Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog
! Error Created with Sketch.

Annie John

Chapter Six: Somewhere, Belgium

Summary Chapter Six: Somewhere, Belgium

Annie's visit to town and her musing upon her reflection shows the extent to which she is falling apart. When Annie sees her face, she thinks that she is ugly and ragged. Annie compares herself to a painting of Young Lucifer. The comparison to Lucifer is consistent with the last chapter's reference to Paradise Lost in that it again marks her as a person, like Lucifer, who has been kicked out of paradise by a dominant figure and who is now bound to eternal loneliness and isolation. Annie's feeling of dismay at her physical body and appearance prefigures her physical illness that follows in the next chapter. Already by obsessing over the black ball of sadness in her and by seeing her face with distortion, Annie appears to be on the cusp of a mental breakdown.

The interaction between Annie and the boys of the street provides a further hostile world in which even young boys, including one who was her friend, torment her. Annie remembers a time when her mother staunchly defended her against this boy, but such a defense is no longer to be. The attack of Annie's mother calling her a "slut" injures Annie to the core. Of course, her mother has misunderstood, but Annie recoils to the defensive says simply "like mother, like daughter." The effectiveness of Annie's response suggests that it carries some truth, and that her mother was involved in early sexual experimentation and perhaps this accounts for why she fled from her family in Dominica. Annie feels sick after the confrontation, but sees her mother as looking stronger and more vigorous than ever.

Annie's final consideration of the trunk suggests her full rejection of her mother. Annie's desire to have a trunk of her own heralds her desire to willfully separate from her mother. The trunk, whose stories once defined her, now seems to oppress with its presence. Annie thinks she is ready to have her own trunk to put her own objects and stories into. Annie's desire for a trunk of her own foreshadows her eventual desire to emerge as a separate person.