Moby Dick: Symbols To Draw Attention

Often in great works of literature, symbols are incorporated to add depth. These symbols make it more interesting to the reader by making connections from one idea to another. Herman Melville depicts a great number of characters and symbols in his 19th century novel Moby Dick. Melville uses symbols to develop plot, characters, and to give the reader a deeper interpretation of the novel. (Tucker) The author successfully uses the symbols of brotherhood, monomania, isolation, religion, and duality to make his book more interesting to its readers.

At the beginning of the novel, the characters Ishmael and Queequeg are introduced. Ishmael is the narrator of the story. He is also a merchant seaman who signs up for a whaling voyage to see the world- and the only crewmember to survive and tell us the story. Queequeg is a tattooed cannibal from the South Seas. He is courageous, as well as kind-hearted. (Cavendish) After becoming friends with Ishmael, he also signs up for whaling and becomes a harpooner.

Melville chose to depict brotherhood as a symbol in a couple different ways. In the hotel room before boarding the Pequod, Ishmael and Queequeg share a room together, where they both sleep. One such morning when Ishmael awakes, he recalls:

How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts’ honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg- a cozy, loving pair (Melville 68).

This closeness that Melville creates conveys that the relationship between these two characters is a close one.

In the chapter A Squeeze of the Hand, brotherhood is addressed yet again. The crewmembers of the Pequod cut the blubber out of the whales to make it liquid again. While their hands are in the blubber, they meet, as if everyone is holding hands. Ishmael states, “I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers’ hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget(398)” This is significant because of the importance of comradeship. This situation was used as an excuse to be closer to people then a normal situation would normally allow. This chapter is contrasted to the previous chapter to that of isolation, which will soon be addressed.

Yet another symbol of brotherhood in Moby Dick was when Ahab split his wooden leg jumping back onto the Pequod. Ahab depended on the carpenter to make him a new leg, therefore partly bonding and making a friendship.

Ahab’s monomania grows increasingly as the story moves forward. While on the ship, Ahab addresses his crewmembers with a doubloon, which symbolizes the act of drawing everyone into the vortex of monomania by Ahab. He uses this coin to focus everyone’s attentions and goals into finding Moby Dick.

However, the coin incident is not the only symbol that Melville uses to display Captain Ahab’s monomania. As they are sailing, the Pequod passes various ships along their journey. Upon meeting with these ships, Ahab asks them if they’ve seen a white whale, and refuses to help them because he is afraid that it will interfere and delay the process of capturing Moby Dick.

Because of Ahab’s monomania, in the beginning of the novel Ahab isolates himself from the rest of the crewmembers until they are out on the sea. During the early stages of this novel, Ahab avoids bonding with anyone else, which can be found when at the dinner table. All the mates are silent, and they must leave in the reverse order from which they came, with the third mate having to leave first; the harpooners eat last. It is because of this order that demonstrates how Ahab tries to isolate him and his crewmembers. ” In the cabin was no companionship; socially, Ahab was inaccessible. Though nominally included in the census of Christendom, he was still an alien to it. Ahab’s soul, shut up in the caved trunk of his body, there fed upon the sullen paws of its gloom! (156)”

Away from the concept of monomania is Melville’s use of duality in Moby Dick. This duality adds a twist that makes the story more interesting and keeps the reader in suspense as to what other symbols in the book might have dual meanings.

Because of the nature of this novel, various things symbolize duality. For example, the color white is commonly associated with such things as wholesomeness, pureness, cleanliness, honesty, innocence, and goodness. However, it is ironic how Herman Melville decided to make Moby Dick white, seeing as though the whale is seen by Ahab as evil, bad, and mean- the opposite of what most people associate the color of white with.

The concept of duality can also be expressed when talking about Queequeg’s coffin. As the journey went on, Queequeg progressively became weaker, and drew nearer to death. The carpenter was called upon to make Queequeg a coffin, expecting that he would be dying very shortly. However, Queequeg recalled some duties that he had to fulfill, and that he couldn’t possibly die then. ” at a critical moment, he had just recalled a little duty ashore, which he was leaving undone; and therefore he had changed his mind about dying (455)” Since the coffin was made for death in the first place, it is ironic how it is used as a life boat for Ishmael in the end of the story. At the end, it represents life and survival- in the first place it was made to symbolize death and life coming to an end for Queequeg.

After describing the character of Queequeg, Melville tells of his religion in the chapter The Ramadan. During Queequeg’s Ramadan, he worships his god with Yojo, a black wooden doll, for one day. Melville writes:

There sat Queequeg, altogether cool and self-collected; right in the middle of the room; squatting on his hams, and holding Yojo on top of his head. He looked neither one way nor the other way, but sat like a carved image with a scarce a sign of active life (96).

This chapter introduces and describes a different religion, trying to make the connection between Christianity and Queequeg’s religious practices.

Herman Melville successfully uses the symbols of brotherhood, monomania, isolation, religion, and duality to make the readers of this book interested and thinking about what important symbols are added to complete this novel. (Tucker) The author uses a number of symbols to develop plot, characters, and to give the reader a deeper interpretation of the novel. In the 19th century novel Moby Dick, Herman Melville describes a great number of characters and symbols. Symbols are often incorporated in many great works of literature to add depth. These various symbols make it more interesting to the readers by making connections from one idea to another.

Works Consulted

Cavendish, Marshall. Great Writers of the English Language: Exotic Journies. Volume 9. New York. 1989.
Tucker, Martin. Moulton’s Library of Literary Criticism. Volume 4. Frederick Ungar Publishing Company. New York. 1967.
Various authors. Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Volume 5. Salem Press. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1983.

Madame Bovary – For Lack of a Better Man

Gustave Flaubert presents one extreme side of human life many would very much rather think does not exist. He presents a tale of sensual symbolism within the life of Charles Bovary. Madame Bovary is the story of Emma Bovary, but within the scope of symbolic meaning, the make-up of Charles is addressed. It is representative of deep sadness and a despondent outlook on life whose many symbols are, at times, as deeply embedded in the story line as a thorn in a callous heel. The elements making up the very person of Charles Bovary remain excruciatingly evident, haunting his every move.

Symbolic of his yearning for inner fulfillment, Charles Bovary presents to be a man in search of an unknown sensual satisfaction. It is no wonder, with the detailed writing the French government attempted to censor Flaubert when Madame Bovary was published in 1856. Although the vast majority of theorems penned revolve about the life of Emma, the character of Charles requires examining.

In the opening scenes, Charles Bovary is seen entering a favorite dive of escape, an escape from the realities of life. The cafs he frequented appear as dirty public rooms (Flaubert 834) housing his passion for the game of dominoes. His obsession and pleasure from this simple entertainment are exposed as Flaubert describes Charles entrance into the den of dominoes. [His esteem] was beginning to see life, the sweetness of stolen pleasures; and when he entered, he put his hand on the door handle with a joy almost sensual (Flaubert 834). What, other than a profound uneasiness within his personal life, could bring about so explicit a pleasure from the entering to a dark, dank room?

Charles life as a student of medicine is one of avoidance. His lack of sincerity and devotion is shown via the mother hen role, which his mother took in excusing his inadequacies. His insincerity and hypocrisy is indicative of one with no foresight. He lives now, exists now, and thinks now, not of what is to come, but of what is now. The author explains how he grew passive toward his presumed goal: medicine. In the beginning, he would miss one lecture in a day. Then, the next day, he would miss all lectures. Eventually, because of his inner thirst for self-satisfaction, he would become idle to the point he would give up work altogether (Flaubert 834).

Charles is a grown man. He is a student of medicine. Yet, he has his mother making justifications for him. She excused him, threw the blame on his failure on the injustice of the examiners, and took upon herself to set matters straight (Flaubert 834). Is it no wonder, with a character flaw such as this maternal control, later in the story adultery and betrayal would plague his marriage? On the one hand, there is Charles who is excused and exhaulted by his mother. His father, five years later and on learning the truth, expresses how he could not believe that one born of him could be such a fool (Flaubert).

Conversely, there is Emma. Emma has her decision made on her behalf by her father the day of Charles last visit before the engagement. Flaubert represents the affirmative answer to Charles alleged proposal by the banging of the shutter as her father turns and walks toward the house. She is, we can only assume, ready to be the wife of a doctor, it making no difference his lack of expertise as a physician, not to mention his lack of masculinity.

Charles is a pitiful sight to see. His rebellious nature toward the attaining of the goal of physician, as obviously prescribed by his parents, is directly related to Flauberts rebellion toward France in relation to enforced censorship. The mandatory overseeing of literature, and limitations thereof, are of prime importance when digesting Madame Bovary.

The many symbolism methods commonly referred to within Madame Bovary are still obviously there. There is the wedding in the pasture where Emma is forced to stop to remove litter from her dress. The obstacles of her future happiness lie beneath her fringe. She is said to stop to raise the hem of her dress, and carefully, with her gloved hands, to pick off the wild grasses (Flaubert). Her happiness falls by the wayside. The plaster priest falls and breaks symbolic of Charles future failures in his wonderful world of medicine. Furthermore, this is directing the reader toward the eventual demise of the marriage.

Nevertheless, it is the continued usage by Flaubert of sexual innuendoes and expressive words that bring one to realize France may very well have been correct in its attempt to censor. To understand an author is to read between the lines, then draw conclusions. My conclusion is that Flaubert uses specific scenes to symbolize his flamboyance toward being bawdy. Sometimes she would draw; and it was great amusement to Charles to stand there, bolt upright and watch her bend over her paper, with eyes half-closed the better to see her work (Flaubert 856). The better to see her work? Perhaps in the eyes of a creator, ones cleavage can be considered work.

Although it is talent that allows a writer to use and coordinate symbolic meanings within his works toward a specific goal, the plainspoken truth is more easily ingested and digested. There is merit in the skilled stating of ideals, symbolism in place, without making ones audience uncomfortable. However, within the pages of Madame Bovary lie a continuous excess of implication, insinuation, and suggestion.

“Ghosts” by Henrik Ibsen: Short Review

In his play “Ghosts”, Ibsen forces the reader to think about his own ideas and believes, as well as those of society and past ages. Symbolism is one technique repeatedly used to portray the author’s ideas through rain, light, fire, the orphanage, Oswald, and through Engstrand himself. The use of religion is also interesting in the way the town people and Pastor Mander uses it.

There are many symbols present throughout Ibsen’s work. Rain is used as a symbol of the cleansing of evil and impurities. Outside of Mrs. Alving’s home it remains rainy and stormy until she faces the truth about her husband. The rain washes away the disguises so that the truth may be seen. Generally when this takes place the sun, another symbol, rises, revealing the reality of the situation. Mrs. Alving said, “And there we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light” (271).

