After Psyche’s exile, Orual is haunted by the sound of the chains of the well moving in the wind, which sounds just like a girl crying in the garden. The chains act as a constant reminder of her guilt, keeping her from completely burying her old self as she tries to when she becomes Queen. She wants to forget what she did to Psyche, long refusing to acknowledge that she was at fault, but the sound of the chains is always there to dredge up the past. In fact, the chains effectively chain her to her memories of Psyche. Orual’s decision to build thick stone walls around the well to muffle the sound echoes her decision to veil her face. In both instances, she puts up a physical barrier to hide truths about herself that she doesn’t want to acknowledge.
The Chains in the Well Quotes in Till We Have Faces
But the change of my quarters, and later changes (for I tried every side of the house) did no good. I discovered that there was no part of the palace from which the swinging of those chains could not be heard; at night, I mean, when the silence grows deep. It is a thing no one would have found out who was not always afraid of hearing one sound; and at the same time (that was Orual, Orual refusing to die) terribly afraid of not hearing it if for once—if possibly, at last, after ten thousand mockeries—it should be real, if Psyche had come back.