Passage: “In those troublesome dreams…safe and firmly rooted to the shore.” (pg 244)
In this passage, Robert is having a disturbing dream about the fate of his uncle’s manor and the sheer amount of figurative foreshadowing in this excerpt is startling. Foreshadowing is a process that we see throughout the book, but in this instance, it is very clear. The narrator describes the oncoming wave as the embodiment of destruction, saying that it aimed to “crush the house he loved” (244). In his real life he fears a force coming to figuratively destroy what he has come to recognize as home. This obvious danger is juxtaposed with the beauty found in that same wave which he describes as having a “starry face looking out of the silvery foam” (244). This phrase does not inspire the same feelings of anxiety as much as it does create an image of something very serene with the use of the word “starry” (244), which also promotes the idea of Lucy looking celestial in some capacity, or at the very least other worldly. The idea of a force with such capabilities of ruin looking so lovely is a direct reference to Lucy’s beauty, which Robert believes, she uses as both a weapon and a disguise. In describing her as “a mermaid”, the narrator summons the concept of sirens who lure men into the water with their beauty and then drown them. With this reference, the author implies that Lucy is mimicking this behavior in her marriage to Michael. There is a twist in this dream sequence when “a ray of light streamed out upon the hideous waves” (244) and the wave retreats. With all of the other references to things that are happening at that very moment in time, we are led to believe that, in continuing that pattern, this metaphorical “ray of light” (244) is fast approaching. I theorize that this “ray of light” (244) serves to symbolize Robert’s own involvement in the situation in that he will be the one to thwart Lucy’s scheming and preying on Sir Michael. Either way, this beacon of hope has to stand for something, as everything else in this dream sequence does.