All the characters are afraid to face reality, especially Mrs. Alving, represented by the light. Fire is yet another symbol Ibsen uses. When Oswald comes downstairs with Alving’s pipe, he recalls an incident when he was given a pipe in his youth. Young Oswald smoked until he became sick. This is a foreshadowing of his illness, another sickness caused by careless actions. Another example of fire is seen when the orphanage, built in honor of Alving, is burned (287). The fire creates a symbolism that represents the truth, rising quickly and devouring all illusions. However, when the fire is extinguished, the fantasy world is up in smoke and all that remains are the painful ashes of the past.

The orphanage is used as a subtle symbol for the illusion created by Mrs. Alving. The brothel, Captain Alving’s Home, symbolizes the reality of his life. In the end however, the truth is made known about both by the burning of the orphanage (287), and the brothel taking its place. These two actions illustrate the awakening from illusion to reality in the play. Oswald can also be seen as a main symbol. He is ignorant of the truth, giving him a false sense of innocence. He seems to have some power to stand up for his own beliefs, something his mother lacks.

Oswald, is used to represent the truth of his situation which is hidden in is past. His illness and his wanting to die illustrate this idea. A final symbol used throughout the play is that of Engstrand. He represents society as a whole. Engstrand has a crippled leg; yet he says about his ethics he has “two good legs to stand on” (277). Society is very much like this. It seems to be solid and stable but has weak foundations. Society will never completely heal or lose its flaws, nor will Engstrand.

Religion plays a major role in the everyday lives of the townspeople. The members of this community do not have not have the same direct contact with their God as the members of the ancient Greek world, but reach their God through a divine person (Pastor Manders). In this way, the society presented is further away from the Holy Spirit, but closer to the priest. This gave the priest enormous power as he was a “Pathway to Heaven” for his congregation (265). This may be seen in Pastor Mander’s obsessions of how he is perceived by the people who entrust him. His power is illustrated during his discussion with Mrs. Alving over whether or not the orphanage should be insured or not. “You see! In town, we have a great many such people.

Followers of other denominations. People might very easily come to the conclusion that neither you nor I have sufficient trust in the ordinance of the Higher Power” (254). The orphanage is to be raised in Captain Alving’s honor, yet it’s his own reputation which Manders is worried about. Mrs. Alving’s name is just mentioned to obscure the obvious reason for saying this. This illustrates how the church was used for personal achievements, and not only to reach divine sanctity. The common people’s conduct is also an important is also in important mirror in how the religion permeates the society in this drama.

Mrs. Alving has been living on her own, unbounded from society and regulations. She has become a free-thinker, commonly reading books that are not sociably accepted. Manders response to this, reflects the attitude of the time by saying, “Remember the duty you owe to this orphanage which you decided to found at a time which your attitude towards spiritual matters was quite different from what it is now- as far as I can judge” (253). In the society Ibsen creates, it is not God’s role to judge, but that of Manders and the other members of society.

Many ideas are presented in Ibsen’s play “Ghosts.” The use of symbolism, such as rain, light, fire, and characters illustrate various concepts involved throughout the play. Religion, and the misconceptual use of it by Manders and society, also illustrates the unusual scenes painted by Ibsen within the play.

Lord of the Flies – Christian Symbolism

“The truth about man is not merely that he is, by nature, savage and afraid, but that he refuses deliverance, and murders the messenger of light”(Dick, “Criticism” 197). This view of our nature as human beings is based on the teachings of the Christian doctrine of original sin, a theory that has been used as a theme in many works of literature. One of these is William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. Throughout the work, Golding conveys his faith in the theory of original sin through the use of vivid Christian symbolism.

He takes his characters, a group of British schoolboys marooned during a futuristic nuclear war, and places them on a small island, establishing a microcosm in which the reader can study and analyze the regressive and savage behavior of mankind as he returns to his primitive state. As an author who is convinced of original sin, Golding shows the gradual effacement of societal values on the island, and the change of the boys from proper, innocent schoolboys, into young savages (Baker, “Essays” 17).

Golding wrote the novel as a Christian allegory, and thus presented numerous Christian symbols including a Christ-figure, the clairvoyant Simon (Swisher 36). Through his novel Golding attempts to teach his reader a grim lesson about life and the darkness that lies within us all. Lord of the Flies is said to “open in Eden,” because the perfect and untouched nature of the island upon the boys’ arrival is comparable to that of Adam and Eve’s garden of Eden (Swisher 65). Fruit hangs from all the trees, fresh water flows abundantly from the mountain, and the tropical climate prompts the boys to take off their clothes.

They live free of all constraints of the modern adult world. Like Adam and Eve, the boys are not aware of the capacity for evil that lies within them. As upper-class British schoolboys, their initial reaction to being on the island is one of excitement at the absence of adults, as well as one of faith that they will be able to establish a civilized society like the one to which they are accustomed (Oldsey 29). It is shortly after the arrival that the “littluns,” the younger boys on the island, begin to complain about “snake things,” and become fearful (Meitcke 34).

From this point on, fear is a major theme of the novel. The snakes succeed in instilling fear in the littluns and, shortly after, are destroyed in the fire. The disappearance of the snakes is analogous to the Devil tempting Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and once causing them to fall, disappearing from view and entering the heart of man (Dicken-Fuller 16). Once the stage is set, Golding shows the slow regression of the boys’ society, as fear prevails over innocence. Golding uses the “beast” as a means of developing this destructive fear.

When one of the littluns mentions this beast early in the novel, the other boys are skeptical and shrug it off as a figment of a child’s imagination. However, as the novel progresses, fear of this unknown entity drives the boys almost to insanity (Baker, “Golding” 10). The littluns scream in the night due to nightmares about the beast, and although Ralph adamantly denies its existence, many of the older boys discuss its presence as well. Golding monitors the development of this fear to show how it affects the boys and leads to the downfall of their society.

Once fear overtakes the rational thinking that initially exists on the island, the effects are noticeable in the way the society is run. Ralph recognizes what is happening to the society, and makes his statement on the platform: “Things are breaking up. I don’t understand why. We began well; we were happy and then — people started getting frightened” (82). The boys begin to subtly undermine Ralph’s authority as appointed chief, and as their respect for him falters, so does the stability of the community. Ralph is annoyed by the littluns disregard for the rule of what locations on the island can be used as lavatories.

He realizes that if they continue to “use anywhere,” then eventually the island will be covered in filth (80). This is symbolic of how a disregard for appointed authority could cause a growth of evil on the island. In addition, the fact that eating fruit causes the boys’ diarrhea mirrors the experience of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge was, according to Dick, the first sin, ” whose effects the boys, like all humanity, have inherited. The excrement they leave behind is a vestige of the primal sin” (Dick, “Golding” 28).

Hunting, which is initially a difficult task for the boys, eventually becomes an invigorating experience. Jack’s first time hunting causes him humiliation because he cannot bring himself to lower the knife and kill the pig. He becomes angry and frustrated with himself and promises “next time. ” However, by the end of the novel he shows no hesitation in killing whatsoever (Kinkead-Weekes 51). This transformation is even more terrifying when the reader realizes that this savage inhuman creature was present all along, hidden beneath the choir robes and proper English breeding.

Only one of the boys on the island recognizes how “the shape of the society they evolve is conditioned by their diseased, fallen natures” (Swisher 34). Simon, a “visionary lover of mankind,” understands what is happening in regards to the transformation of the boys, and recognizes the root of their societal problems in human nature. While we first see Jack marching his choirboys with military precision in full uniform, Simon first appears fainting face down in the sand and breaking up Jack’s parade lines. He is always “throwing a faint,” he is smaller than the other boys, and very different (20).

Simon’s epilepsy, which causes his fainting spells, is central to his character. In ancient times many thought that the epileptic seizure was an indication that a person had great spiritual powers and was favored by communications from the gods (Meitcke 13). In many early tribes, epileptics, the retarded, and the insane were held in religious reverence and given great respect and honor (Whitley 29). We are to notice that what is considered by the other boys to be a disability, is, in fact, what Golding intended as a symbol of Simon’s exceptional spiritual presence.

Simon says little, but when he does speak it is usually intended to be helpful or in defense of others. When Jack criticizes Piggy for not helping to make the fire, Simon comes to his defense; “We used his specs. He helped that way” (42). This unending compassion for others is one of the early signs of Simon’s Christ-like persona. At the end of the third chapter we get our first extended description of Simon and a description of an event that leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind as to Simon’s nature.

Flower and fruit grew together on the same tree and everywhere was the scent of ripeness and the booming of a million bees at pasture. Here the littluns who had run after him caught up with him. They talked, cried out unintelligibly, lugged him towards the trees. Then, amid the roar of bees in the afternoon sunlight, Simon found for them the fruit that they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless outstretched hands. When he had satisfied them he paused and looked round.

The littluns watched him inscrutably over double handfuls of ripe fruit (56). This is a clearly a reflection of Jesus’s blessing of the children, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18. 15). It also brings to mind the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, where Jesus fed the multitudes who had come to hear him. Other examples of Simon’s compassion are common. At one point in the novel, he offers his meat to Piggy without being asked, a simple act of charity that Piggy accepts gratefully.

Another example of Simon’s merciful nature occurs shortly before his death when he goes up on the mountain top to view the “beast,” and finds a dead parachutist hanging from a tree. Although repulsed by this sight, he frees the parachutist, ultimately allowing the corpse to fly out to the sea. Simon sees that no man is an island. He is, in a sense, the dead airman, and, therefore, relates to him and feels for him (Whitley 49). This willingness to set aside his personal needs and feelings to take care of others shows his Christ-like nature.

Although physically meager and unimposing, Simon’s intuition and common sense are unsurpassed by any of the other boys. While Ralph sees Simon as “queer,” and “funny,” he recognizes his importance on the island. Ralph notices that Simon is the only one that helps to build shelters on the island at the beginning of the novel, a significant symbol of his willingness to protect his fellow man. Simon and Ralph are dedicated to constructing the huts, and their attempts always end in failure. These repeated failures are symbolic of the futility of trying to build shelters for protection, when, indeed, the boys need protection only from themselves.

Although Simon recognizes this fact, he commits himself to helping as a way of establishing a feeling of safety, and putting a stop to the terror that the others experience. Simon’s love of nature is also frequently noted as a way of reflecting his similarities to Jesus Christ. Simon, like Christ, possesses an “awe for the wilderness,” and often ventures into the woods to meditate (Meitcke 37). The other boys fear the more obscure parts of the island and do not dare to go to them. Because Simon trusts and connects to the world around him, he is unafraid, and, therefore, is set apart from the other boys.

Golding has called the secret place to which Simon retreats his “church,” and describes it with the colors, sounds, and smells of nature (Swisher 43). Butterflies follow him, a way of showing the mutuality of his communion with nature. His love of nature and his desire to be alone in the wilderness is what leads him to his encounter with the Lord of the Flies. Arguably the most pivotal scene in the novel is that of Simon’s “conversation” with the Lord of the Flies, a pig’s head on a stick, and one form of the “beast.

