On Chesil Beach Imagery

On Chesil Beach Imagery

The wedding ceremony

The narrator doesn’t pay much attention to the description of wedding ceremony; his tone is emotionless and stolid. The words he uses are plain, with little in the way of metaphor or simile: “Their wedding, at St. Mary’s, Oxford, had gone well; the service had been decorous, the reception jolly, the sendoff from school and college friends raucous and uplifting”. This quote looks like a list of events without any commentary and personal attitude. We don’t know, what Edward and Florence had felt at the moment and whether they liked the event or not. Everything was just “well”. This imagery understates the role of wedding in the life of the antagonists, this event wasn’t so important in that time, the clear evidence of this we can see in the following quotation: “Her parents had not condescended to his, as they had feared, and his mother had not significantly misbehaved, or completely forgotten the purpose of the occasion.”

Dorset coast

The imagery of nature, its beautiful seaside landscapes seems to be dropped randomly in the narration for the emotional pause and relaxation : “he and Florence turned in their chairs to consider the view—of a broad mossy lawn and, beyond, a tangle of flowering shrubs and trees clinging to a steep bank, almost a cliff, that descended to a lane that led to the beach”. The imagery is quite picturesque and detailed so the reader could reflect if in his mind clearly and vividly: “They could see the beginnings of a footpath, dropping by muddy steps, a way lined by weeds of extravagant size, giant rhubarb and cabbages, they looked like, with swollen stalks more than six feet tall, bending under the weight of dark, thick-veined leaves”.

Edward’s wife

Florence was the apple of his (Edward’s) eye. He loved her passionately, loved her desperately, love her as gently as it was only possible and he has never been so happy as he was at that moment when he was looking at her: “He was gazing at his wife now, into her intricately flecked hazel eyes, into those pure whites touched by a bloom of the faintest milky blue. The lashes were thick and dark, like a child’s, and there was something childlike, too, in the solemnity of her face at rest”. This imagery expresses the beauty of love, the virgin feeling of idol and goodness as Florence was for him.

The wedding night

“Their wedding night, and they had nothing to say”, - well, something interesting and quite unnatural. The thought of the coming sexual activity drives them crazy, but in a different ways – Edward cant wait for it and Florence wishes she were dead not to be there with him because sex is something disgusting for her: “Florence was merely moving the food around her plate. Edward ate only token morsels of potato, which he carved with the edge of his fork. They listened helplessly to the second item of news, aware of how dull it was of them to be linking their attention to that of the guests downstairs”. So, as we can notice, here the imagery of wedding night is not some magical event full of beautiful temptation, it is the waiting of something new, which terrifies and makes them trouble.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.