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The Search for Self in Tirra Lirra by the River It has been suggested that Tirra Lirra by the River could be regarded as a publication which aims eventually at a better comprehension"2. In my opinion comprehension is reached in two levels in the novel. The first sort of comprehension is private and introspective, and is found by the central character. Another is societal, achieved through allegory and symbolism, and aimed at the reader. Jessica Anderson aims to develop this double understanding during the exploration of just two chief topics: the quest for self-knowledge, and also the effects of gendered societal repression. In this article I shall explore these topics, and just how much Nora and also the viewers respectively eventually know compared to them. The Quest for Self-Knowledge Nora Porteous, the principal character of Tirra Lirra by the River, embarks on a voyage of self discovery as an elderly lady - mostly while in bed recovering from pneumonia. As bodily exertion, which the reader later discovers has been her normal reaction to periods of 'waiting', is refused her, she starts to investigate her inner world of imagination and memory. Her most important discovery is the fact that she's lived under the curse of an imbalance between imagination and reality all her life. This imbalance is represented by Nora's numerous correlations into Tennyson's "Lady of Shallot", also by the chasm between her bodily look and actions and her inner character. One of the most obvious traits shared with the Lady and Nora, is the appetite for the ideal social world of Camelot. Nora's 'Camelot' is a "area of [her] brain, where boundless expansion was potential" and is much more tangible than "the distress of knees imprinted by the cane of a chair" (...