Writer’s often find that imagery form nature enables them to explore more effectively the many different aspects of a relationship.
Do you agree with this statement? Analyse the connections and comparisons between at least two texts.
Writers use many types of imagery to explore the complexity and many aspects of relationships. I will be exploring if nature is used effectively to display different types of relationships in “ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieries, “Rapture” by Carol Ann Duffy and “Orinda to Lucasia” by Katherine Philips. Nature could be defined as the natural world around us such as animals and flowers and it could also be argued that it also includes natural imagery such as the sun and the planets. Often, nature seems to reflect human emotion as shown in many of the poems in “Rapture” as well as characters being presented as part of nature such as Mandras in “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.”
Pelagia’s relationship with Mandras is characterised by childish antics and hyperbolic language and these factors interact with each other in chapter 13 where Pelagia is overwhelmed by the sight of Mandras swimming naked in the sea and describes him as possessing a “quality of eternity.” This presents Mandras in an animalistic way as though he is at one with nature and has escaped the constrains of human life as Pelagia can only watch with envy and lust. “Eternity” also refers to the Greek Gods and may allude to how nature is timeless and will always exist as well as showing how Mandras appears at one when he is with nature in contrast to his behaviour with Pelagia.
In Greece, especially during the time when the book is set, mythology would have been intimately familiar with the people and form a constant background to their daily life. To someone reading the book now a lot of the names that are alluded to will not seen familiar but they are essential in capturing the spirit of the Greeks at the time and would have been part of their common knowledge.
Pelagia describes Mandras as “like a human dolphin;” this simile once again reinforces his connection to nature which appears innate and natural in him. It also presents how distant and immature their relationship is as de Bernieres shows Pelagia using simple diction which is akin to that of a child and the failure of Pelagia to recognise Mandras for so long could be seen as showing the cultural factors of relationships of the time. This is because of traditions such as dowries and acceptance in to families meaning Pelagia, although showing outward affection, is unlikely to really know Mandras. A different explanation could be that Mandras has become part of nature making unrecognisable to even Pelagia; his prospective wife.
Once again in the depiction of Mandras there is a clear focus on his physical features such as his “Rhythmic shoulders” and “Muscles tightening”. It is as though nature has made him beautiful but he is also defined by this as Pelagia bases her assumptions and love on outward appearance. The word “Rhythmic” reflects the sea and its constant movements which is gentle and perfect. These attributes are immediately associated with Mandras as. The idea of Mandras swimming perfectly with dolphins is unrealistic in a novel which leads us to thinking that it may incorporate magical elements although this was shunned by de Bernieres: “ Magic realism makes the narrative too easy, it can make the reader lazy.” I disagree with this quote as this chapter with Mandras in the sea appears idealistic and seems to be used as a metaphor for the relationships with Pelagia as it takes nature and physical appearance to depict the follies in which their relationship is characterised by.
There is a parallel between Mandras being presented in the sea early in the novel and when he is presented after he has been in the war. This appears to have had a negative effect as it has made him physically ugly which could also reflect the fact he...
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