Symbols In The Tempest

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This text presents the concept of flawed parental figures, reflecting Tempest 's portrayal of faulted gods which is reinforced by the repeated references to Greek mythology. Mary, Brian and Jane all fail to fulfil society’s expectation of parenting, and the repeated theme of dysfunctional families and marriages indicates Tempest’s alternative views towards perfection.
The self-destructive behaviour described at the beginning of the extract demonstrates Mary’s feelings of worthlessness and shame, which arose after Brian’s affair. Her disregard for her own health and her depressed psychological state is demonstrated through her behaviour of “chain smoking”, “getting pissed” and pouring “vodka into a dirty teacup”. The phrase “chain-smoking” indicates
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In Jane’s reflection of Tommy’s childhood the alliterative line, “it’s the holidays that hurt” signifies Jane’s feelings of regret when she sees Kevin and Tommy interacting, revoking the pain of her breakdown in trust and love. The rhyme and repetition in the line, “see it in the boy’s eyes, / hear it when the boy cries” symbolises how Jane sees a reflection of Brian in Tommy’s features acting as a painful motif. The rhyme “eyes”, “cries” and “apologise” draws attention to Jane’s feelings of remorse for her actions also her detached relationship with Tommy is demonstrated by referring to him as “the boy”. Jane is compared to Pandora; the bearer of grief and evil into the world through her foolish temptation, “Jane – Brand New Pandora, legs crossed on the floor / with the lid off the box”. This comparison connotes how Jane has let out all the evil into her family due to her lapse into temptation to sleep with Brian, causing her (and Mary’s) marital breakdown and her illegitimate son, Tommy to be born, this idea is demonstrated in the imagery “lid off the box”. A critical response states that Jane’s “affair may not have unleashed all the evils in the world, but has certainly opened her up to guilt and recrimination and the knowledge that her actions can never be reversed” , implying that despite her actions having serious repercussions she alone is not the cause for her or Mary’s familial breakdown. Through Jane’s characterisation Tempest demonstrates how Humans are imperfect and therefor Jane shouldn’t be penalised for her
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