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Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Music, when we first meet Lucy, is the only outlet the girl has for all the feelings that are building up inside her. She pours her spirit into Beethoven sonatas, an act that enables her to maintain a polite and predictable exterior when she’s not playing the piano. When she plays, she is, as the narrator notes, “no longer either deferential or patronizing; no longer either rebel or a slave” (3.1). Instead, she is her own person, the genuine Lucy that isn’t allowed to come out in social situations. It’s the only milieu in which she can express her own desires. However, as her desires grow more and more forceful, music gradually becomes “the employment of a child” – as Lucy grows up, she develops the needs for a means of expression more direct than music – actual human interaction.

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