Summary Of Sarah Waters Affinity

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Sarah Waters’ Affinity uses the identity, Aurora, to represent a wound for the main character, Margaret Prior. The identity of Aurora haunts Margaret through its representation of her past relationship with her former lover Helen; Aurora’s the nickname Helen had for Margaret during their relationship (Waters 114). Therefore, Margaret’s haunted by the person she used to resemble in her relationship with Helen effectively named Aurora; a person she desperately wants to become again. Essentially, Margaret’s haunted by a ghost of herself in the form of an identity. Throughout the book, Margaret’s actions are either a result of trying to heal the wound of Aurora or out of a desire to become Aurora again; her whole existence is based around an identity …show more content…
The wound is most prevalent in the dinner scene when Margaret admits to her suicide attempt saying “I took morphia, Mr. Dance!... and should have died, if they had not found me” (255). Margaret’s suicide attempt reflects her trying to escape the identity of Aurora resulting in a mental wound; the mental wound comes from her longing of the relationship Aurora represents. Margaret’s admission comes right after her mother 's attempts to brush the incident off, “Margaret was ill, Mr. Dance, when her poor father died. And in her illness-such an accident!-she muddled the dosing of her medicine”(255) reflecting a change in her confidence to combat her mother’s belief. Margaret’s new confidence coinciding with her return to the identity of Aurora. Moreover, Margaret’s admission comes in the service of defending the women who made her Aurora again, Selina. Furthermore, Margaret’s action of trying to escape Aurora reflects the Bennett & Royle concept of wounds coming from being “broken-hearted” (129). Therefore, Margaret’s suicide attempt was her fixing the wound created by Helen leaving the relationship; she receded back into the person she despised, Margaret. The wound is previously conveyed when Margaret says to Helen. “Don’t go too near the bed! Don’t you know it’s haunted, by our old kisses”(204)? …show more content…
In this action, Margaret’s still trying to fill the wound left by the ending of her relationship with Helen; she’s still not the full embodiment of Aurora until she gains an actual relationship with Selina. Furthermore, Margaret’s thrust of Vigers (241) reflects the Bennett & Royle concept “trauma has to do with the sense of something that happened in the past but in a past that has not really ended” (133) through Margaret’s pushing away the mere mention of Helen’s beauty; the wound of Aurora is still very apparent even in Margaret’s new found subjection to the identity. The wound still exists through Margaret’s inability to achieve happiness outside the relationship Aurora represents. Therefore, Margaret’s existence is haunted through the identity she encompassed in her relationship with Helen. Furthermore, Margaret’s ability to heal wound is based on her ability to make Selina embody the role of Helen; she needs to make her new relationship identical to her last one for her to completely embody the ghost of her past self. Her obsession with regenerating her past relationship reflects itself through a poignant sentence she says to Selina “If you don’t come, Selina, I shall die” (Waters 309). Therefore, Margaret will

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