I’ve been reading Angela Thirkell’s Ankle Deep, and I have to admit that I’m torn about the main character, Aurea. Part of me identifies with her, while part of me is almost repulsed by her, especially her dependence on her parents and contradictory morals.

It’s a somewhat new character reaction for me, and overall I think I just feel sorry for her. This one passage seemed to sum it up nicely:

“Aurea can’t see very far in front of her, and what she sees doesn’t really exist […] She lets ideas fill up the foreground, and spends her time pretending that facts are like ideas, which they aren’t. She can only see what is inside her own imagination […] when she meets facts she runs away from them mentally, or winds them up in a cocoon of imaginings. She lives, I should say, largely in an idealized past, or an imaginary future.”

The other characters constantly describe Aurea as childlike, and everyone seems to want to take care of her. On the one hand she seems completely fragile and unaccustomed to reality, yet on the other she is also aware of this, and bears her misfortunes with quiet courage.

In some ways Aurea’s situation is similar to mine, and I guess that’s what makes me push away from her. Sometimes I feel very young myself, and even revel in it, but I like to think that I’m also able to act in a mature fashion and am capable of adult relationships and responsibilities.

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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