Illimitable Darkness Analysis

711 Words3 Pages
As a phenomenon that interferes with the adequate perception of the empirical sense-data, darkness objectifies doubts about the possibility of knowing things. While reading the letter communicating his wife’s decision to leave him, Hervey “saw an illimitable darkness […]” (118). The perusal of the letter culminating in a confrontation with darkness is a metaphor of a failure to interpret the visual flow as an orderly text from which all the hints of the non-discursive and hence the ineffable must be erased. The wife’s incomprehensible decision which takes him by surprise opens up the realm of emotions, of uncontrollable desires, all that resists verbal articulation. Darkness which thwarts all the effort of the eyes to recognize shapes is a primary factor…show more content…
The metaphor of “an illimitable darkness” doubly contradicts the visual capacity – it not only deprives the eye of light and thus the ability to see, but it also questions the monocular mode of perception by seducing the eye into infinity, which is ungraspable and offers no stable, definitive point to focus on, inviting the eye to enjoy the multiplicity of perspectives. The dramatic situation sets Hervey frantically groping for the means of dealing with the “ugliness of truth” (154) exposed by Mrs. Hervey’s gesture to leave. Finding all his certainties shattered Hervey is gripped with fear that the overall configuration of his life has been invalidated and that the breakdown of the marriage might bring the “hidden stream,” which he was so eager to ignore, to the surface. He blames his wife not so much for her alleged infidelity but rather for her unwillingness to maintain decorum, which the narrator articulates by invoking the rhetoric of unveiling: “There was an utter unreserve in her aspect, an abandonment of

    More about Illimitable Darkness Analysis

      Open Document