Never Mind (Patrick Melrose) Symbols & Objects

Aubyn, Edward St.
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Never Mind.
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Ants

In the novel, David’s treatment of ants symbolizes his anger, violence, and aggression. At two points in the novel, David occupies himself with killing ants in an aggressive and sadistic manner. The first time, he slowly kills them with a water hose, and the second time, he burns them with a cigar. These acts parallel David’s general aggression towards others.

Alcoholism

In the novel, Eleanor’s alcoholism symbolizes her general discontentment with her life. Eleanor drinks heavily and often, and the novel positions this alcohol dependency as related to her desire to escape the life in which she has seemingly become trapped. Eleanor is persecuted by David and feels isolated, so alcohol implicitly helps her manage her emotional pain.

Piano

David’s piano symbolizes his self-hatred, his regrets, and his painful upbringing. As a young man, David’s greatest interests were studying medicine and...

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This section contains 599 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Never Mind (Patrick Melrose) Study Guide
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