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Chirico 1
Christina Chirico

ENG4U

Mr. Cristelli

March 5, 2012

Imagery in “Your Mouth is Lovely”

Imagery, in a literary text, occurs when an author uses an object that is not really

there, in order to create a comparison between one that is, usually evoking a more

meaningful visual experience for the reader. In Nancy Richler’s “Your Mouth is Lovely”,

ground imagery is used to imply the harsh voices of society that prevent the women in the story

to have a voice of their own. It is also implied that a woman can gain solid ground within a

society when she ignores the voices of society, she will be able to gain a voice her self. “Your

Mouth is Lovely” was based on the Russian Revolution in the 1900’s, a time period where

women had limited rights and essentially no voice in society. The narrator in the story was

moving in with her new mother, Tsila, who deemed “all mothers [to be] unfaithful to their

daughters” (Richler 263). Tsila tells the narrator that Lipsa, her former caregiver, was

unfaithful to her, but wants to teach her truth. The lies the mothers tell their daughters are the

voices of society, preventing them from hearing and speaking truthful words. Tsila implies that

the narrator should be an individual with a voice of her own. Tsila also tried to get the narrator

to speak when Lipsa was feeding her syrup, “but… [she] couldn’t penetrate the mud…[that]

filled [her] throat…It gurgled and thickened with each breath she took, gulping air with huge

and useless swallows” (Richler 257). The author uses the imagery of mud representing mucus,

which symbolizes the voices in society that surround her and thicken in her throat, allowing her

to be unable to speak for herself. When the narrator finally gains the ability to use her voice, Chirico 2

Tsila whispers to her the same words she normally tells her...
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