“I said, ‘I’ll have a whisky-and-soda. Why are you leaving me out?’ I drank half the glass and then I felt very giddy. I said, ‘I’m going to lie down” (123).
What I understand from this quote is that Anna’s need for Whiskey and Soda is her comfort for when she feels uncomfortable or when she is trying to fit in with the other characters of London. Clearly here you see to fit in with Laurie and Joe she requests a glass of Whiskey and Soda to drink along with them. Throughout the text we see her drink this mixture when she was nervous when she was dating Walter especially when she got closer to losing her virginity. Then you see her drink it very often when she decides on the occupation of being a prostitute. At this point this is basically a habit for Anna that can lead to the alcohol problems that her father seemed to have endured in the West Indies. During this time, I don’t think it was common for a young woman to drink as much as she did throughout the text. However, because just like just like Jean Rhys portrays her as being “naïve” she follows what the other characters do.
So, with analyzing Anna’s possible drinking problem it made me want to do some research on the use of alcohol. I found an article that discusses the possible effects Alcohol can have on your body and what your body goes through when you drink moderately or abstain from alcohol. Apparently, people can become sick with abstaining from alcohol and using alcohol. According to the article it is said that “The government return show that the members of non-abstaining societies have an average of nineteen days of sickness per annum, while those of abstaining societies such as the Rechabities have less than fourteen days. Is it possible to escape the conclusion that the moderate use of alcoholic beverages resulted in more sickness? (Reid,323). I found this very interesting because I feel that alcohol was part of the reason Why Anna was sick all the time. She seemed to have gotten sick long before she became pregnant and I don’t believe it was from just being home sick. From the looks of the article she could’ve gotten sick from drinking or from the moments where she stopped (which rarely ever happened).
- Reid WL. Introduction to a Discussion of the Effects of Moderate Doses of Alcohol. Glasgow Med J. 1910;73(5):321-326.
- Rhys, Jean, and Carole Angier. Voyage in the Dark. Penguin Books, 2007.