Arcadia Imagery

Rice Pudding

Thomasina stirring red jam into the rice pudding and watching it swirl into pinkness is an unforgettable image. The image serves as a metaphor for time not being able to be run backward, and for heat always escaping and never being recovered.

The Waltz

The two couples waltzing at the end is an impactful image because normally the characters from different eras do not interact with each other. The way they waltz also reveals the nature of their characters and their relationship.

The Gardens

There is the vivid image of the Sidley Park garden before Noakes - clean, orderly, regular, serene - and after - dark, irregular, mysterious, rugged. The garden imagery is an apt metaphor for the movement of the Enlightenment into the Romantic, and for Newtonian order into chaos theory.

The Room and the Table

The setting is one of the most potent examples of imagery in the entire play because it is the space in which the drama of time is enacted. The fact that it does not change and that the objects within the simple room continue to sit there, varying only slightly, reminds the audience throughout the play that time is not as divisible and immutable as one may initially conclude. The continuities of the themes from 1809 to the 1990s are reinforced by the unchanging scenery.