When Simon returns to his place of contemplation, he witnesses Jack’s tribe killing the sow and watches them place the head on the stick as an offering to the beast. The boys leave the offering close to Simon’s “church,” and although he tries to look away, “his gaze is held by that ancient, inescapable recognition” (138). The creature is referred to as the Lord of the Flies, which translates to the Hebrew Ba’al zebub and the Greek Beelzebub, which are names for the Devil. This is another blatant attempt from Golding to convey his Christian theme (Johnston 13).

Having Simon as the only boy in the novel to encounter this Devil further emphasizes the importance of his role as a Christ-figure. The Lord of the Flies chides Simon by saying, “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knewI’m the reason whythings are the way they are” (143). Simon may have had this knowledge of the nature of the beast before, but this interaction proves it to both him and the reader. The Lord of the Flies has, “invaded Simon’s forest sanctuary to preach an age-old sermon; evil lies within man whose nature is inherently depraved” (Swisher 81).

He tells Simon that “you’ll only meet me down thereso don’t try to escape. ” It is through this statement that the Lord of the Flies clearly makes his point that he is, in fact, the beast. Due to his source in man’s nature, it is inevitable that Simon will meet him again. While this does not imply that Satan overpowers Christ’s message, it does show how good intentions can be lost in evil. The pig’s head, crawling with flies, may well be the most important symbol in the book as it encompasses so many features and aspects of the beast.

It is the beast, the head of the beast, the offering to the beast, left by the boys whose bestiality is marked by the head on a stick” (Whitley 48). It is the beast because it reflects the evil present in the boys’ natures. The beast is a reflection of the boys’ inherent evil, characterized by their blood lust. They perform a beastly act in order to appease the beast and, thus, reinforce their own savagery. It is significant that Simon encounters the Lord of the Flies while he is alone, as Christ encountered Satan while alone in the wilderness.

While Satan taunted Jesus to prove his divinity by turning stones into bread or hurling himself from the top of the Temple, the pig’s head taunts Simon by telling him that the beast is a part of him, “I’m part of you? Close, close, close! ” (143). The beast wants Simon to realize that he is as human and naturally evil as the rest of the boys. He cannot escape the evil through hiding in the wilderness, because he cannot hide from himself. Simon spends the day unconscious in the presence of the pig’s head and ritual blood is spilled when a blood vessel bursts in his nose.

The flies left him alone, “preferring the pigs high flavor” (145). This blood letting could be seen as a representation of the Last Supper, when Christ symbolically offers his body and blood to his disciples. In this case, though, the only disciples present are the flies, and they prefer the body of their Lord. After his confrontation with the beast, Simon comes down the mountain to impart his new knowledge to the others. This is in itself another symbolic occurrence, significant to the depth of the allegory.

Simon’s descent can bring to mind Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the covenant. Just as Moses found the Israelites worshipping a golden calf, Simon finds the hunters reliving the pig hunt (Dick, “Golding” 24). It can also be interpreted as him coming down the mountain “as Christ after the transfiguration” (Swisher 36). He is unable to deliver his news, however, as upon his arrival he is caught up in the boys savage reenactment of the killing of the pig and is mistaken for the beast. Simon is killed in this tribe-like dance, a fate that is as “ironic as it is inevitable”(Swisher 71).

He is killed as the beast, while trying to impart that there is no beast. “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! ” The sticks fell and the mouth of the new circle crunched and screamed. The beast was on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face. It was crying out against the abominable noise something about a body on the hill (152). The most gentle, compassionate, and unbeastly of the boys is mistaken for the beast and killed by a frenzied crowd, as Christ was killed by the Jews who thought him to be a blasphemer and a false prophet.

This reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion by Christian boys in a sense defeats the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice. Christ’s suffering was in vain if his followers turn to evil and fail to recognize goodness. (This is further evidence that the beast exists within the boys themselves and not as an independent entity. ) At the moment of Simon’s death, the wind lifts the body of the parachutist and carries him across the beach and out to sea, terrifying the boys. The Bible describes the terrifying events that occurred when Christ died.

Then the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split apart, the graves broke open and many of God’s people who had died were raised to life” (Matthew 27. 51). The wind carrying the dead parachutist out to sea, symbolizing the dead rising from their graves, is a miraculous event. While the boys left Simon’s body unattended on the beach, Joseph of Arimathea carefully prepared Jesus’s body, wrapped him in a linen sheet, and placed him in a tomb. In Simon’s case it was nature, or perhaps the supernatural, that filled the role of Joseph of Arimathea.

Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled over the rain-pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose further and dressed Simon’s ‘coarse hair with brightness.

The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulders became sculptured marble. The strange attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapors, busied themselves round his head. The body lifted a fraction of an inch from the sand and a bubble of air escaped from the mouth with a wet plop. . . Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out towards the open sea (154). With this beautiful and moving passage, Golding emphasizes Simon’s importance and the significance of his death.

The moon-beamed bodied creatures are the waves, gently washing the body of Simon and wrapping him not in linen, but symbolically, as Nelson says, “in pearls, silver and marble in token of the richness of his love for the other children” (Nelson 86). In death, Simon’s body is transformed and recreated as a work of art with the forces of nature acting as the sculptor, according to Reilly, “to confer what the artist has always claimed to be able to confer: immortality upon otherwise condemned flesh” (Reilly 121).

With this symbolic transformation, Simon has become immortal and unchanging. His body floating out to sea untouched by human hands and surrounded by symbolic angels (the “inquisitive bright creatures”) reminds one of Christ’s ascension into heaven. Carried bodily into heaven, Simon is free of the corruption and the decay that awaits mere mortals; he has escaped the Lord of the Flies. Despite the hope of the early Christians, Jesus’s coming and crucifixion has not led to a heaven on earth. There is still war and death; famine and disease are still with us.

Likewise, Simon’s death did not end the troubles on the island (Boyd 17). Piggy, blind symbolically as well as literally, is killed when he tries to retrieve the conch from the evil Jack. To Piggy, the myth of the conch’s power is very real even though the boys created the myth (Reilly123). He retrieves the conch, thinking it will protect him and give him power. It is no protection, though, from the boulder that crushes his body. Piggy’s corpse is also carried away by the sea, but it is a different sea then that that claimed Simon.

Then the sea breathed again in a long slow sigh, the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone” (181). The mystical Simon was transfigured, but Piggy, a vulgar product of society, is simply sucked away (Reilly 124). Ralph, who understood Simon better than any of the other boys, can be seen as Simon’s disciple. Like the early Christians, he is hunted and probably would have been martyred if not for the arrival of the rescuers. Lord of the Flies, full of Christian imagery and symbolism, in the end has a very humanistic lesson: if the beast is within us we can contain him.

Rather than being under the influence of a supernatural devil, we are confronted with our own original sin and depravity. Once removed from the bounds and rules of civilization we have a strong tendency to revert to uncaring and self-centered animalism. As Golding illustrates with Simon, though, there is goodness within us as well. If that goodness is reinforced, as it is in the more enlightened societies of the world, we have hope of overcoming the evil. Still, the darkness is there and we ignore it at our peril.

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

Symbolism in literature is the deepness and hidden meaning in a piece of work. It is often used to represent a moral or religious belief or value. Without symbolism literature is just a bunch of meaningless words on paper. The most symbolic piece of work in American Literature is Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter. Hawthornes use of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter is one of the most significant contributions to the rise of American Literature. Much of Hawthornes symbolism is very hard to find but several symbols are also obvious.

In the first chapter Hawthorne describes the prison as “the black flower of civilized society”. The prison represents the crime and punishment that was incorporated in the early Puritan life. He also contrasts the prison with the tombstone at the end of the novel by suggesting that crime and punishment bring about the end of civilized life. In the same chapter he describes the overgrown vegetation of weeds around the prison. The weeds symbolize how corrupt civilization really is. He also points out a positive symbol, the wild rose bush.

This represents the blossoming of good out of the darkness of all civilized life. The most important symbol which is carried throughout the novel is undoubtedly the scarlet letter A. It initially symbolizes the immoral act of adultery but by the end of the novel the “A” has hidden much more meaning than that. The “A” appears in many other places than on the chest of Hester Prynne. It is seen on the armor breastplate at Governor Bellinghams mansion. At night while Dimmesdale is standing on the scaffold he sees a bright red letter A in the sky.

While Pearl is playing near the bay shore she arranges some grass in the form of an A on her own breast. But one of the most important As is one the spectators see burnt on Dimmesdales chest. The letter A also has a variety of meanings. Originally standing for the sin of adultery it has a different meaning for each character. The Puritan community considers the letter a mark of just punishment. Hester sees the letter as a symbol of unjust humiliation. Dimmesdale sees the A as a reminder of his own guilt. Chillingworth sees the A as a quest for revenge to find the adulterer.

Pearl is very curious of the letter and sees it as a great mystery. The A also stands for “Angel” when it is seen in the sky on the night of Governor Winthrops death. Symbolism shows the greatness of an authors ability to supply meaning to his work. It also shows the pride an author takes in his work. Nathaniel Hawthornes use of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter shows his greatness to produce a novel of the highest possible caliber. These are the reasons why Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter is American Literatures most famous symbolic novel ever to be written.

Symbolism in ‘The Glass Menagerie’

I have a poets weakness for symbols. So states Tom Wingfield, narrator and major character in Tennessee Williams timeless play The Glass Menagerie. Through the eyes of Tom, the viewer gets a glance into the life of his family in the pre-war depression era; his mother, a southern belle desperately clinging to the past, his sister, a young woman too fragile to function in society, and himself, a struggling young poet working at a warehouse to pay the bills.

Williams, through his remarkable use of symbols, is able to effectively express the theme of The Glass Menagerie : That of hopeful aspirations followed by inevitable disappointment, having dreams which are destroyed by the harsh realities of the world. Symbols are a major part of this play, as Tom, the narrator, is a poet, and admits he has a weakness for symbols. One major symbol presented in the story is that of the fire escape, a symbol that has a different meaning and function for each character.

For Tom, it is a means of escape from fire, not the type of fire that was considered in its building, but the slow and implacable fires of human desperation. This is especially true of Toms apartment. His mother, devastated after her daughter Lauras failure to cope in business college, becomes obsessed with finding her a gentleman caller so that she can marry and be well supported. When this caller finally comes, and it seems like it was meant to be, as they dance and kiss, he announces he is engaged, and dashes their hopes.

