The Rhys Woman by Paula Le Gallez (auth.)

By Paula Le Gallez (auth.)

A reader-based textual research of the paintings of Jean Rhys. the writer generates new readings of 2 of the fast tales and all 5 of the novels. by way of targeting personality, she disagrees with these critics who see every one heroine as a part of a unmarried personality, the "Rhys woman".

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Example text

But it does make more sense to see the point of view as Marya's. With the switch back to the first narrative level, the focus falls on the Heidlers 'sitting at a table at the end of the room'. Again, the narrative voice is not objective, for no answer to Mrs Heidler's 'Good evening' is referred to, although undoubtedly such social niceties are observed. Similarly, the introductions which Miss De Solla must make are omitted from the discourse. Such narrative selectivity is in keeping with the first impressions created on the mind of the receiver.

Why frightening? She made a cautious but decided movement and the hand was withdrawn. Throughout the episode, Marya acts as though she is in control of the situation. She knows what the gesture implies, and dismisses it as 'ridiculous'. Indeed, in the narrative rendering of it there is something ridiculous about the 'huge hand' with its clumsy heaviness. She knows what she has to do to bring the incident to an end. Clearly, these are neither the judgements nor the actions of an 'innocent'; they suggest, rather, the coolness of a woman of experience.

Umbrellas' is achieved here. And a deeply touching sense of the helplessness of the human lot is conveyed, not only in that image of the scurrying people anxious to get away from the relentless elements, but also in the personification of the branches - 'ridiculously frail and naked arms' - which gesture towards infinity in an attitude of hope. The futility of this posture, which is suggested by the absence of any light in the sky, is further seen in the 'sad little mirrors' as they reflect the human comedy to an indifferent wilderness of space.

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