"I Know the Music; I Can Sing the Song": Musicality in Jean Rhys' Voyage in the Dark and Good Morning, Midnight

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University of Alabama Libraries

In Voyage in the Dark and Good Morning, Midnight, Jean Rhys' women mentally wrestle with the past and present, often facing difficulty in forming an identity in their present circumstances. One such way that Rhys portrays her leading ladies' struggles is through music. The women's interactions with ambient music are critical for Rhys' portrayal of their deteriorating senses of self. Additionally, the structure of both novels is hugely musical, with leitmotifs, recurring tunes, and untranslated French that amplify Anna and Sasha's alienation from the world around them. Critics tend not to focus on how the structure of the two novels works alongside the ambient music to reinforce the alienating effects that the music has on Anna and Sasha. Rhys' hybrid storytelling structure illuminates the struggles of her cross-cultural women fighting to retain their past selves while acclimating to the present.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
modernism, musicality