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The Ninth Hour Symbols & Objects

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Ninth Hour.
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Clean Laundry

Sister Illuminata thinks of cleaning laundry as a metaphor for the nun's vocation as purifying force in the world. In the beginning of the novel, Sister St. Saviour asks Sister Jeanne to take the dirty sheets from Annie's home to clean them after Jim's suicide. The act of cleansing is meant to purify the place from traces of the past, and to provide comfort to Annie upon her return. The scent of clean laundry on their habit reminds Sally of the convent when she meets the nuns in Chicago. In both cases, cleanliness is a comforting attribute that provides a sense of order and cleanliness from sin. The symbol is inverted when Sally enters the hotel laundry room, a laundry room in a secular place, and takes the alum which she will use in the attempted murder of Mrs. Costello. The very materials that are...

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This section contains 1,073 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Ninth Hour Study Guide
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