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Written by Julia Wolf
The suitcase (Symbol)
The suitcase which Nell had with herself when Hugh found her in the port, symbolizes her past life, her “other” life. When Hugh saw her, there was nothing more but Nell and it: Nell and her past, which was closed and not clear neither for her nor for Hugh and his family.
A dream (Allegory)
For a long time Cassandra had one and the same dream each night: “She was standing in the middle of a field with nothing on the horizon in any direction. The dream had no sense of malevolence, just unendingness. Ordinary vegetation, nothing that excited the imagination, pale reedy grass, long enough to brush the ends of her fingers, and a light and constant breeze that kept it rustling. In the beginning, years ago when the dream was new, she'd known she was looking for someone, that if she were only to walk in the right direction she would find them. But no matter how many times she'd dreamed the scene, she'd never seemed to manage it. One undulating hill would be replaced by another; she'd look away at the wrong moment; she'd suddenly wake up.” This dream allegorically shows Cassandra’s looking for somebody who might fill the emptiness which stayed after her husband’s and son’s death. Only in the end of the story her dream changed – a small cottage appeared in that field, thus showing that Cass found something that helped her forget about her grief: Christian and her inherited house helped her.
The storm which started right when Eliza had just come to the house of the Mountrachets symbolizes cardinal changes in the characters’ lives: everything went “according to plan” in the house before she came – Adeline “ruled” it, Rose was one and only heir of the lands, etc. But when Eliza came she shook everything in her way. She seems to “wake up” all people in the house.
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