Pages: 5 Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals. Get Access In A. The two girls grow up in very dissimilar ways: Penny finding ways to mask her trauma, and Primrose extroverting herself to cope with it. The text suggests that extroversion is a healthier coping method than masking. Byatt 3 Her name along with her description of being thin and dark can relate her to currency. Throughout the text, we are given examples that lead us to believe Penny lives a more materialistic life.
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Pages: 5 Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals. Get Access In A. The two girls grow up in very dissimilar ways: Penny finding ways to mask her trauma, and Primrose extroverting herself to cope with it.
The text suggests that extroversion is a healthier coping method than masking. Byatt 3 Her name along with her description of being thin and dark can relate her to currency. Throughout the text, we are given examples that lead us to believe Penny lives a more materialistic life. We learn that she goes to college for developmental psychology. Byatt 10 She values the finer things like education and professional attire. Penny works hard to cover up trauma, much like a child puts their change or pennies in their piggy bank to save up for something they want.
Scholars often deal with their stressors internally as they view their failures to be self-inflicted. On the other hand, Primrose, who is not a scholar, takes a different approach. Her assortment of jobs are all those where an extrovert would thrive. With the evidence of these jobs, we can assume she is an extrovert, and would deal with internal stressors in that manner. When the main characters meet again as grown women, we see that Primrose has moved on, or bloomed, from the trauma of seeing the Thing in the forest.
Also, in the same section, Primrose is wearing a floral skirt. Their personalities are hard-wired to cope with things in different ways. Although the two protagonists lead different lives as they grow up, they also share similarities which suggest they are somehow stuck in the trauma they share at the time of their reconnection at the old mansion.
First off, neither woman is married. This suggests that Penny and Primrose have not matured to the point of marriage, and are stuck in a child mindset that believes in giant worms and does not rely on romantic companionship. Also, both women work with children; Penny as a psychologist and Primrose as a storyteller. The trauma of seeing the Thing has even driven the characters to return to the forest. When Penny and Primrose walk into the forest, they are approaching the fear that has overwhelmed them for many years.
The two women are similarly stuck in time and fear with the Thing. Penny uses her education and success to mask her feelings about the Thing, which can only hide her fear, not help to overcome it. When her father died, her mother shut herself out to the rest of the world. Byatt 10 Since her mother was emotionally dead and her father literally dead, it can be assumed that Penny led a solitary and serious childhood, which explains why she spent so much time studying.
She went on to become a child psychologist, and works with children with severe autism. Byatt 10 She believes she can relate to these children because she and they know the struggle of the real world, unlike most. Byatt 19 She chose a profession that you would think would help her deal with her own trauma and help her unpack and solve her issues with the Thing.
However, instead of using her knowledge to help overcome her trauma, she uses it as an excuse to relate to her patients. As an adult, Penny is still tall and thin. She wears professional attire in neutral colors; she blends in. Blending in is a sign of intimidation. When she returns to the forest, she is overwhelmed by the nostalgia of it, and lets her fear engulf her.
Primrose, however, is able to express herself and heal from the terror she experienced long ago. As an adult, she becomes a storyteller. It allows her to express herself through fantasy, even though she is initially troubled by the Thing. She has bright colorful chairs for the children. Her surroundings suggest that she is very happy. When visiting the mansion where she and Penny stayed as children, she goes out into the forest.
She even takes her focus off the Thing and admires the beauty of the forest. Byatt 17 This hints at her triumph over the Thing. She is able to move on and tour the area, not consuming herself with an event that happened so many years ago. By telling stories to children, and eventually her own, she is able to release herself from that trauma.
Penny and Primrose take very different approaches to coping with their childhood siting of the Thing. Penny tries to mask her struggle by blending in and internalizing her fears. Even though she is a child psychologist, she cannot be her own client and is eventually completely consumed by her trauma.
Primrose goes on to become a storyteller. By confronting her fear and using storytelling as an outlet, she is able to overcome the trauma.
This suggests that, compared to bottling up fear, expressing fear is a better coping mechanism.
A. S. Byatt
They are evacuated to escape the Nazi bombing of London i. Penny is tall, thin, pale, and possibly older than Primrose, who is plump with curly blond hair. They are anxious and scared, thinking of themselves as orphans. Some of the children cry themselves to sleep that first night. The next morning, after breakfast, Penny and Primrose decide to explore the forest. A younger child, Alys, wants to go with them, but they tell her no, saying she is too little.
The Thing in the Forest Essay
The two main characters, Penny and Primrose, are sent away from their homes in London during the time when Germany was bombing the major metropolitan areas of England. We find out early that the girls do not know each other but quickly form a bond that will help them work though the experiences that that are thrown at them. During this in between time, the girls venture into the forest near the house and believe that they come across a thing moving through the forest. This experience stays with both of them for the rest of their lives and both have their own way of dealing with what they think they saw. To get a better understanding of the girls experience away from home, Byatt uses many forms of figurative language to convey underlying messages or events that happen especially in the forest. The most prominent types of figurative language are the use of symbols.
The Thing in the Forest
Summary Analysis Penny and Primrose are two girls who are evacuated with a group of children to a mansion in the English countryside during World War II. They are evacuated to escape the German bombing of London i. The children are described as a ragtag bunch, with scuffed shoes and scraped knees, and carrying toys and dolls as items of comfort, most likely to forestall the terror they must feel. The war is the event that the girls are literally escaping, but they will spend the rest of their lives trying to escape it figuratively, as well, as they struggle to cope with the traumatic experience of leaving their families and encountering the Thing in the forest.
Importance of Symbols in “the Thing in the Forest”
The Thing in the Forest by A. Instead, it reinforces in each of them the need to stick to her own path of recovery. My class had to read this story and we went over it in class. The girls arrive, along with a group of many other children, at the mansion—a big, eerie place surrounded by a forest. Their individual responses to the forest after the initial incident also influenced their career choices.