These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community.
We are thankful of their contributions and encourage you to make your own.
Written by Braga Lena
The character who embodies the idea of evil is Grandcourt. The reader is led to believe that there is no good in him and that he will never be able to be good. He is selfish, cruel, unable to understand and show love and he is the materialization of suppression in his relationship with Gwendolen. Because of this, Grandcourt can be considered as a metaphor for evil.
The house is seen by Gwendolen as a metaphor for confinement and the idea that the domestic space is a restrictive one existed in literature long before George Eliot started writing. The domestic space is seen as being dominated by the male figure, while the female figure has to obey his commands. Because of this, the domestic space is seen as a restrictive one, where women are forced to listen and submit to their husbands or families will.
Link with the past
Jewelry is used as a metaphor to symbolize the link someone has with the past, with the previous owner of that certain piece of jewelry. Many times, characters refuse to depart with certain pieces because they feel that through this, they will betray the memory of the previous owner. We see this in the first chapters when Gwendolen is questioning her decision to pawn a necklace even though she knew that the money could be used to help her family.
In the novel, we find two instances where drowning is mentioned. First, when Mirah tries to kill herself, she tries to do so by drowning herself. However, she is saved by Daniel and from that point on her situation gets better. Then, towards the end of the novel, we have a character who dies drowned. The character is Grandcourt and while Mirah was saved, Grandcourt was punished by all the evil things he has done when drowned. We see that in the novel, water is seen as a method used by the universe to punish those who deserved to be punished, a device through which the evil is purged from the world. As a result, water can be seen as a metaphor for universal justice served to those who seem to remain unpunished by the human society for their wrong-doings.
Gwendolen can be considered as being a metaphor to describe to modern women. Gwendolen has ideas that are considered strange, monstrous in her time. She is a woman who believes that she can rise to a status a man holds and resents the society that doesn’t offer her enough possibilities to sustain herself and the society that makes her depend on the help provided by male relatives and husbands.
Update this section!
You can help us out by revising, improving and updating