The Years Symbols & Objects

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The Painting of Mrs Partiger

The portrait of Mrs Partiger symbolizes the subjective nature of memory in the novel, and becomes a focal point for grief for many of the characters. It hangs in Abercorn Terrace for the entire time that the family live there, and Eleanor takes it with her once they move out. It reminds the children of the mother they have lost, but, increasingly, it also reminds them of their childhood together at Abercorn Terrace. For Rose, this becomes a painful reminder because of her traumatic experience the evening her mother dies, complicating her sense of loss.

When Martin sees the painting years later, he feels that someone has painted over a flower in it; other characters comment that something is missing from the painting. In the final chapter, Eleanor has had it cleaned, and the missing flower can be seen again past years...

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This section contains 1,271 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Years Study Guide
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