Imagery and Symbolism in Brighton Rock

In: English and Literature

Submitted By LilyMath
Words 1239
Pages 5
AO1: Articulate creative, informed and relevant responses to literary texts, using appropriate terminology and concepts and coherent, accurate written expression.

AO2: Demonstrate detailed critical understanding in analysing the ways in which structure, form and language shape meanings in literary texts.

‘The effective use of imagery and symbolism is at the heart of the novel’s success’

Greene uses an extensive amount of imagery and symbolism to conjure an intricate understanding of the characters and plots within the novel. Imagery and symbolism is used throughout the novel to create contrast between characters or settings. For example Greene uses it to demonstrate Pinkie’s superiority in comparison to Rose’s meek inferiority, to highlight the class difference between Pinkie and Colleoni and to define characters as good or evil.

Pinkie’s dominance and control over Rose stems from the first night on which they meet up. The vitriol bottle is a symbol of fear and destruction as Pinkie shows it to Rose in an attempt to scare her to stay quiet. Although he then lies that it isn’t really vitriol, she still becomes obedient towards him as she is in awe of his knowledge ‘”you know an awful lot about things, Pinkie,” she said with horror and admiration’. Her wonderment with Pinkie foreshadows the lengths she will go for him. Pinkie is brutal, venomous and destructive much like the bottle of vitriol. Pinkie is presented as emotionless however he feels ‘sensual pleasure’ whilst holding it as he believes that it gives him power, reinforcing his twisted characteristics. He is often described as poisonous ‘the poison twisted in the boys veins’ demonstrating that the bottle of vitriol is a symbol of Pinkie’s nature, which is ironic as it causes his death. Rose’s naivety ‘what’s vitriol?’ is contrasted with Pinkie’s accurate perception of the world by Greene to express…...

Similar Documents


...Symbolism in Literature In literature, symbolism is used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is actually being described. The plot and action that take place in a story can be thought of as one level, while the symbolism of certain things in the writing acts on another level to enhance the story. It is a product of the culture of the day and reveals the culture in return. Symbolism can take place by having the theme of a story represented on a physical level. A simple example might be the occurrence of a storm at a critical point, when there are conflicts or high emotions. The storm might symbolize these. Similarly a transition from day to night, or spring to winter, could symbolize a move from goodness to evil, or hope to despair. A river in a scene could represent the flow of life, from birth to death. Flowers can symbolize youth or beauty. Take The Loons as an example, it is just a typical novel with symbolism from beginning till the end, with “the loons” throughout as a symbol of Piquette. Through the parallel of loons and Piquette, it is easy to find their common inability to change themselves and their environment——loons are unable to adapt to modern human invasion; Piquette is unable to escape the cultural stereotypes imposed on her. The novel reflects the ecological and ethical crises between man and nature and among humans for conquest and criticizes the power ideology embodied in the crises. Vanessa casually describes Piquette’s......

Words: 3198 - Pages: 13

Symbolism in Literature

...Alexis Jones February 26, 2011 Imagery and symbolism is what makes short stories and poems so compelling. Imagery is what lets the reader clearly imagine what is happening, whereas symbols may lie dormant begging for the reader to discover. The following poems and short stories posess recurring images and symbolism that drive the theme of the work. The reader discovers silence is dark. Whether the silence comes from insanity, misunderstanding, self-absorption, or pride, the reader understands that communication is key. That one needs to listen with their heart and mind to truly comprehend our world. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the author uses bold symbolism and imagery to show the protagonists oppression and confusion change to insanity, yet freedom. The symbolism is so blatant the main character remains nameless to show her silenced life. The most vivid usage of imagery is the yellow wallpaper. The main character is essentially confined to a room for rest, what her physician husband believes is a nervous condition. The reader can later assume the room is actually an institution for mental health. The room contains horrid yellow wallpaper. In the beginning of the story, the main character is angered and confused by the wallpaper. She describes the wallpaper almost parallel to her own life and mental health, “It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate and provoke study” (548). She goes on to......

