Adjectives Hinting Murder?

“Whatever he would have said died away into inarticulate gasps which seemed to choke him, and sinking into a chair, he dropped his face upon the table and wept aloud. Perhaps in all the dismal scenes of domestic misery which had been acted in those spare and dreary houses- in all the petty miseries, the burning shames, the cruel sorrows, there had never been such a scene as this.” (173)

This passage was highly intriguing to me due to the strong tone and descriptive use of language within it. The graphic descriptions such as “died away” and “gasps which seemed to choke him” intensify the emotion of fear and sadness that the character was experiencing at the time. Then the author compares this scene to other descriptive experiences. As she does this, she uses more graphic descriptions to emphasize the severity of the emotions George’s father was releasing. As well as describe the intensity of this scene that Robert was witnessing. Concepts such as shame and sorrow are negative, however they are not necessarily considered dangerous. Adding such strong descriptions like burning and cruel emphasize that these feelings could elicit a sense of danger or pain.

This may be a reach but, the emphasis of pain, danger, and death within the adjectives could be alluding to the idea that George may have been murdered. These specific words could maybe represent the emotions and pain that he had felt before he died. As the book has carried on, and the mystery grows deeper the tone becomes darker alluding to the dark secrets Robert might discover.

A House but Not a Home

Passage starting with “a house in which no one room had any sympathy with another…” ending at the end of the page (pg.8).

One thing I noticed within this passage is the repetition of the word “house”. This made me think of the differences between the word “house” and the word “home”. In my opinion the word “home” is a way to describe a place or thing that provides the feeling of comfort or safety, it does not have to be a literal house, but rather anything or location that provides someone with these feelings. The word “house” solely describes a type of building and its physical appearance rather than the feelings it can provide, thus taking away emotions and only leaving the empty structure. Diving in further into the lack of those feelings, the phrase “no one room had any sympathy with another” (p. 8) provides the sense of disconnect. Also, the descriptions of the building mention the grand size of the house and the narrow staircase. This leads to a sense that while the house is large, it is still very constricting.

I think this passage may highlight issues within romantic or familial relationships and the disconnect within them. Within the book there has been mention of some relationships that are struggling or where the partners are physically or emotionally distant from one another. The distance and disconnect among the rooms could represent the physical and emotional distance going on within these relationships. I personally think that this passage emphasizes strained relationships within a house and how that can contribute to the lack of comfort and safety one feels thus preventing the sense of a “home” and instead it remains a meaningless building, a house.