Wu Ting
What does ‘it’ refer to in the context? Perpetua has walked down the street from the Blue House twice this week, to deliver some pottery Natalya liked especially. Her favorite is the white glazed platter with fish leaping over it, a gift from Frida when they first arrived. Natalya thanked Perpetua and put it away in a cabinet, but today she has brought it out and set it against the wall. In the years with Lev her world has been so constrained, with so few objects of beauty in it. She is not a bulldog, only a woman pressed into the shape of a small jar, possibly attempting to dance in there. It shows in the way she places a seashell on a window sill, a red-painted chair in the corner: she is practiced in the art of creating a still life and taking up residence inside it. It shows in the way she places a seashell on a window sill, a red-painted chair in the corner: she is practiced in the art of creating a still life and taking up residence inside it. What does the first ‘it’ refer to in the sentence? Thanks!
Aug 10, 2014 1:12 PM
Answers · 4
The first "it" refers back to the previous sentence. The author is trying to show us that this woman is a different person than her outside appearance suggests. If a woman is compared to a bulldog, I picture a large woman with a face that is not pretty and a personality that is not pleasant. "She is not a bulldog" (even though she appears to be), but "only a woman pressed into the shape of a small jar" -- these words convey to me the feeling that she is trapped and diminished. Compressed in that way, she could hardly move, much less dance. But perhaps she is trying to dance? "It shows in the way she places a seashell on a windowsill..." These actions, these choices, suggest a heart that would dance if it could. I hope that makes sense. It's very easy for me to understand, but I found it surprisingly difficult to explain.
August 10, 2014
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