Words: 1288 - Pages: 6

Brighton Beach

...Compare and Contrast Brighton Beach Memoirs book and movie Brighton Beach Memoirs is a play about the struggles of a poor jewish family in America. The protagonist Eugene is a teen who struggles with puberty and dreams of becoming a New York Yankee. Though both the movie and book was great they differed greatly. In the movie certain scenes from the book were changed in the movie which had an great impact on how the audience viewed the characters decision. In the book Stanely and Eugene have a strong brotherly bond. There are practically no secrets between them. In the story when Stanely is thinking of enlisting in the army he explains his reasoning to Eugene. So in the movie he leave without telling Eugene only giving him a letter this changes how the audience may view the brothers bond. Neil Simons of the play portrays Nora as a beautiful ambitious independent young woman. She aspires to be a showgirl on Broadway though her mother and Aunt disapproves. Though Nora is still beautiful she is not very ambitious or independent in the movie. Throughout the movie she is seems to be desperate for her mother’s attention and approval than anything else. One important fact that was changed in the movie was the talk of war in Europe. Though it was mentioned in the movie but it was not a big topic. In the book there is the constant worry for their families saftey in Europe. In the beginning there is constant about how they are house...

Words: 256 - Pages: 2


...Symbolism of the Journey in "The Road Not Taken" and "A Worn Path" ENG125: Introduction to Literature Instructor: Deborah Cunningham Amber Huntley April 9, 2013 Symbolism of the Journey in "The Road Not Taken" and "A Worn Path" When reading a short story or a poem it is not possible to comprehend the author’s true meaning of his or her written word without using symbolism to bring the literary work to life. Oftentimes the symbolism can be interpreted differently by each individual. We do know that the symbolism of literary works are created in the imagination of the writer to show certain events or interrelated facets of the literary work. Moreover, the joy of reading is so that the reader can interpret what these symbols mean to them and begin the wonderful journey into the world of literature. As we read, we begin to unravel and decode the symbolic nature of the characters journey throughout the written word. Also; the journey is not only in the reading of the literary work but, in deciphering the symbolism to find its true meaning as it relates to you, the reader of the short story or poem. Therefore, we can see from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and Eudora Welty’s short story, “A Worn Path” that the symbolism a writer uses is the journey to discovering the path of the literary work itself. The best example of this symbolic journey is Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken.”. In this poem we read about a man...

Words: 1792 - Pages: 8

Symbolism in Journey

...Symbolism in Journey “A Worn Path” and “A Road not Taken” The symbolism of a journey is represented in the short story “A worn Path” and the poem “The Road Not taken”. In each a journey is being taken. While representing two different types of journeys, they each display symbolism that is representative of each story. In “A Worn Path”, the journey of struggle to overcome racism and in “The Road not Taken” is regret of having to choice between two paths. Using symbolism in each form makes the story and poem more reverent to the reader. The symbolism is like imagery for both the short story and the poem. The short story “A Worn Path” is written by Eudora Welty. The story is set in the south during a time when racial tension was still prevalent. African Americans are just moving out of slavery and into being free. The story tells of the journey of an old woman making the familiar trip to town for medicine for her grandchild. She is met with obstacles, adversity and also with respect. The old woman’s name is Phoenix Jackson. The author takes care not to describe Phoenix as a black woman, but instead describes her with colors that are representation of the mythical creature of the same name. The author description of Phoenix as” her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching wrinkles and as though a whole little tree stood in the middle of her forehead, but a golden color ran underneath, and the two knobs of her cheeks were illumined by a......