The ever-fragile Laura, temporarily drawn out of her dream-world shell of her glass collection and the victrola, draws further back into herself. Now a terrible desperation fills the apartment, and Tom decides he must escape the suffocating environment to follow his own calling. The fire escape to him represents a path to the outside world. For Laura, the fire escape is exactly the opposite–a path to the safe world inside, a world in which she can hide. Especially symbolic is Lauras fall when descending the steps to do a chore for her mother, after leaving the security of the apartment.

This fall symbolizes Lauras inability to function in society and the outside world. For Amanda, the fire escape is symbolic of her hopes and dreams–hopes and dreams that a gentleman caller will arrive to marry her daughter and leave her well supported. This is the way Jim comes into the apartment, at the time when Amandas hopes have been peaked. It is symbolic that Laura does not want to open the door when Jim arrives. It shows her reluctance to let an emissary from the world of reality, symbolized by Jim, invade the comfortable non-existence of the apartment, and her insecurity in dealing with the outside world.

Another recurring symbol in the story is that of the glass menagerie itself. This represents Lauras hypersensitive nature and fragility. The first time the menagerie is mentioned in any detail in a symbolic manner is when Tom and Amanda have a heated argument near the beginning of the play. Tom ends it by calling Amanda an ugly babbling old witch, and struggles to put his jacket on, intent on leaving. When he cannot put the coat on properly, he becomes frustrated with his clumsiness, and flings it across the room, breaking some of the glass collection. Laura cries out as if wounded.

This shows how fragile Laura really is, and how she reacts when even the small balance of her apartment is shifted. Williams also makes the use of this symbol apparent on stage. When Amanda sits down to discuss Lauras future with Tom, the legend Laura appears on screen, and the music that begins playing is The Glass Menagerie. The most prominent use of this symbol comes at the turning point of the story, when Jim is left alone with Laura. The conversation turns to Lauras glass collection, when she remarks glass is something you have to take good care of. gain showing her fragility.

More parallels are drawn between Laura and the glass collection with the introduction of the unicorn. Jim says Poor little fellow, he must feel sort of lonesome to which Laura replies He stays on a shelf with some horses that dont have horns and all of them seem to get along nicely together. The unicorn becomes a symbol for Laura–she is different. When Jim and Laura dance, and Jim accidentally knocks the unicorn off the table and its horn is broken, it loses its uniqueness.

Similarly, when Jim kisses Laura and then shatters her hopes by telling her that hes engaged, she becomes broken-hearted, and less unique. Part of the innocence that made Laura so vitally different is gone, because both Laura and the glass menagerie break when exposed to the uncaring outside world. When Laura gives Jim her broken unicorn, it symbolizes her broken heart that Jim will take with him when he leaves. The unicorn is no longer unique like her, rather it is common now, like Jim, so she lets him keep it.

Just as she gives Jim a little bit of herself to take with him, he leaves behind a little bit of himself with her shattered hopes. Finally, the symbol of rainbows is used throughout the story, but is less prominent and obvious than those of the fire escape and the glass menagerie. Rainbows are traditionally a symbol of hope, and each time the symbol is presented it is in a hopeful situation. For instance, when Tom comes back from the magic show with a rainbow-coloured magical scarf, that can turn goldfish into canaries, who fly away.

Just like the canaries, Tom also hopes to fly away, from the imprisonment of his apartment. Next, the chandeliers which create rainbow reflections at the Dance Hall can be interpreted as foreshadowing for the dance between Jim and Laura, which gives Laura hope that her problems are solved. And at the end, when Tom looks at “pieces of colored glass, like bits of a shattered rainbow,” he remembers his sister and hopes that he “can blow her candles out”. There is also a great irony tied up in this symbol, in that although rainbows seem to be positive signs, they all end in disappointment.

Tennessee Williams has managed to create a powerful play using a combination of different elements, one prominent one being symbolism; the fire escape, as a sense of hope, and an escape both to the outside world and from it; the glass menagerie, a symbol for Lauras fragility and uniqueness; and rainbows, as symbols of unrealized hopes and aspirations. Through these symbols a greater understanding of the theme is realized, and The Glass Menagerie is made into a powerful epic.

The use of Symbolism in Rappaccini’s Daughter

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work is unique. His writings are full of subtle imagination, analysis, and poetic wording. His short stories are known for their originality and for their ability to provoke the reader’s thoughts. Although a large portion of his stories are allegories, Hawthorne’s preference is to draw more heavily on symbolism (Pennell 13). His use of symbols adds depth to his stories and helps to reveal different aspects of his characters. In Rappaccini’s Daughter, Hawthorne uses symbolism to create a modern day tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There are two settings for this story.

The first and main setting is an eye appealing garden next to Giovanni Guasconti’s room which is located in Padua, Italy. This garden is used in this story as a symbol for the Garden of Eden. The garden is described by Hawthorne in such a way that the reader can almost picture a garden that is alive with vibrant colors and an array of flowering plants and shrubs. There are a variety of types of plants and herbs growing in the garden. Some of the plants are vines, some are growing in decorative urns, and some have grown wild until they were wrapped around statues (2217).

The entire garden was “veiled and shrouded in a drapery of hanging foliage” (2217). The plants in the garden “seemed fierce, passionate, and even unnatural” to Giovanni (2225). Some of the plants in the garden “crept serpent-like along the ground” (2217). In the middle of the garden is a marble fountain. While it is in ruins, it is “sculptured with rare art” (2217). The fountain continues to flow and provide water for the plants of the garden. This fountain is comparable to the tree of life and the river that waters the Garden of Eden (Norford).

Giovanni associates this fountain as an “immortal spirit” (2217). The shrub with the purple flowers that is growing at the base of the fountain can be equated to the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (Norford 179). Within both gardens, the fall of man takes place. In Eden, it is the fall of Adam, while in this garden it is the fall of Giovanni. Further confirmation of this symbolism is shown within the story when Hawthorne asks “Was this garden, then, the Eden of the present world? ” (2218).

The second setting is the mansion next to the garden where Giovanni rented an apartment. It is described by Hawthorne as a “high and gloomy chamber of an old edifice which looked unworthy, desolate and ill-furnished” (2216). This mansion represents the darkness or evil. The main character, Beatrice, is a very complex being. She has a poisoned body but she has a pure heart buried deep within her (Pennell 61). She is an alluring and beautiful woman. She is similar to Eve, in that she is pure and innocent. However, there is still something very mysterious about her.

Beatrice was created for a man, her father, much like Eve was created for Adam (Norford 182). Beatrice lives entirely within the walls of the garden and is isolated from the outside world (Cooper). Eve lived within the Garden of Eden. Beatrice, who is longing for human contact (Pennell 61), lures Giovanni into the garden. While it may have been unintentional, Beatrice slowly poisons Giovanni with her breath and the scent that comes from the purple flower. She continued her relationship with Giovanni even though she knew the poison was fatal (Kloeckner 333).

Since Beatrice has lived her whole life in the garden, she may not be fully aware of the effect the plants will have on Giovanni (Norford 177). Perhaps she thinks that preventing him from touching her or the plant is protection enough (Norford 177). The purple flowering bush from which the poison comes, symbolizes the tree of knowledge. Eve persuades Adam to eat from the tree of knowledge thereby, in a sense, poisoning him by giving him the knowledge of what is good and what is evil (Norford 176). Eve tempts Adam to eat the apple and Beatrice tempts Giovanni to breathe her air.

Giovanni is a very proud man. His ego and lack of ability to see past Beatrice’s outer beauty are qualities that aid in his down fall. Adam had similar qualities that helped in his decline. Giovanni is drawn to Beatrice from the moment he sees her. He goes back and forth from being in awe of how perfect she is to being afraid of what he has seen her do (Cooper). Even though he’s seen the signs of who Beatrice truly is, he ignores them. Whenever Giovanni starts to feel uneasy about Beatrice, she seems to almost hypnotize him into forgetting.

When he discovers that he’s been poisoned, Giovanni blames Beatrice calling her “accursed one” (2232). When God confronted Adam about his indiscretion, he blamed Eve. Giovanni lashes out with anger at the woman he feels caused his downfall. Adam has no compassion for Eve and like Giovanni, lashes out at her with anger. Giovanni’s inability to have faith in Beatrice is just another example of the fall of man (Kloeckner 333). Baglioni plays an important role in this story. He is the symbol of Satan the Devil.

While Rappaccini physically poison’s Giovanni, Baglioni gets into Giovanni’s head and poison’s his thoughts (Pennell 61). Throughout the story he is constantly telling Giovanni that Rappaccini is the evil one. He tells him that Rappaccini “would sacrifice human life, his own among the rest, or whatever else was dearest to him, for the sake of adding so much as a grain of mustard-seed to the great heap of his accumulated knowledge” (2220). He tells Giovanni that Rappaccini is experimenting on him. When he can not turn Giovanni against Rappaccini, he instead tries to turn him against Beatrice.

When his attempts fail, Baglioni tries to lure Giovanni into helping him to deliver a cure to Beatrice. This cure ultimately kills Beatrice. So Baglioni has lured Giovanni into helping him to carry out Beatrice’s death. This is reminiscent of the biblical story when Satan is trying to lure Adam into committing sin. When Baglioni sees that Beatrice has died, he taunts Rappaccini by asking “is this the upshot of your experiment” (2234), much like Satan taunted God when the garden had been destroyed. Dr. Rappaccini symbolizes God. He has in essence, played God.

He created a beautiful garden and he also created Beatrice. He made her poisonous so that she would be protected from the evil of the world outside the garden. When Beatrice was lonely and longing for companionship, he poisoned Giovanni so that he could be her companion. God created Eve as a mate for Adam so that he would not have to be alone. Rappaccini feels he has given Beatrice and Giovanni a marvelous gift. He is proud of the fact that he has given Beatrice and Giovanni the power to keep the outside world away (Kloeckner 335). Similarly, God gave Adam and Eve the wonderful gift of everlasting ife.

Throughout the story, Hawthorne shows a pronounced respect for Rappaccini’s intelligence. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lost their innocence and their purity when they did not listen to God. When they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they disobeyed God. This was a direct result of pride. In Rappaccini’s Daughter, innocence and purity are taken from Beatrice by the conflict between Dr. Rappaccini and his adversary Professor Baglioni. Innocence is lost for Giovanni through his involvement in Beatrice’s death (Pennell 61).

The Scarlet Letter Symbolism

Symbolism at it’s best is limitless in conveying a feeling, mood, or atmoshphere that words alone can not define. It can trigger emotion, persuade the reader to question everything they know thus far, or inflict thoughts that, in the most twisted sense of the story, would seem barely justified. Symboloism reaches out to the reader in numerous ways, but no matter what the effect, it’s almost always starts as something subconscious. In Nathanial Hawthorn’s novel, ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ there is an immense ammount of symbolism; the structure and flow of progression are both held back by this element.

