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Showing posts from March, 2019

The metaphor of the butterfly in The Vanishing Café

Butterflies are usually a fairly obvious metaphor - it’s the caterpillar that transforms into the colourful butterfly. It’s all about transformation and coming out of your shell towards a new beginning and a new you. Something fairly ugly becomes a colourful, delicate fluttering insect that brings joy to us on days when we don’t expect it. In The Vanishing Café, the butterfly is a metaphor for the fragility of life and the narrator, Nina’s new journey towards spirituality and seeking inner knowledge. The butterfly appears at vital moments in the novel - a subtle kiss between two characters in the café, to show how Sarah’s marriage fell apart and her vulnerable inner state and the dance that James does, with his swirling dervishes attire on. Nina knows that the café is a special place when she first enters it because she sees the butterfly outside and feels the presence of her dead grandmother is close by. The butterfly is a prompt and a guide to another doorway and Nina knows that