Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

I.III.7 Mirth

Metaphors of inundation encapsulate much of Lily’s recollections of her mother and resonate with Lily’s resistance to sleep. Just as unconsciousness washes over an individual entering a deep sleep-state, Lily harbors fears that her passivity will wash her away to an inescapable state of old age and impoverishment. Lying in bed at Bellomont, she remembers her mother counseling. Reading dinginess vis-à-vis passivity, Lily’s hostility toward entering an unconscious sleep-state can be understood as her fear of falling into destitution. For Lily, bed-time is for self-reflection and strategy, not sleep. Therefore, her anxieties of being washed away by dinginess go hand-in-hand with her angst over the time she loses during sleep.

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