The subtle way Hawthorn uses this is incredible; he takes us to such a place where everything and everyone is suspect and subject to thorough examination, as things are not always what they seem. Other times, however, they are in fact exactly what they seem; usually too little too late. By the time the truth is laid outright, the truth had already been known; symbolism is subconscious. At times when there is no truth to be uncovered, it is the world created by this world of various entities, in a matter of symbol, that lies dormant in the back of the readers head.

Being fully and inescapably aware though, from a place deep inside, of the uncertanties and illusions that are not being focused on, instead only hinted at. The mind’s eye is where symbolism wraps it’s ugly tentacles of doubt and discretion, whether realized by the reader or not. ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ demonstrates this characteristic impecibly. The scaffold where Hester stands in front of the public is symbolic of penitence and God’s judgement. Dimmesdale on the other hand, can not bring himself to stand on the platform and confess his sins, because of it’s comparison to judgement day.

The first time he brings himself to stand upon the scaffold, seeking relief from his secret sin is under the cover of night, as if he could hide his sin from the people, or even God. In the end Dimmesdale does stand on the scaffold in the light of day to public confess his sins. This took courage, as the platform represented weakness in the eyes of God. Across from the prison Hester was sentenced to there is a rose bush; the single beautiful thing in a world of sin and shame. In the book when Pearl was asked where she came from, she states that she was plucked from the rosebush.

The recurring theme of the rosebush is representative of salvation. To those in prison it is a symbol of hope, but when Pearl says that she is the rosebush, it’s symbolic in that only the only hope Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth have for salvation can be found in her. The roses, and Pearl, are symbolic of a light in the midst of the darkness of Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin. At the climax of the story, Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale meet in the forrest, seeking resolution and retribution.

The forrest is symbolic of the light and darkness in nature. The evasive darkness represents the gloom and unhappiness that is Hester’s life. Rays of sunshine fall on Pearl, but Hester is kept in the dark, which is symbolic of Hester’s inability to find peace, or even a dull ache of warmth in her life. This darkness is dispelled when Dimmesdale reaches the forrest, and they make plans to flee from Boston together. To represent her new freedom, Hester throws away the scarlet letter and lets her hair down.

Simultaniously, the forrest is illuminated by sunshine to flood out the darkness. In ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ symbolism is used to maintain ambiguity; the reader is free to feel and assume and reach their own conclusion. The intricities and interweavings of these symbols and themes is astounding; reaching no certain conclusion they are all left open for interpretation. The representative elements of this story are where it gains it’s depth. Possibilities are endless in this masterpiece orchestrated by Mr. Hawtorn.

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

The story, Lord of the Flies, has many interesting symbols relating adult society to kids surviving on an island. Many of the characters and items in this novel such as Jack or the conch can be interpreted on a macroscopic scale but the most important being this; a microcosm of children on an island makes a great symbolic message about human nature, society and how grown-ups live and govern – and how they cannot. When you consider the time period this book was written, you can see where Golding got some of his inspiration.

Europe was still recovering after WW2 and the author probably wanted to comment on the political turmoil during the 50s. The island is a microcosm of the world during this time, and its scar represents human destruction once the kids were dropped or “reborn” on the island. If we look at the book as a political statement we can already sense leaders and followers. Obviously, Ralph, described as a good-looking, relying on common sense type of regular fellow, is the likable, fair, and even admired, democratic leader.

He has a few loyal advisors and following. Piggy, a smart chubby boy, represents the scientific community and logical thinking, with glasses that represent clarity, civilization and the power to get back. He is essentially Ralph’s method of governing. Sam ‘n Eric, the twin labourers, stuck with Ralph until the end and did a lot of cooperative activities for Ralph. They were the hut builders, fire tenders and wood gatherers. The little ones also liked Ralph. They were the citizens and at times were happy but slowly grew discontent as paradise became hell.

Throughout the story the little ones didn’t do much but in the beginning they did vote Ralph in and basically brought him into power. Because the people elected Ralph, he therefore is a true democratic ruler. He passes the conch symbolizing order around, lets others talk, follows rules and does not intend to break them himself. There’s trouble enforcing the laws just like our democracies, today. However, we are still free-living citizens, much like the kids under Ralph’s reign. Jack and Roger are the complete opposite. Jack represents the savagery and hate in all of us.

Starting out as a choirboy, he slowly evolves into the hunting “Chief” of the opposition party. Methods used by Hitler were also used by Jack. Total control such as binding and strapping Wilfred and propaganda like using the beast to inspire fear and presenting himself as the only protection is used in his dictatorial rule. He overthrows Ralph with fun, and then proceeds to use muscle once he had friends like Roger. Roger is his right hand man but is even worse. He starts out throwing rocks, moves on to torturing pigs and in the end he intentionally kills Piggy.

He was a terror while torturing with Sam n’ Eric and the executioner when he killed Piggy. He is what Jack uses to rule, much like Hitler’s personal guard and is even more extreme and totalitarian than Jack. Jack and Roger’s rise to power mirror real life events. Ralph giving Jack control of the choir near the beginning of the book is reflective on many of the European dictator’s rise to power during WW2. Weak leaders of the Western world did not enforce the Treaty of Versailles nor did they resist the annexations done by Hitler before the war.

Nobody opposed him till it was too late much like this novel. Ralph tried, and their own little “war” broke out when the fire was stolen and continued until Ralph was saved by chance when the navy came, similar to the United States shifting the balance near the end of the war. Simon is the primary religious and good figure because of his spiritual and prophetic ways. Never violent and pretty much alone is what he’s like throughout the story. He says to Ralph, “All the same. You’ll get back all right. I think so, anyway.

He hangs out in a tranquil spot in the book and plays with a lizard there in the movie, it was a gentle scene and he is depicted as a small, frail character. These qualities make him innocent and pure but he was also the first to figure out what the beast really was. Shy and embarrassed he hides the fact that the beast may really be their inner fears, which is exactly what the beast represented. The beast turned out to be nothing more than a dead parachutist, who is freed by Simon, which in turn, frees the other boys’ fears.

He also experienced a “vision” like Moses while sitting next to the pig head also know as the Lord of the Flies, something that inspires fear and exploits the insecurities that the boys hold. This is a lot like the Devil people during the Middle Ages were so afraid of. To Simon, it represents danger and a bad omen because he falls victim to it while running away. The beast says, “-Or else, we shall do you. See? Jack and Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph. Do you. See? ” The pig head was correct; Simon is killed by the whole group of dancing boys.

The pigs themselves may represent some sort of adult or feminine role because of the absence of females on this island. The pigs are the source of recreation, food and comfort for Jack’s group. The language also suggests it, in Chapter Eight the group was “…fulfilled upon her. ” They were also “…wedded to her in lust…” Painted, hunting “mothers” and nameless, tells us they’re moving away from society, going back to a primitive state. The pigs though triggered this behavior. Lord of the Flies is filled with symbolism and can be expressed in political terms or in a religious sense.

There are many messages between the lines but the last one may be the most important. The ending takes them back to adult society and the real world. The boys stop and let the officer take care of business… but he does not. The adult simply turns his back and lets the boys pull together, abandoning them. “The officer, surrounded by these noises, was moved and a little embarrassed. He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance. ”

Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

From the beginning, the figure of the narrator shows that Williams’ play will not follow the conventions of realistic theater. The narrator breaks the conceptual “fourth wall” of naturalistic drama by addressing the audience directly. Tom also tells us that he is going to give the audience truth disguised as illusion, making the audience conscious of the illusory quality of theater. By playing with the theme of memory and its distortions, Williams is free to use music, monologues, and projected images to haunting effect.

Tom, as narrator, tells the audience that the gentleman caller is a real personmore real, in many ways, than any other characterbut he also tells the audience that the gentleman is a symbol for the “expected something that we live for,” the thing for which we are always waiting and hoping. This naming of a character as both real entity and symbol is characteristic of Williams’ work; both of these aspects of the gentleman caller are important to the overall impact of the Play. The allusion to Guernica and the turmoil in Spain, juxtaposed to the uneasy peace in America, establishes a tense atmosphere as the play’s background.

There is symmetry between the uneasy peace of the time period and the uneasy peace in the Wingfield house. Just as America stirs restlessly with the uneasy peace before the Second World War, Tom seethes with the need to escape his home and set out into the worldas his father did before him. The fire escape, a visually prominent part of the set, is an important symbol for the imprisonment that Tom feels and the possibility of a way out. In his stage directions, Williams characteristically imbues the fire escape with symbolic weight, saying that the buildings are burning with the “implacable fires of human desperation.

Tom addresses the audience from the fire escape, and his positioning there, standing alone between the outside world and the space of the apartment, points to the painful choice he makes later in the play. In order to escape, he must escape alone and leave his mother and sister behind. This is the first scene where the audience sees Laura taking care of her glass menagerie. The glass menagerie is the most important symbol for Laura and her fragility. Her engagement with the tiny animals reveals how painfully afraid she is of interaction with other humans.

The qualities of glass parallel Laura’s characteristics: like the tiny glass animals, she is delicate, beautiful in her oddness, terribly fragile. The little collection, like Laura, in an entity that is locked completely in the realm of the home. The animals must be kept on a little shelf and polished; there is only one place where they belong. In a similar way, Laura is kept and cared for, dependent on her mother and brother for financial support. The Blue Roses are another important symbol of Laura. The image of blue roses is a beautiful oneand it is the image that is on the screen at the start of Scene Two.

But blue roses are also pure fantasy, non-existent in the real world. Laura, like a blue rose, is special, unique even, but she is also cut off from real life. When Tom accidentally breaks some of the pieces in the glass menagerie, the incident foreshadows Laura’s heartbreak later on in the play. The event emphasizes the collection’s fragility, and so metaphorically we are reminded of Laura’s fragility. Tom is the one responsible, and the pain of his position is made clear. As much as he would like to live his own life, his actions have a great effect on the well-being and security of his mother and sister.

By being reckless, he destroys the pretend-world of his sister. Later on, he chooses to live his own life rather than live up to his responsibility for her security. One of the play’s important themes is the conflict between the desire to live one’s own life and the responsibility for one’s family. Tom’s wages pay the bills, but Amanda continues to treat him as a child. She confiscates and returns his books, and during their argument she attempts to control their discussion as an adult controls an argument with a little boy.

Tom’s fascination with the movies and the magician shows his need for fantasy and escapism. Tom is always dreaming of fantastic places far from St. Louis, and for now he escapes through the illusions offered by the movie house and the stage magician. He dreams of leaving home, but his responsibilities for his sister and his mother have so far kept him in the Wingfield apartment. What he sees at the magic show is directly connected to the theme of conflict between Tom’s responsibility for his family and his need to live his own life.

