Imagery in "Reflections in the Golden Eye" by Carson Mc Cullers.

Essay by biancadtUniversity, Master's February 2004

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Imagery in "Reflections"

"Imagery is a revelation, largely unconscious, given at a moment of heightened feeling, of the furniture of one's mind, the channels of one's thought, the qualities of things, the objects and incidents one observes and remembers, and perhaps most significant of all, those which one does not observe or remember."

From "Shakespeare's Imagery" and what it tells us

By Caroline F. E. Spurgeon (1961)

I must confess that the first time I read Reflections I felt somewhat at a loss while trying to find imagery of some kind. Of course I was able to perceive those images which are easier to perceive such as the visual images. But then I came to a stage where I kept wondering. What is behind all this?. There must be something more to it. I went to a library and happened to come across an old book that really threw some light on my second reading.

Spurgeon's "Shakespeare's Imagery" really succeeded in taking me on a more pleasant journey this second time.

Though imagery is widespread throughout Reflections, the images I have personally found most revealing are those that do not only convey the background, atmosphere, appearance or emotion in the incidents but also tell us something about the author.

Carson McCullers was a talented Southern American writer who could skillfully depict human complexity and showed ``great sensitivity" when describing the feelings of her characters. She also had a strong perception of humanity, especially in all its fears and loneliness.

As she was born in Georgia and most of her novels take place in the South, her depictions of nature are effectively accurate to the reader. Note the way she describes the physical setting and the different parts of the day. The details do not only help us get...