Words: 2247 - Pages: 9


...Imagery is very important in poetry. It is used to give the reader a visual or sense of what the author is talking about. Imagery triggers something in the brain that then gives us the ability to correlate a word with a sound, smell, feelings or even sight. Without any type of imagery, it would make it very difficult to relate with the author. Color imagery is used to trigger sight and make us visualize colors and associate it with the words either preceding or proceeding. In the two poems, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost and “Spring and All” by William Carlos Williams, color imagery plays a big role in describing the scene. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Browning is a poem about nature and how everything is so beautiful at first, but it then becomes subsides and isn’t as wonderful. “Nature’s first green is gold”, this could refer to the sunrise in the morning (499). This reminds me of all the gorgeous hues of a sunrise and how the sky and everything the sun hits seems golden. It could also be referring to seasonal changes. When spring is around, all the flowers and sunlight look amazing, but when the flowers start turning into leaves and falling off, it is a little upsetting to look at. “So dawn goes down to day”, this gives me the sense that Frost is talking about the early mornings (499). Watching dawn turn into day is disappointing, especially when you get to see all the natural colors coming from dawn and then it just turns into another plain day. The last......

Words: 637 - Pages: 3

Color Imagery

...Running head: COLOR OF IMAGERY IN POEMS 1 COLOR IMAGERY IN POEMS 2 Color imagery; also known as color symbolism is a literary tool that refers to the meaning associated with a certain color. The color symbolizes a feeling or meaning. Author’s use color imagery to help the reader reference the feeling or meaning. In literature it is an object or reference used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is essentially being described. It can be restrained or obvious, used cautiously or strong. An author may repeat the same object to communicate a deeper meaning or might use distinctions of the same object to produce a mood or feeling. Nothing Gold Can Stay, written by Robert frost in the year 1923, uses color imagery. The title of the poem is a metaphor where the gold represents value and wealth so when it says nothing gold can stay it means that nothing that is precious or of great value in the materialistic way can last forever. Gold symbolizes materialism it will not last for long and it gives an untrue happiness. Gold and other things such as, money can take years to accumulate but can be depleted in an instant.  On the other hand, things having emotion and sentimental values cannot be bought with money and therefore will remain with us throughout our life.   Frost says “nature’s first green is gold” he compares the color of nature “green’ with something that can be bought; gold. He is trying to portray that...

Words: 653 - Pages: 3


...By the Bog of Symbolism By the Bog of Cats is a play that takes place in present day Ireland. Filled with suspense and tragedy, it tells a story of a woman by the name of Hester Swane, who copes with the separation of her and her husband. Throughout the play there were significant parallels between the setting and the plot. The landscape created by the author, Marina Carr, helps shape the characters and its outcomes of the play. She uses history and tradition of the Bog, use of time of day, the dead black swan and its color contrast, as well as the caravan; in order to create and set a presence. By the Bog of Cats, by Marina Carr takes place on a terrain of land known as the Bog. Bogs are one of the most distinctive pieces of wet lands. "its spongy ground consist mainly of partially decayed plant matter called peat. They are found in cooler climates that have poorly drained lakes and lake brazens" ("Ireland's Peat Bogs."). Bogs, also referred to as blanket bogs are deeply interwoven into Irish history, and have been useful in many ways. The peat found on bogs, were widely used to heat homes. They were also used for water storage. Because of the lack of drainage within bogs, rain water would be stored there, which prevents flooding. The bog also holds history; literally. Due to its denseness and many layers of turf, bogs are an excellent habitat for preserving things. A prime example of this would be a recent discovery made in 2011. The body of a man was found who is......

Words: 1604 - Pages: 7

Visual Imagery

...Psych/640 March 2015 Volume 1, Issue 1 Visual Imagery What is Visual Imagery Two important cognitive systems a person has are a person’s visual and verbal systems which are two very basic ways that individuals are able to express themselves to others. These two systems allow individuals to both create word and visual images in order to communicate thoughts with other individuals. In the verbal system a person is able to create words, portray thoughts, sequence words together in order to communicate with other people. In the visual system the system is more sensory based, relying on holistic, emotional, personal, and fantasy-based information or images. This system though being called visual is not just about seeing it’s also about sounds and touch. This paper is going to compare and contrast verbal and visual imagery, provide an argument of which is considered more important by the author, and provide justification of the argument with research . Inside this issue Visual Imagery ............................ 1 Visual and Verbal Systems .......... 1 Argument of Importance ............ 2 Closing Thoughts......................... 2 Visual and Verbal Systems For cognitive functioning to work in most individuals they must use imagery as well as verbal systems together. According to Mzoughi and Abdelhak (2011), most people uses both verbal and visual together though some people may be better at one or the other. Some individuals may be better visually and be......