The magician’s most impressive trick becomes a symbol for what Tom wishes he could do to make a clean, easy escape, without destroying the coffin or removing any nails. The use of the coffin as a symbol for Tom’s predicament shows the depth of his unhappiness. The magician is able to escape the coffin without the messiness of having to remove nails, which would damage the coffin. Tom can escape, but only at great cost. Metaphorically, he would have to “remove nails,” causing great damagehe would have to abandon his sister and mother and leave them to an uncertain fate.

Laura’s vulnerability is emphasized in that symbolic space most closely linked to Tom, the fire escape. Tom will later climb down the fire escape one final time, leaving the apartment forever. Laura stumbles on the fire escape, and the fall symbolizes her inability to fend for herself in the outside world. Amanda is still fixating on the idea of the gentleman caller. She proposes a swap; Tom’s freedom in exchange for a husband for Laura. Amanda is still putting her security into the hands of men; perhaps she sees no alternative.

Although her old husband’s irresponsibility and Tom’s increasing restlessness would seem to argue against the reliability of male providers, Amanda is still hoping to find an ideal husband for her daughter. This hope will prove to be misplaced. Even the gentleman caller, when he finally comes, will be careless with Laura. In Tom’s speech from the fire escape, the symbolic name of Paradise Dance Hall can be read in a number of ways. “Paradise” is an allusion to the lost Garden of Eden, and here the allusion paints the American thirties as a period of innocence before the turmoil of World War II.

The dance hall, because it is being described as a memory, creates a sense of loss due to the passage of time. Tom makes yet another allusion to the carnage of Guernica, which has by now become a symbol for the violence in which the entire world will soon be enmeshed. On a personal level, Paradise Dance Hall might symbolize more specific loss that Tom has experienced. For the older Tom narrating the play, the fragile world of his family is lost forever. But for the characters living through the action of the play, the Paradise Dance Hall symbolizes hope.

The glass unicorn becomes a symbol for Laura. She, like the unicorn, is odd and unique. Both Laura and the unicorn are fragile: Jim “breaks” both of them. Laura’s gift of the broken unicorn shows the extent of her affection for him. For Jim, the evening has been insignificant. But Laura has harbored a girlish crush on him for many yearsshe even saved the program of the play in which he starredand the gift of the unicorn, an item that is a symbol of herself, shows how much she still likes him. For a brief moment, the Wingfield apartment was a place of dreams.

Amanda experienced a return to her girlhood, Laura was able to show someone her glass menagerie, and the place was full of the music from Paradise Dance Hall. But the unicorn is broken, the music of “Paradise” gives way to the sad sounds of the Victrola, and even Amanda is left without defenses against reality. For the first time, she refers to Laura as “crippled,” breaking her own rule, and she seems to acknowledge that Tom will soon leave them. This scene has its share of rose imagery. The new floor lamp has a rose-colored shade; Laura herself is “Blue Roses.

The rose-colored light makes Laura look beautiful; she is bathed in rose-colored light, she is “Blue Roses,” and she is also, in many ways, the surrogate for Williams’ sisterwhose name was Rose. Williams uses the rose as a motif for Laura to emphasize her delicateness and her beauty, as well as her worth. The fantastic blue color of the flower shows, however, that Laura is not a being of this world Tom’s closing speech is a great moment. The descending fourth wall puts a powerful but permeable barrier between Tom and his family. They are behind him, behind him in time and in the physical space of the stage, and they are inaudible.

Yet he cannot seem to shake the memory of them, and they are clearly visible to the audience. Although he has never explicitly spoken of one of the play’s most important themesthe conflict between responsibility and the need to live his own lifeit is clear that he has not been able to fully shake the guilt from the decision that he made. The cost of escape has been the burden of memory. For Tom and the audience, it is difficult to forget the final image of frail Laura, illuminated by candlelight on a darkened stage, while the world outside of the apartment faces the beginnings of a great storm.

Symbolism in The Birthmark

There have been many writers who have astonished the literary world with their configuration of short stories, but none of them have perfected the art as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne wrote in a time period when Fredrick Douglas was paving the road to racial freedom, Ralph Waldo Emerson wanted to world to be seen through the transparent eyeball, and Henry David Thoreau was living the unfettered life. In comparison to the modern writings of his time, Hawthornes style was viewed as outdated; nonetheless, Hawthorne addressed modern issues in the symbols and themes of his stories.

Through the use of symbols and themes, the short story, The Birthmark, is the best example of Hawthorne representing modern issues. Through his use of symbolism, Hawthorne addresses the issue of the fatal flaw of humanity that nature imposes upon everyone. He addresses the issue of man manipulating nature through the theme of the story. While some might have viewed Hawthornes writing style as outdated, he focused on issues that are modern and contemporary to his time. The modern issue of mans ability to manipulate nature, and the results of that manipulation, is seen in a scientists obsession with perfecting nature.

Through husbands obsession with perfecting his wife, Hawthorne conveys the modern issue of mans ability to control nature. The central characters in Hawthornes story, The Birthmark, are Aylmer and Georgiana. Aylmer and Georgina are in love, yet there is a twist to the love that Aylmer possess for his wife. Georgina is perfect in every way, except for one tiny flaw on her cheek. Nature has imposed upon her a tiny red birthmark, which is the obstacle in the love that Aylmer has for Georgiana. As a scientist, Aylmer is obsessed with the act of manipulating nature, this obsession is blossomed with the imperfection that Georgiana posses.

Seeing her otherwise so perfect, he found this one defect grow more and more intolerable with every moment of their united lives (2226). Aylmer cannot stand the thought of a creature being virtually perfect that he must find a way to rid Georgiana of her birthmark. No dearest Georgiana, you came so near perfect form the hands of Nature that this slightest possible defect-which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty-shocks me as being the visible mark of earthy imperfection (2225).

Aylmers obsession with Georgianas earthly imperfection leads to the eventual downfall of both of them. Aylmer finds the cure for his wifes one flaw and administers the potion to her. The administering of this potion provides the power and ability to control and change nature. The crimson hand, which at first has been strongly visible upon the marble paleness of Georgianas cheek, now grew more faintly outlined. She remained not less pale then ever; but the birthmark, with every breath that came and went lost somewhat of its former distinctness (2235).

With the inhaling and exhaling of every breath that Georgiana took, not only did the birthmark fade, but also so did the life within her. Aylmers obsession with manipulating nature was the eventual downfall of his true love. Hawthorne shows the reader the modern issue that nature will always win in the end. Man may have the ability to manipulate nature, but man will never come out as the victor. Hawthorne not only conveys modern issues through the theme of his story, but he also uses symbols to express contemporary issues.

The most important symbol in, The Birthmark, that shows modern thought is the birthmark on Georgianas cheek. Georgiana exceptional closeness to perfection is undermined by the mark on her cheek. This mark symbolizes the fatal flaw that all of natures creatures posses. It was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one way or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her production, either to imply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain (2226). Nothing and no one is perfect. Perfection is a dream that Aylmer tries to make reality.

The birthmark represents Georgianas ability to be mortal and sin. Aylmer ultimately rids Georgiana of the ability to be immortal and therefore she dies. In symbolizing the birthmark as the fatal flaw of humanity, Hawthorne is illustrating the modern issue that not even nature is perfect, and all the creatures from nature cannot be faultless. The birthmark has references to life, death, beauty, and disgust all of which are fatal flaws that nature imposes on her creations. Another symbol that shows modern issues in Hawthornes writing is Georgiana herself.

Georgianas pure faith symbolizes the modern issue of men controlling women. Aylmer is not only trying to manipulate and dominate nature, but he is trying to control Georgiana. These questions had such a particular drift that Georgiana began to conjecture that she was already subjected to certain physical influences, either breathed in with the fragrant air or taken with her food (2231). Without his wifes knowledge, Aylmer manipulates Georgiana with outside influences, which will eventually free them of the crimson hand that has plagued their lives.

Hawthorne plays with the contemporary issue of mans need to dominate women. Riding her of the birthmark allows Aylmer to dominate his wife. Hawthorne also uses this theme in the story, Rappaccinis Daughter. Rappaccinis father and Aylmer use their women as experiments. The women in their lives are no longer a human being but a specimen to be studied and controlled. The style of Hawthornes writing has been deemed as outdated by some literary critics, but if they would look deeper they would find a mind filled with contemporary thoughts.

These thoughts are most significantly conveyed in his short story, The Birthmark. Through the use of symbols, Hawthorne addresses the issues of mans fatal flaw from the hands nature, while he uses the theme of his story to make aware that nature cannot be manipulated. Unlike Thoreau, Hawthorne wanted people to realize that nature is not perfect and should not be used as a channel for spirituality. What they could agree on that nature should not be manipulated and controlled.

Impressionism and Symbolism in Heart of Darkness

In Heart of Darkness it is the white invaders for instance, who are, almost without exception, embodiments of blindness, selfishness, and cruelty; and even in the cognitive domain, where such positive phrases as “to enlighten,” for instance, are conventionally opposed to negative ones such as “to be in the dark,” the traditional expectations are reversed. In Kurtz’s painting, as we have seen, “the effect of the torch light on the face was sinister” (Watt 332). Ian Watt, author of “Impressionism and Symbolism in Heart of Darkness,” discusses about the destruction set upon the Congo by Europeans.

The destruction set upon the Congo by Europeans led to the cry of Kurtz’s last words, “The horror! The horror! ” The horror in Heart of Darkness has been critiqued to represent different aspects of situations in the book. However, Kurtz’s last words “The horror! The horror! ” refer, to me, to magnify only three major aspects. The horror magnifies Kurtz not being able to restrain himself, the colonizers’ greed, and Europe’s darkness. Kurtz comes to the Congo with noble intentions. He thought that each ivory station should stand like a beacon light, offering a better way of life to the natives.

He was considered to be a “universal genius”: he was an orator, writer, poet, musician, artist, politician, ivory producer, and chief agent of the ivory company’s Inner Station. yet, he was also a “hollow man,” a man without basic integrity or any sense of social responsibility. “Kurtz issues the feeble cry, ‘The horror! The horror! ‘ and the man of vision, of poetry, the ’emissary of pity, and science, and progress’ is gone. The jungle closes’ round” (Labrasca 290). Kurtz being cut off from civilization reveals his dark side.

Once he entered within his “heart of darkness” he was shielded from the light. Kurtz turned into a thief, murderer, raider, persecutor, and to climax all of his other shady practices, he allows himself to be worshipped as a god. E. N. Dorall, author of “Conrad and Coppola: Different Centers of Darkness,” explains Kurtz’s loss of his identity. Daring to face the consequences of his nature, he loses his identity; unable to be totally beast and never able to be fully human, he alternates between trying to return to the jungle and recalling in grotesque terms his former idealism.

Kurtz discovered, A voice! A voice! It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength to hide in the magnificent folds of eloquence the barren darkness of his heart…. But both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions, avid of lying, fame, of sham distinction, of all the appearances of success and power. Inevitably Kurtz collapses, his last words epitomizing his experience, The horror! The horror! (Dorall 306).

