Commentary on Impossible Object

Topics: Impossible object, Impossible objects, Nicholas Mosley, 3rd Baron Ravensdale Pages: 5 (1697 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Commentary on Impossible Object (Nicholas Mosley)

Tara Singh
Grade 12

In Nocholas Mosley’s prose piece Impossible Object he depicts the life of a Hippolyta a mother of one child who is separated from her husband.

Mosley’s depiction of Rome as a city, along with his depiction of Hippolyta herself and her relationship with her husband and child illustrates his main idea of happiness and love being unattainable for an affluent member of society.


1)The opening sentence of the prose piece introduces Hippolyta “overlooking the Borghese gardens.” a.This image sets up an atmosphere of regality where Hippolyta is described to look over gardens that are something natural and beautiful. This image sets up the contrast to Hippolyta’s life, which is not very natural or beautiful in that we later find out she is separated from her husband. Following this sentence is the introduction of wealth “Hippolyta was rich.” b.Hippolyta is described as a “large, thin” girl with eyes “half closed” and “hands pushing behind her as if she was in a gale.” The descriptions of her eyes portray her as if she is not awake, or for that matter close to being dead. i. Her arms pushing behind her depict the stance of an authoritative figure. This displays a contrast between her and her husband. c.Right after Mosley depicts her physical appearance he then introduces her husband who is an “Italian Aristocrat.” This immediate reference to money continues the theme of wealth. d.When the author describes the frenzy that Hippolyta works herself up into she first describes her somewhat barbaric when he says, “she would hit her fist against her body like a parachutist searching for a failed ripcord.” i.This presents a stark contrast between her lavish lifestyle that is uncovered. The simile of the parachutist helps depict the fact that Hippolyta is not only confused but she is also on her way to self-destruction. A parachutist with a failed ripcord will lose their life. e.Although in this passage Hippolyta’s physical appearances are described to be imposing and superior, she is also described as being dependent on her husband. i.This is seen where he says, “Hippolyta seemed still attached to her husband by the umbilicus of the telephone; although separated no one cut her free.” This symbolizes the fact that although she lives this lavish lifestyle she is still bounded to her husband and cannot enjoy the fruits of life.

Relationship with Husband and Child:

Hippolyta’s relationship with her husband and her child is another iteration of the fact that she is constrained by her relationship with her husband to full her role as a nurturer for her child.

a.Hippolyta is depicted as a wife who tortures and traps her husband. i.“trapped fly”
ii.“working him into a frenzy and showing her friends.” iii.The narrator also compares Hippolyta to Caligula, an illegal torturer who once held a lot of power in Rome. “watched men being kept alive in tiny cages.” This is a parallel to what Hippolyta is doing to her husband. iv.She also engages the narrator in her torture methods when she holds out the phone “She did her slow laugh into the receiver…” b.In the first paragraph Hippolyta is being described as separated from her husband. Although this reference refers to the fact that she does not live with him anymore, it also sets up a contrast to the reality of her situation. i. Also in the first paragraph the images of Hippolyta are contrasted with that of her husband. He is described to be a “minor Italian aristocrat.” Where she is described as “powerful and matronly.” This image is juxtaposed by the image of her being bounded to her husband both financially and through their child.

c.Hippolyta is actually bounded to her husband through their shared child. Hippolyta’s child I used as a “weapon with which to fight and keep themselves going.” d.The dysfunctional relationship with her husband portrayed...
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