Imagery

Stewart rarely uses imagery in this play, as she is more concerned with the authenticity of the different voices within it. However, there is a significant example in Act III, when Jenny describes what she has been through and why she comes home. She describes an image of a river:

(more to herself than the others) there wis lights shimmerin on the blackness…it kind o slinks alang slow, a river, in the night. I was meanin tae let it tak me alang wi it.

The physical sense of her standing looking into the river, contemplating suicide is conveyed here, but there is also a metaphorical nuance where the river comes to portray depression and despair - always there in the darkness.

The use of the word slinks gives it an ominous overtone, as if it is sly and cunning in its method to lure you in. Moreover, the parenthetical a river emphasises the feeling of isolation conveyed in these lines. Jenny says poignantly that within this blackness she sees her daddy’s face. It is this that gives her comfort and courage to keep going and to return. He is the one hope that pulls her out of the abyss.

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