Write a note on symbols and imagery in The Singing Lesson

Write a note on symbols and imagery in The Singing Lesson

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    The Letter

    In this story, the letters play an important part. Through letters we, the readers, get to know about the protagonist’s persona and problems and how the people around her were affected. Through the first letter written to her by her fiancé, Basil, we get to know how he regretted getting engaged to her. Basil said in the letter that he felt strongly about how this marriage would be a mistake.

    He loved her but only as much as it was possible for him to love a woman. And since he discovered that he was not a marrying type, the idea of getting married to Miss Meadows filled him with regret. Initially, the word ‘disgust’ had been written and scratched off slightly in place of ‘regret’.

    Miss Meadows could not believe such a letter to have been addressed to her. She kept on remembering what went wrong as in the last letter where  Basil had written about a hat-stand and a bookshelf which he was looking to buy for them.

    Though still in a shock from the last letter, Miss Meadows saw that she had another letter from Basil and her first thought was that perhaps he had committed suicide. But Basil had only written to tell her to ignore the last letter which he must have written out of madness and that he bought the hat-stand. This letter was like a ray of hope for Miss Meadows and she was overjoyed at the fact that her wedding was not going to be called off.

    Music & Emotions

    Through music, one learns to express oneself fully. Music speaks a thousand more things than they actually mean. Similarly here, all the songs sung by the students and Miss Meadows seem to reflect the inner turmoil in Miss Meadows heart. When she had received the first letter from Basil, she was heartbroken and miserable yet had to go on with her daily life.

    The first song which she asked the others to sing was nothing but a lament. The dread, the grief and the miserable wailing reflected the sadness that was occurring in her heart. The students were not aware of Miss Meadows grief but had to bear with the fast and wailing song.

    The second letter gave her hope and joy and that was seen through the last song. The last song was that of a celebratory one-full of joy and happiness. It talked about fruits and flowers and celebrations. Both the songs reflected the persona of Miss Meadows appropriately.

    1. Read summary of The Singing Lesson

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