As always, more essay-like analysis that was intended to be more like a few sentences…sorry. Only one more section after this chapter- ‘Bones’.
Continuation from previous chapter twenty two analysis. Click here.
~The Analysis (23)~
- 312- “The smell of his mother’s baking had sneaked up the stairs and into Ray’s room where he and Ruth lay”- ‘sneaked’ creates a tender atmosphere, it didn’t take over the room, only came slowly and subtly into it. Homely atmosphere, as if the pair should feel at home where they are- at home together. Stereotypical mother- baking.
- “A bit of moonlight feel across the floor from the window where I had…followed it….Ruth’s bag”- gothic motif- as if it were a supernatural signal, Susie communicating with him, telling him to read the journal. Spooky way to lead Ray to the book, signifies that what the book holds is equally as sinister and mysterious.
- “…stared into the throats of the bright yellow flowers” 313- seems to be a recurring personification- describing nouns in the natural world to have throats, and (like the sink hole) perhaps stomachs too- as if they have their own personality, or are a full representation of something else that does (e.g. Susie)
- “I knew they were meant to be there, the four of them together, alone” 314- sense of unity which juxtaposes the initial explosion of the family. Susie seems to be loosing her childish desires to be a part of the family, and instead is watching from the outside- accepting the family as a whole without her. Suggests she is growing mentally, even if not able to physically.
- 314 “The cruelty was in his absence”- emphasises Ruana’s lonliness. She felt his absence was ‘cruel’ suggesting an almost physical pain from the emotion. The fact he was ‘ghost-like’ when he was there suggests a lack of connection between the two. There is no warmth and no emotion, just a suggestion of a being- shows Ruana seems emotionally deprived as well as just lonely.
- Significance of the thought of divorce when cutting apples:
Apples and apple blossoms are ideal symbols of love, youth, beauty and happiness- everything Ruana once was but perhaps feels she no longer is- she desires appreciation and presence. She wants a new beginning.
- “Her Abigail…her strange Abigail”- 316- nominations become more familiar- shows how the family is changing, becoming closer, more understanding. Throughout the novel there seems to be the message of overcoming the flaws of others, learning to love them (e.g. Jack learning to love Abigail’s weakness). Lynn has learned to love her ‘strange’ daughter. Susie appreciates her grandmother’s flaw as solely a quirk of her personality- “now I saw that drinking was a part of what made her who she was”
- “He banged. And he banged and he banged and he banged” 317- repetition (onomatopoeic) emphasises the sheer level of noise- it seems as though the house is the loudest it has been in years- the most alive. The family us regaining life.
- “…as if she were standing at the edge of the Pacific”- recurring motif of water and oceans- but this time the character is referred to as being on the edge of the ocean, not within it. Sense of regaining control- she is on the edge of wilderness but not wondering into it. Progress.
- Significance of Susie’s room being ‘lavender’ which matches the colour Harvey’s house was repainted after he moved out?- as if Susie is encapsulating him now just as she did his house (in a manner of speaking)?
- 318 “wildlife photographer, had captured a woman”- strange that Susie would refer to her mother as ‘a’ woman (indefinite article)- shows an appreciation for the side of her mother that she didn’t know, or never got to understand. Shows that she accepts this fact, that she still doesn’t really know her mother.
- “Her mother was solid if she was drunk, solid if she was vein”- again, shows an acceptance for the flaws of others. Accepting what she can’t change, and can’t run away from.
- “Spotting a man through the window…”‘It’s Ray…'”- shows a definite development- Ray has gone form boy to man, Ruth from a ‘girl haunted’ to a ‘woman’. Emphasises Bildungsroman nature of novel.