Words: 895 - Pages: 4

Male Identity Brighton Rock

...Graham Greene’s novel ‘Brighton Rock’ has a reoccurring theme of male identity and how the protagonist Pinkie acts as if he is very masculine through the fact that he is in a gang, a leader of men and is aggressive suggests that he very masculine; however, his name ‘Pinkie’ contrasts this approach and so does his appearance. In addition, Ida is portrayed as being masculine through her free will and her persistence in finding out who murdered Hale. Firstly, the reader get an inclination that ‘The Boy’ Pinkie isn’t actually a ‘man’ this is through the use of the caesura which creates a pause between the word ‘man’ which makes the reader think that he isn’t a man at all which reduces his masculinity. This would interest the reader because Pinkie who is a leader of men; who is considered to be very aggressive is still a boy and not even a man. The reader can interpret this in two ways: either Pinkie is very masculine or even though he is a boy he should be treated like a man because of the way he behaves, or a reminder to the audience that he is still only a child and he shouldn’t be getting all the attention that a ‘man’ does which as a result emasculates him. Moreover, Pinkie with his ironically childish nickname is constantly frustrated when people do not take him seriously and the repetition of his nickname ‘the Boy’ makes the audience feel that not only does the narrator not value him enough to call him by his real name, but it also forces a sense of mistaken identity. In......

Words: 1225 - Pages: 5

Imagism and Symbolism

...ENG340b Professor V. Levchev Final Paper Imagism and Symbolism: American Poets in Europe The key aspects discussed in this paper are American Imagists in Europe in the beginning and the middle of 20th century. However, everything has its roots and its beginnings. The same way imagism movement initially developed from symbolism, very popular literary movement of the end of 19th century, which influenced most of the imagist poets. Symbolism was an art movement originated in France, Belgium and Russia in the end of the 19th century, which remained prominent almost until the end of the World War II. This movement was a reaction to the predominating at that time standards and rules of realism. It appeared as a new manifestation of the romanticism and was concerned about preserving individualism in the modern world, absorbed by the mass culture.1 Usually being enclosed in free verse, symbolism was about expression of author’s personal emotions. It handled very composite feelings that appeared from the everyday life in the world and was rather about evoking than about describing. It used an object, person, colour or just a word in order to represent or describe something else. It was used when an author wanted to create some specific mood or any given emotion in his piece.2 Being tired of realism, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, introduced symbolism to the America. Nevertheless, Pound was looking for something else, for something new in his poetry and, along with some...

Words: 1878 - Pages: 8

Imagery and Symbolism

...Mrs. Stansfield ENG 4U0 July 6, 2015 Imagery and Symbolism in Poems Poem #1: Where There’s a Wall by Joy Kogawa This poem evokes motivation and inspiration. The main message that I received from it is that, even when life puts an obstacle in front of you, you can always find a way to get your goal to the other side. The wall is a symbol that represents an obstacle in life that may prevent one from reaching what they desire. Literal imagery is used quite often in this poem. The writer composes a stanza that states that he/she is “standing” on one side of the wall, “staring at the top, lost in the clouds.” From this, we can imagine a person standing in front of a wall, mindlessly looking into the clouds. But the stanza continues, stating that they “hear every sound” one makes but “cannot see” them. This implies that this person is trying to get to another person on the other side of the wall, but can only hear their voice from behind the wall that stands between them. Figurative imagery is also slightly utilized in this poem, near its end. When the poem reads that “a voice cries faint as in a dream,” a simile is used, comparing a voice’s quiet sound to one you would hear while dreaming. This makes it easy for the reader to imagine how strong this wall is, blocking out so much sound that the heard voice is as faint as in a dream. Poem #2: Poem About Your Laugh by Susan Glickman This poem presents a lot of imagery, mostly figurative rather than......

