Our Mutual Friend Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Our Mutual Friend Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Grating of the bolts and staples (Symbol)

When Lizzie went out from Mrs Potterson after they had quarreled, the sound of rattling of the iron-links, and the grating of the bolts and staples under Mrs Potterson’s hand, when she closed the door, symbolizes a kind of “casting-out” of Lizzie’s family from the society: Lizzie’s father was thought to have killed a man, people didn’t want to have any business with him, and only Lizzie was some kind of link between her father and society. But after this meeting with Mrs Potterson Lizzie was also rejected by others.

Life of a bee (Allegory)

Talking with Eugene, Mr Boffin comments on a bee, and her “style” of life: about its hard work and diligence. Talking about it, he means a man, who should be as hardworking as a bee. Though Eugene doesn’t agree with this allegory: “As a two-footed creature;--I object on principle, as a two-footed creature, to being constantly referred to insects and four-footed creatures. I object to being required to model my proceedings according to the proceedings of the bee, or the dog, or the spider, or the camel.”

Motif of hypocrisy

The whole text is soaked with this motif. For instance, it’s seen when it turns out that the people who call each other “the oldest friend”, actually see each other for the first time (the Veneerings and almost all their guests).

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