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…...

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