Celia Behind Me

Study guide med hjælp til analyse af novellen “Celia Behind Me” af Isabel Huggan. Her får du overblikket over de elementer i teksten, som det er væsentligt at trække frem i en analyse. Derudover får du et summary og inspiration til temaer og perspektivering.

Isabel Huggan (f. 1943) er en canadisk skønlitterær forfatter. Novellen "Celia Behind Me” findes i samlingen The Elizabeth Stories fra 1984. Samlingen består af en række noveller, som alle handler om hovedpersonen Elisabeth Kesslers opvækst.

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Elizabeth’s aunts died in a car crash “with their heads smashed like overripe melons” (l. 10). Elizabeth overhears that phrase from her mother, and it has a great impact on her. The imagery of smashed or severed heads recurs several times in the story. Celia’s head is compared to a melon (ll. 13-15), and when Elizabeth attacks Celia, she screams at her “ ‘I’ll smash your head like a melon! And it’ll go in pieces all over and you’ll die’ ” (ll. 128-130). The mother’s remark as she punishes Elizabeth: “ ‘I’ll never be able to lift my head on this street again!’ ” (l. 159) also brings back the imagery of the car accident. This “marvellous expression” (l. 161) allows Elizabeth to imagine her mother’s head on the street. This illustrates the impact that the violent imagery has on Elizabeth and how it gives rise to her own violent impulses. 

The chocolate melts on the children’s tongues “like dark communion wafers” (l. 75). This simile, which mentions a religious rite, highlights the importance of the occasion to Elizabeth. She knows that being offered chocolate by Sandra is the equivalent of being granted acceptance within the group of children. This is why she dares to ask for it, which is unusually bold for her (ll. 80-81). However, Sandra refuses, which reinforces Elizabeth’s status as an outsider

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Celia Behind Me

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