appealing to wear for this stranger who I couldn’t give a damn about.

I chose my long green dress that I bought using Walter’s money he left me and headed down the stairs.

“What a delight it is to meet you, Anna is it?” he said

He was tall with broad shoulders that were as square as tables, and he had a blinding smile that I most certainly did not appreciate.

“Tom is a doctor. He lives in America but visits London quite often.”

“London is a beautiful city.”

Beautiful he says? Not the right word I would use for this city.

“Anna has been complaining about always feeling nauseous, exhausted and she’s quite the bitch if you ask me. I cannot say something without her getting mad.” said Laurie

“Is that right? Do you mind if I check on you? It may just be a common flu but just to be sure I’d really appreciate if you let me take care of you.”

His cold hands against my chest made me want to cry. What if there’s something terribly wrong with me. What if I’m dying. I never imagined dying an ugly city surrounded by strangers who stare until they’ve seen right through you.

“The symptoms you are describing to me are very much related to pregnancy. Have you had sex lately Anna?”

“Yes I believe I have”, I say while hesitating


to be continued…

Konstantina Vanikiotis


One thought on “Proposal

  1. I really like how you’re trying to imitate the style and tone of the novel. This line is great: “What is the point of knocking if you’ll come in either way?” Great. Look carefully at the writing, though. Would Anna ever say “What is…”? Seems like she uses contractions mostly.

    I like where you’re going with this, but some of the things you say in your proposal give me pause. You say that you think Anna wants to keep the baby, and that Walter has real feelings for Anna. I’m not sure what you’re basing these thoughts on. From my reading of the novel, Anna does not want the baby in any way, and Walter is just using Anna. So, make sure there is actual stuff in the novel that informs the choices you make. Also, this line seems super weird to me:

    ““The symptoms you are describing to me are very much related to pregnancy. Have you had sex lately Anna?”

    But, as stated, I like how you’re imitating the style. Keep doing that. Just make sure whatever you do in your story that it jives with what we know about these characters. Good work so far.


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