Mothering Sunday Symbols & Objects

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The Second Bicycle

The second bicycle symbolizes Jane’s station. She has permission to use the bicycle, but does not own it. Further, she is given the lesser of the two bicycles, representing her position below Emma.

Library

The library symbolizes how memories are locked away and stored, like the unread books.

Nudity

Nudity symbolizes the truth of Jane’s story. She has not written or spoken of her afternoon with Paul and the use of nudity throughout the novel represents both the truth and vulnerability of her character.

Stain

The stain on the bed sheets symbolizes the memory of the afternoon, including Paul’s death, because it is something to be clean up and not spoken about.

Orchids

The orchids symbolize Emma. The white orchids represent purity, and by extension Emma’s virtue in contrast to Jane. The orchids are preferred by Paul’s mother, indicating...

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This section contains 317 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mothering Sunday Study Guide
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