The horror to Kurtz is about self realization; about the mistakes he committed while in Africa. The colonizers’ cruelty towards the natives and their lust for ivory also is spotlighted in Kurtz’s horror. The white men who came to the Congo professing to bring progress and light to “darkest Africa” have themselves been deprived of the sanctions of their European social orders. The supposed purpose of the colonizers’ traveling into Africa was to civilize the natives. Instead the Europeans took the natives’ land away from them by force.

They burned their towns, stole their property, and enslaved them. “Enveloping the horror of Kurtz is the Congo Free State of Leopold II, totally corrupt though to all appearances established to last for a long time” (Dorall 309). The conditions described in Heart of Darkness reflect the horror of Kurtz’s words: the chain gangs, the grove of death, the payment in brass rods, the cannibalism and the human skulls on the fence posts. Africans bound with thongs that contracted in the rain and cut to the bone, had their swollen hands beaten with rifle butts until they fell off.

Chained slaves were forced to drink the white man’s defecation, hands and feet were chopped off for their rings, men were lined up behind each other and shot with one cartridge, wounded prisoners were eaten by maggots till they died and were then thrown to starving dogs or devoured by cannibal tribes (Meyers 100). The colonizers enslaved the natives to do their biding; the cruelty practiced on the black workers were of the white man’s mad and greedy rush for ivory.

The unredeemable horror in the tale is the duplicity, cruelty, and venality of Europeans officialdom” (Levenson 401). Civilization is only preserved by maintaining illusions. Juliet Mclauchlan, author of “The Value and Significance of Heart of Darkness,” stated that every colonizer in Africa is to blame for the horror which took place within. Kurtz’s moral judgment applies supremely to his own soul, but his final insight is all encompassing; looking upon humanity in full awareness of his own degradation, he projects his debasement, failure, and hatred universally.

Realizing that any human soul may be fascinated, held irresistible, by what it rightly hates, his stare is “wide enough to embrace the whole universe,” wide and immense…. embracing, condemning, loathing all the universe (Mclauchlan 384). The darkness of Africa collides with the evils of Europe upon Kurtz’s last words. Kurtz realized that all he had been taught to believe in, to operate from, was a mass of horror and greed standardized by the colonizers. As you recall in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Kurtz painted a painting releasing his knowledge of the horror and what is to come.

A painting of a blindfolded woman carrying a lighted torch was discussed in the book. The background was dark, and the effect of the torch light on her face was sinister. The oil painting suggests the blind and stupid ivory company, fraudulently letting people believe that besides the ivory they were taking out of the jungle, they were, at the same time, bringing light and progress to the jungle. Kurtz, stripped away of his culture by the greed of other Europeans, stands both literally and figuratively naked.

He has lost all restraint in himself and has lived off the land like an animal. He has been exposed to desire, yet cannot comprehend it. His horror tells us his mistakes and that of Europe’s. His mistakes of greed for ivory, his mistakes of lust for a mistress and his mistakes of assault on other villages, were all established when he was cut off from civilization. When Conrad wrote what Kurtz’s last words were to be, he did not exaggerate or invent the horrors that provided the political and humanitarian basis for his attack on colonialism.

Conrad’s Kurtz mouths his last words, “The horror! The horror! ” as a message to himself and, through Marlow, to the world. However, he did not really explain the meaning of his words to Marlow before his exit. Through Marlow’s summary and moral reactions, we come to realize the possibilities of the meaning rather than a definite meaning. “The message means more to Marlow and the readers than it does to Kurtz,” says William M. Hagen, in “Heart of Darkness and the Process of Apocalypse Now.

The horror” to Kurtz became the nightmare between Europe and Africa. To Marlow, Kurtz’s last words came through what he saw and experienced along the way into the Inner Station. To me, Kurtz’s horror shadows every human, who has some form of darkness deep within their heart, waiting to be unleashed. “The horror that has been perpetrated, the horror that descends as judgment, either in this pitiless and empty death or in whatever domination there could be to come” (Stewart 366). Once the horror was unleashed, there was no way of again restraining it.

Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about one man’s disenchantment with the American dream. In the story we get a glimpse into the life of Jay Gatsby, a man who aspired to achieve a position among the American rich to win the heart of his true love, Daisy Fay. Gatsby’s downfall was in the fact that he was unable to determine that concealed boundary between reality and illusion in his life. The Great Gatsby is a tightly structured, symbolically compressed novel whose predominant images and symbols reinforce the idea that Gatsby’s dream exists on orrowed time.

Fitzgerald perfectly understood the inadequacy of Gatsby’s romantic view of wealth. At a young age he met and fell in love with Ginevra King, a Chicago girl who enjoyed the wealth and social position to which Fitzgerald was always drawn. After being rejected by Ginevra because of his lower social standing, Fitzgerald came away with a sense of social inadequacy, a deep hurt, and a longing for the girl beyond attainment. This disappointment grew into distrust and envy of the American rich and their lifestyle. These personal feelings are expressed in Gatsby.

The rich symbolize the failure of a civilization and the way of life and this flaw becomes apparent in the characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story, quickly became disillusioned with the upper social class after having dinner at their home on the fashionable East Egg Island. \”Nick is forced unwillingly to observe the violent contrast between their opportunities- what is implied by the gracious surface of their existence- and the seamy underside which is it’s reality\” (Way 93).

In the Buchanans, and in Nick’s reaction to them, Fitzgerald shows us how completely the American upper class has failed to ecome an aristocracy. The Buchanans represent cowardice, corruption, and the demise of Gatsby’s dream Gatsby, unlike Fitzgerald himself, never discovers how he has been betrayed by the class he has idealized for so long. For Gatsby, the failure of the rich has disastrous consequences. Gatsby’s desire to achieve his dream leads him to West Egg Island. He purchased a mansion across the bay from Daisy’s home.

There is a green light at the end of Daisy’s dock that is visible at night from the windows and lawn of Gatsby’s house. This green light is one of the central symbols of the novel. In chapter one, Nick observes Gatsby in the dark as he looks longingly across the bay with arms stretched outward toward the green light. It becomes apparent, as the story progresses that \”the whole being of Gatsby exists only in relation to what the green light symbolizes This first sight, that we have of Gatsby, is a ritualistic tableau that literally contains the meaning of the completed book\” (Bewley 41).

A broader definition of the green light’s significance is revealed in Chapter 5, as Gatsby and Daisy stand at one of the windows in his mansion. “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,\” said Gatsby. \”You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock. \” \”Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it has seemed very near to her, almost touching her.

It had seemed so close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects has diminished by one\” (Fitzgerald 94). Gatsby had believed in the green light, it made his dream seem attainable. Upon meeting Daisy again, after a five-year separation, Gatsby discovers that sometimes attaining a desired object can bring a sense of loss rather than fulfillment. It is when Gatsby makes this discovery that the green light is no longer the central image of a great dream, but only a green light at the end of a dock.

The most obvious symbol in The Great Gatsby is a waste land called the Valley of Ashes, a dumping ground that lies between East and West Egg and New York City. Symbolically \”the green breast of the new orld\” (Fitzgerald 182) becomes this Valley of Ashes. As the illusions of youth give way to the disillusionment of the thirties, so green hopes give way to the dust of disappointment. Certainly Gatsby’s dreams turn to ashes; and it is dramatically appropriate that the custodian of the Valley of Ashes, George Wilson, should be Gatsby’s murderer.

That Wilson is the demise of Gatsby’s dream- and that the dream gives way to ashes- is made clear through descriptive detail. Over the desolate area, known as the Valley of Ashes, brood the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. \”Gatsby is a kind of T. J. Eckleburg; he has created a god like image of himself, but the image is doomed- the dream will turn to dust- and like Eckleburg, Gatsby also has occasion to brood over the ashes of the past, over the solemn dumping ground of worn out hopes\” (Lehan 121).

The death of Gatsby comes ironically from George Wilson’s total misunderstanding of the world from which the Buchanans and Myrtle come. The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg, brooding over the Valley of Ashes, become what is left of the Son of God Gatsby has imagined himself to be. As the novel closes, the experience of Gatsby and his broken dream become the focus of that istoric dream for which he stands.

In the final thoughts of the novel, Fitzgerald would like the reader to see a much broader picture of the theme- a vision of America as the continent of lost innocence and lost illusions. He compares Gatsby’s experience to that of the Dutch Sailors who first came to Long Island and had an unspoiled continent before them. As Nick lies on the beach in front of Gatsby’s home, his last night in the East, he contemplates this thought, \”I became aware of the old island that flowered once for Dutch sailor’s eyes – a fresh green breast of the new world.

It’s vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it.

He did not know that it was already behind him\” (Fitzgerald 182). Gatsby’s greatness was to have retained a sense of wonder as deep as the sailor’s on that first landfall. Gatsby’s tragedy was to have had, not a continent to wonder at, but only a green light at the end of Daisy’s Dock and the triviality of Daisy herself. The evolution of such triviality was Gatsby’s particular tragedy and the tragedy of America. Gatsby fades into the past forever to take his place with the Dutch sailors who had chosen their moment in time so much more happily than he.

By the close f the novel, Fitzgerald has completely convinced the reader that Gatsby’s capacity for illusion is touching and heroic, despite the worthlessness of the objects of his dreams. It is through combining faultless artistry with symbolism that Fitzgerald paints a vivid picture of the dream destined to fail because it’s basis was illusion. not reality The Great Gatsby Cary L. Pannell Eng. 206 Rough draft of Final Word Count 1328 Thesis: The Great Gatsby is a tightly structured, symbolically compressed novel in which predominant images and symbols reinforce the idea that Gatsby’s dream exists on borrowed time.

Symbolism and the Unconscious in Young Goodman Brown

Nathaniel Hawthornes work is typically fraught with symbolism, much of it deriving from his puritan ancestry. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne was obsessed with the themes of sin and guilt. John Roth notes that A number of recurring thematic patterns and character types appear in Hawthornes novels and tales (Roth 76). Because he is speaking of what we would later come to call the unconscious, Hawthorne extensively employed the use of symbolism, which bypasses the conscious to tap into its more dream- like process below (Roth 76).

In his short story Young Goodman Brown, the main character Goodman Brown goes off into the woods and undergoes what will be a life changing experience. Young Goodman Brown, was written in the nineteenth century but is undoubtedly set in the seventeenth century, and for the early Americans in this time period the forest was a symbol of the test of strength, courage, and endurance. It took a lot of courage to survive there, and the young person entering the forest would not emerge the same.

But the story is more symbolic than realistic, and the dangers that Goodman Brown encounters in the forest are not Indians or bears; they are dangers of the spirit. It is no accident that such an experience should have taken place in the forest, because there is a long and extremely profound tradition in American literature where experiences of this nature haven taken place in forest settings.

