Why a Peach?
The peach starts off as nothing more than a simple fruit; a relatively innocent, if a little cheeky, whim of the protagonist. As his relationship to the peach turns to love, to desire, to fear and worship, the peach itself is able to represent that evolution. As a dearly missed loved one, the peach is sweet and innocent, framed in Poi’s locket, the soft colour implying softness and peace. As a sexual fever dream, the peach can be suggestive and lewd, opening up to resemble something evocative. As an item of worship, it becomes holy and elevated, the simplicity of its shape becoming an easily replicable motif to incorporate into various objects imagery. As a monster, the mixture of its innocent connotations and horror elements creates a both disturbing and amusing dichotomy. Its visual and conceptual elements are easy to adapt to create different meanings, and to serve as symbols for the different incarnations of the protagonist’s obsession.
Love to Desire
The locket Poi comes across in the beginning is a representation of his dedication and motivation, like a locket with the picture of a loved one a soldier would have in the trenches: it is his undying love for the peach. When he falls asleep on the plateau of the mountain, this love becomes sexualised, the peach becoming an object of desire. Poi begins to fetishise the peach, demonstrating the escalation of his obsession.
Fruit and Sexuality
Fruit is often used to represent sexual themes and desire in art and media. Eve with an apple, Persephone with a pomegranate, fig leaves hiding female genitalia and grapes symbolising indulgence can often be seen in classical art. While the peach itself is often seen as a symbol of purity and virginity, it has also been used as a more evocative symbol: for instance Caravaggio’s Boy with a Basket a Fruit (1593), where it carries homoerotic undertones, and similarly used in the film Call me by Your Name (2017).