Jean Cocteau Writing Styles in Indiscretions

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Symbols

Indiscretions is rich in symbols that serve to draw attention to the family dynamics. Images of outward disorder at Yvonne's house, such as the blocked bath and piles of dirty linen, symbolize her emotional stagnation and chaos, as well as the disordered and unnatural relationships that she generates. Leo calls the house “a gypsy camp,” a metaphor that to Cocteau's audience would suggest messiness and a lack of responsibility, as well as pointing to the tendency of this family to live outside the general social norms. Leo cleans up Yvonne and George's mess, both literally and figuratively (when she reconciles the lovers he has separated). Madeleine's tidy and well-functioning apartment, in contrast, shows her healthy and honest approach to life.

Cocteau uses sound, too. Stage directions indicate doors are slammed, symbolizing the indirect and nonverbal expression of anger within this family. The effect on the audience may be...

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This section contains 1,314 words
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Buy the Indiscretions Study Guide
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