My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend Imagery

The fireworks at New Year's

Lavish imagery captures the visual and auditory aspects of the New Year's fireworks display. The imagery is significant because it captures the sense of how showy the display was, signalling its function in the novel as a mark of power, wealth, and status by Stefano and his family.

The city during Elena's outing with her father

When Elena spends the day exploring Naples with her father, imagery is used to capture the sounds, sights and smells she encounters. This imagery reveals how foreign and exciting Elena finds the areas that she explores, and this highlights just how sheltered her life has been. Elena has been so confined to her small neighborhood that exploring areas only a short walk away is like visiting a whole new place for her.

Elena's first swim at Ischia

Elena's first swim is described using vivid imagery to capture the bracing experience of hot sand, cold, salty water, and the feeling of weightlessness and power. This imagery is important because it shows how this experience is a part of her self-development. Elena doesn't think she can swim, as she does not remember being taught, and is afraid of the experience. But in the water, she realizes she intuitively knows what to do. This helps her to reclaim faith in her instincts and in her own competence as she develops a more independent life on Ischia for the summer.

Don Achille's apartment

When Lila and Elena climb the stairs to Don Achilles's apartment as young girls, the passageway through the dark, ill-kept building is described with foreboding imagery. This imagery is important for capturing how fearful the building seemed to the young children. As a result, this imagery also deepens the character portrayal of Lila by showing her strong spirit and courage.