Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You Imagery

Slurp (Auditory Imagery)

"She sipped her tea with a slurp that grated all the way down Lydia's spine."

This auditory imagery demonstrates how Lydia is highly sensitive to her mother's movements. For Lydia, many of her emotions manifest physically. This indicates how Lydia personalizes and internalizes her parent's own emotional issues.

Red stain (Visual Imagery)

"She had blotted her sleeve again and again on the roller towel, but the red mark still showed beneath the damp spot, like an old bloodstain."

The stubborn red stain indicates the lingering effects of generational trauma. Marilyn bears the burdens of her mother's own ideals and insecurities. Similarly, Lydia must face her mother's complicated and unresolved issues.

A razor of light (Visual Imagery)

"When evening falls, Hannah opens her door and peers through the crack. A razor of light slices under Nath's door, another under Lydia's."

This visual image has a striking effect on Hannah. Following Lydia's death, Hannah continues to feel connected to her sister. This hints at the motif of the "supernatural" that reappears throughout the novel. The razor of light that slices under the doors indicates Lydia's pervasive, ghostly presence in the Lee household.

White water (Visual Imagery)

"There were no clouds, and in the sun, the water had looked almost white, like a puddle of milk."

The motif of water is central to Everything I Never Told You. Though water is often described with negative connotations of darkness and obscurity, here, in an innocent moment when Lydia, Hannah, and Nath are relaxing by the lake, the water takes on a calm and peaceful quality, evoking nourishment and purity.