Words: 515 - Pages: 3

Imagery of Darkness

...Kapilan Pushparajah ENG4U1 Mr.Karantonis April 11th 2014 Imagery of Darkness The book “Heart of Darkness” is a novel written by writer Joseph Conrad. It is about the adventurers that an ivory transporter named Charles Marlow had down the Congo river to central Africa. The novel is based on a true story, of Joseph Conrad's actual journey up the Congo River in 1900. Marlow is Joseph Conrad’s alter ego. The novel had many themes such as; racism, loneliness, colonialism, good vs evil, power and many more. In this novel, Conrad uses imagery and symbolism to reveal the implication on the traits of different characters’ personalities. They represent main character traits. Main examples of imagery and symbolism in the novel occur when; Marlow meets the accountant for the first time. Marlow was amazed by how well dressed the accountant was. Imagery and symbolism also occur when Marlow looks through his binoculars to see the heads that were facing the station house which he had initially thought were just ornaments. The heads represent how kurtz is crazy and violent due to the graphicness of the heads.The imagery and symbolism in this novel describe the personality traits of the characters very well and helps the reader make better connections with the novel and helps them understand it better. When Marlow first met the chief accountant he was amazed. He was impressed with the way that the accountant looked. He seemed to be very surprised. “When near the buildings I met a......

Words: 1004 - Pages: 5

Imagery in Hamlet

...Imagery in Hamlet Hamlet is one of the most widely read works of literature. It's an exploration of the multifaceted world of adolescence. This world is full of confusion, thoughtfulness, intimacy, and action. It's a study in how a young person emerging into adulthood attempts to cope. In Hamlet, Shakespeare allows his hero to dream and to think through his dreams (Williams). Hamlet is a revenge tragedy and by the end, almost every character has died in some tragic or gruesome way. In this play, Shakespeare makes use of imagery, allegory, metaphor, and symbolism. In particular, the symbols of the ghost, the garden, and flowers, along with imagery and metaphors for madness are used to convey specific ideas which provide depth and complexity to this story. The ghost is a pivotal symbol and appears throughout Hamlet. Is the ghost Hamlet's father or is it Hamlet himself? Is the ghost real or is it part of Hamlet's imagination? The ghost claims he is Hamlet's father. He says he was murdered by Claudius, Hamlet's Uncle who is now wed to Hamlet's mother and who is also sitting on the throne. He also says his sins must be wiped clean before he can ascend to heaven. His soul is "doomed" to endure "sulph'rous and tormenting flames" until the "foul crimes done in [his] days of nature / Are burnt and purged away" (1.5.6; 17-18). The ghost requires revenge and this is an odd request given the religious context, yet this is what sets the revenge plot in motion. Father's Ghost. My......

Words: 1124 - Pages: 5

Imagery and Symbolism in Where There's a Wall

...Imagery and Symbolism The poem, Where There’s a Wall by Joy Kogawa uses imagery and symbolism to enhance the theme of war. During this assignment, I will be focusing on the symbolism and imagery relating to war. The author was born in 1935 in Canada, just four years before World War Two (“Joy Kohan Biography”). A great extent of the author’s childhood would have been during World War Two. In addition, Japanese families were mistreated by Canadian government officials during World War Two (“Joy Kohan Biography.”) The poem represents how war can be avoided. The poem used the wall as a symbol of conflict between nations. The poem gives peaceful methods of overcoming the wall, such as, “around, over, or through / there’s a gate.” (3-4) and then nonpeaceful methods, e.g. “there are methods of torture” (11) and “bettering rams” (16), to get the same results. The Berlin wall is an iconic landmark that represents World War Two (“Berlin Wall History”). I believe that Joy Kogawa chose to base the poem around a “wall” rather than a similar obstacle like a “fence” or a “mountain” to symbolize the Berlin Wall and thus associate the poem with war. The poem also used military objects to create an image of war by referring to methods to cross or destroy the “wall.” For example, “Battering rams / armies with trumpets / whose all at once blast / shatters the foundations” (16-20). Lines “16-20” appeal to the senses of touch and hearing. “Trumpets” and “last” are both associated......

Words: 394 - Pages: 2