Symbolism In Leo's Mercury

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Trimingham calls Leo ‘Mercury’. How is this significant? Trimingham calls Leo “Mercury”, and this is significant. Trimingham says this when speaking to Marian, Leo’s crush, at the picnic. There are many ideas which are in the book which portray many different perspectives and interpretations of the word “Mercury”. The ideas are very contrasting and are great to analyse. Leo takes a significant interest in the temperature, looking daily at the thermometer, which is filled with mercury. What L.P. Hartley symbolises with the thermometer is the heat of the relationship between Marian and Ted, one which Leo is unknowing of. Leo is waiting for the thermometer, between himself and Marian to rise significantly, which is why he checks the thermometer daily for a rise in temperature. “The thermometer stood at 84.” “But I was confident it could do better.” This shows the dedication of Leo to the mercurial thermometer . His twelve year old attraction towards Marian is just that. An attraction. He waits daily for the heat between them to rise but it does not. Furthermore, the beginning of the relationship between Trimingham and Marian makes Leo jealous, as he says: “I got as near to…show more content…
This is significant as throughout the novel L.P. Hartley makes many references to astrology, this being one of them. There are many image references to the astrological star signs such as: “... came the farmer, a pail of water in each hand”. This is the personification of the star sign Aquarius, the water carrier, and is Ted Burgess. Also, Marian being portrayed as the virgin, Virgo through the text. L.P. Hartley writes: “holding the long coil of hair in front of her”. This is just as the hair of virgo is long and coiled to cover her private parts. As Mercury is the ruler of virgo, yet Mercury is small, the contrasting ideas portray the confusion Leo experiences as he enters the adult world, becoming a go-between for Ted and
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