Wrongly reflected

By Amanda Ging Sze Chan

The project was decided to be done in a visual medium because I believe that it is the best way to illustrates the dark tone of Voyage in the Dark. Also, what led me to this project is the fact that I used to draw a lot in high school during my spare times. In high school, I had the opportunities to study music, art and science at the same time. Sadly, I had to choose one between those three things in Cegep. I do not regret choosing a science program but I miss those art classes where we could miss an entire week of school during “production week” and the myriad of concerts that I was once part of. Due to the load of homework, I haven’t really drawn or doodle for months so I thought that I may use this opportunity to draw again.

The scene I chose to work on from the novel Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys, is the one after Anna and Walter had their first dinner together at a luxurious restaurant. After she escapes from Walter kisses, Anna discovers a room behind the pink curtains and enters it.  The young woman sees a fire light out in the room and then walks toward the mirror and stares at her own reflection. I have chosen this particular scene in the novel because it is at this exact moment that Anna’s life begins to change. The artwork was based on my interpretations of the descriptions found in the book where Anna depicts London as being grey and lifeless compared to the West Indies that is colorful. The attempt on illustrating Anna’s loneliness and inner sadness was taken into consideration during the process. The main challenges encountered was finding a way to illustrate the contrast between Anna’s perception of her own surrounding and her reality that she can’t seem to see. I believe that I have succeeded into capturing the “spirit of the novel” in the following artwork. The illustration shows Anna looking at her own reflection in the looking-glass. My creative project emphasizes on the contrasting elements between her reality and her imagination. Her imagination is illustrated by the content in the mirror. The first part of the creative product refers to the moment when Anna looks into the mirror and says, “It was if I were looking at somebody else.” (Rhys 21) In the second part of the creative product, Anna is shown as sitting near the fire in the room. This part refers to the scene where Anna is again, in the room alone. The protagonist is describing her surrounding by saying that, “The fire was like a painted fire; no warmth came from it, When I put my hand against my face it was very cold and my face was hot.” (21) In the creative product, the color orange and the color blue are shown to illustrate the contrast between the warm coming out Anna’s face and the cold coming from the fire. Lastly, the pre-dominant grey color in both sections of the artwork was used to illustrate Anna’s mood and mindset. By doing so, one will have a better visualization of the tone and setting of darkness that takes place during the entire novel.


One thought on “Wrongly reflected

  1. This is terrific! I really like the drawing. I love the different Anna’s: the one outside and inside of the mirror. And that we can only see the back of the “real” one and we can see the face of the reflection. I love the use of colour and the contrast they represent. I also like the two upside down images. This really gives us a feeling of Anna’s mindset. Your analysis, above is first rate. It’s a terrific piece of art that does justice to the feeling and mood of the novel. Excellent work.


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