Psychologist Bruno Betelheim observes that Since ancient times the near impenetrable forest in which we get lost has symbolized the dark, hidden near-impenetrable world of our unconscious (Betelheim, 94). However, this does not appear in Young Goodman Brown. Instead of bravely battling down the dangers of the forest and emerging a more mature person, Goodman Brown emerges a ruined man. It should not go unrecognized that Goodman Browns wife, a light hearted, genuine woman, has the name Faith.

Faith is not by any means an unusual name for a woman, especially in puritan times, but it becomes significant in the story because she is presented to us first as a very young bride with pink ribbons in her hair, almost like a child. Her pink ribbons symbolize her youth, and her name symbolizes her husbands childlike spirituality at the beginning of the story. Christianity historically has been a religion of obedience and devotion much more than one of logic, as much as the framers of the age of reason would try to argue otherwise.

When the story opens, we see Faith characterized by childlike confidence and purity, which can be contrasted with the man with the snake-like staff, who attempts to persuade Goodman Brown by reasoning as we go (Hawthorne 106). Faith does not attempt to dissuade her husband out of his intentions through reason, but through affection; with her lips close to his ear, she asks Goodman Brown not to go into the forest on his mysterious errand (Hawthorne, 108). But we are left to wonder what his errand is.

Hawhtorne never tells us, but clearly Goodman Brown has planned for whatever it is. He knows that the point of the journey is less than beneficial, because he feels guilty about leaving his wife on such an errand (Hawthorne, 108). Terence Martin speculated that Goodman Browns Journey into the forest is best defined as a kind of general, indeterminate allegory, representing mans irrational drive to leave his Faith, home, and security temporarily behind, for an unknown reason, to take a chance with one or more errands onto the wilder shores of experience (Martin, 92).

Q. D. Observes that the theme of the story is simply going to the devil for reasons such as lust, certainly, but more for knowledge (Lang, 91). Goodman Brown also seems to know whom he is going to meet there, because when he meets the man with the snake-like staff, he is startled by the sudden appearance of his companion who was nonetheless not totally expected (Hawthorne, 109). Snakes of course signify the devil, and if this individual was not the devil himself, he is certainly a representative of him.

His staff is later described as twisted as well. What is here are all the elements of the quest story: the journey into an uncharted and dangerous realm, symbolizing the unconscious, and, shortly after the journey begins, the meeting with the guide who knows this forbidden and mysterious territory well (Martin 100). However, at this point the story veers significantly away from its traditional path. Goodman Brown announces that he does not want to go any further into the forest.

He has met the man at the edge of the forest by a previously made arrangement, in response to a vow of some sort; and, having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return from whence I cam. I have scruples touching the matter thou worst of (Hawthorne, 110). Having read the entire story, it can be interpreted on two levels. Goodman Brown may feel, as he says that the exploration of the inner forest may be a sin. It is easier by far to follow the accepted path of faith, to walk, as the church often says, in the light (Hawthorne 110).

By walking in the light, and by following precisely the doctrine of Christian life and avoiding all situations where morality does not separate itself into clear areas of black and white, one feels safe, clean, and perhaps virtuous. By doing this, one also misses out on the depth, and the richness that a fuller experience of life might offer. But it is unquestionably an easier path. However, others choose to walk into the forest of their unconscious, where there is no light.

This can be a scary experience, and one fraught with danger, and is often characterized by the clouds hiding the previously twinkling stars (Betelheim 110). The real forest is the home of the madman, and sometimes the devil himself. To venture into this unknown land is risky, and to venture into it without being prepared is to be mad, yet we can see that this is clearly what Young Goodman Brown has done. He knows exactly why he is going, but is not at all prepared for what he will find there, namely the sinful natures not only of himself, but horrifyingly, also his wife.

He emerges from this experience a completely changed man, but because he was unprepared to accept the visions he would receive there with tolerance and grace, he has been changed for the worst. Goodman Brown was supposed to learn that everyone is human, and should be treated with compassion. Instead he learned that everyone is a sinner, and forever treats people with abhorrence. Enlightenment can impart great wisdom, but only those minds, which are open to receiving it. Goodman Brown was not.

Symbolism of the Scarlet Letter

Authors sometimes use symbols in their novels to represent different objects, people or ideas. One example is the S on Supermans uniform, which symbolizes him being supper. In The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne creates the symbolism of the letter A to have different meanings. As the novel unfolds, the meanings of the letter A on Hester Prynnes bosom changes, from adultery to able to angel. In the beginning of the novel, Hawthorne describes the letter A that lies on Hesters bosom as a symbol of adultery.

Hester is made to wear the letter A once the towns people see, that she committed adultery by bearing a child by some other soul than her husband Roger Chillingworth. Since she has worn this letter, she now has a label on her that she is sinful. She is brought out in public to show everyone what is embroidered on her chest. The narrator shares, When the young women the mother of this child-stood fully revealed before the crowd… On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourshes of gold thread… “(50-1).

Many people there to see her when she reveals the A on her chest. Most of the town people are astonished and startled on her beauty still shone. Even though the big red letter on her chest stood for adultery. As the novel progressed the meaning as the A made a change for the better in Hesters life. In chapters before of the novel the letter A on Hesters bosom had negative meaning, but this time Hawthorne turns the meaning around in the story to mean able. Now that she has given many hours of time and service to the sick, poor and troubled she began to gain respect from some of the towns people who once looked down on her.

This time the author shares, Such helpfulness was found in her-so much power to do and power to sympathize-that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able”… (158). Hester still held up her head and did not appear to be down. She was trying to become herself again slowly. Once again the letter on her chest changed from the meaning of adultery to something she could be proud of. Once the novel nears the end Hawthorne again makes the letter A stand for an angel.

Hester in the story about this time had more self-esteem and she also looked upon herself as a good person after her sacred love is revealed. So she looks at the A lying on her bosom with better thoughts. The angel and apostle of the coming must be a women, indeed, but lofty, pure and beautiful, and wise, moreover, not through dusky grief, but the ethereal medium of joy (258). Hawthorn lets us understand that no matter what others think of Hester it does not seem to matter. So said Heater Prone, and glanced her eyes downward at the scarlet letter. And, after many years a new grave was delved after a sunken one… 258).

This was an everlasting impression from the how the symbolism of the letter that lies on her chest to mean angel witch was another good meaning for her. Throughout the Scarlet Letter Hawthorne portrays symbolism of the letter A. This makes readers think something about one thing that really could be totally different. Still at the end of this book it came out to be a positive meaning. The purpose of this to show that objects in stories can have more than one meaning you just have to use your imagination. Not like the beginning when the A stood for adultery.

The Use of Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgeralds novel The Great Gatsby is about a man named Gatsby and his struggle to attain the American Dream in 1920s Long Island. He fights to get his dream woman and to do so, he must first become rich. Unfortunately, he doesnt really go about it the right way; he takes part in some illegal activities with some quite sinister characters, such as Meyer Wolfshiem. The corruption of Gatsbys dream and his struggle to attain his dream are shown by F. Scott Fitzgerald through the use of symbolism, such as Gatsbys car, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, and Gatsby stretching his arms out towards the green light across the bay. Gatsby has a car that is an important symbol in this novel.

Gatsbys car represents many problems in the society at that time. His car is very elaborate, It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns(Fitzgerald 68). It symbolizes the irresponsibility of society and the differences between the old rich and the classlessness of the new rich.

It is also the car that Gatsby buys to impress Daisy and that hits Myrtle Wilson, eventually leading to Gatsbys death. Another symbol in this book is the big billboard with the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg on it: Above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The[y] are blue and gigantic- their retinas are one yard high. They look from no face but, instead from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose(Fitzgerald 27).

This billboard represents the eyes of God looking out over the vast wasteland of moral corruption and dying hope. Some might have even said that since the doctor had long abandoned the area, God might have left, also. Then, there are a few symbols all combined into one. This is the image of Gatsby with his arms stretched out towards the green light across the bay, which is repeated at the end of the novel, fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbors mansion. it was Mr. Gatsby himself. stretched out his arms toward. a single green light, minute and far away (Fitzgerald 25-26).

The green light represents hope, land, and money. Gatsby reaching out across the bay represents his desire for those things as well as Daisy, whose house is just behind the light. The best example of symbolism in this book is the image of Gatsby at the end of chapter one, because it contains many symbols in one image, which illustrates my final point. There are many examples of symbolism used in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

The play The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many symbols which represent many different things. Many of the symbols used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or difference between reality and illusion. The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape. This represents the “bridge” between the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality. This “bridge” seems to be a one way passage. But the direction varies for each character. For Tom, the fire escape is the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an ntrance into the world of reality.

For Laura, the fire escape is a way into her world. A way to escape from reality. Both examples can readily be seen: Tom will stand outside on the fire escape to smoke, showing that he does not like to be inside, to be a part of the illusionary world. Laura, on the other hand, thinks of the fire escape as a way in and not a way out. This can be seen when Amanda sends Laura to go to the store: Laura trips on the fire escape. This also shows that Laura’s fears and emotions greatly affect her physical condition, more so than normal people.

Another symbol presented deals more with Tom than any of the other characters: Tom’s habit of going to the movies shows us his longing to leave the apartment and head out into the world of reality. A place where one can find adventure. And Tom, being a poet, can understand the needs of man to long for adventure and romance. But he is kept from entering reality by Amanda, who criticizes him as being a “selfish dreamer. ” But, Tom has made steps to escape into reality by transferring the payment of a light bill to pay for his dues in the

Merchant Seaman’s Union. Another symbol, which deals with both Amanda and Laura, is Jim O’Connor. To Laura, Jim represents the one thing she fears and does not want to face, reality. Jim is a perfect example of “the common man. ” A person with no real outstanding quality. In fact, Jim is rather awkward, which can be seen when he dances with Laura. To Amanda, Jim represents the days of her youth, when she went frolicking about picking jonquils and supposedly having “seventeen gentlemen callers on one Sunday afternoon.

Although Amanda desires to see Laura ettled down with a nice young man, it is hard to tell whether she wanted a gentleman caller to be invited for Laura or for herself. One symbol which is rather obvious is Laura’s glass menagerie. Her collection of glass represents her own private world. Set apart from reality, a place where she can hide and be safe. The events that happen to Laura’s glass affects Laura’s emotional state greatly. When Amanda tells Laura to practice typing, Laura instead plays with her glass.

When Amanda is heard walking up the fire escape, she quickly hides her collection. She does this to hide her secret world from the others. When Tom leaves to go to the movies in an angered rush, he accidentally breaks some of Laura’s glass. The shattered glass represents Laura’s understanding of Tom’s responsibilities to her. Also, the unicorn, which is important, represents Laura directly. Laura points out to Jim that the unicorn is different, just as she is different. She also points out that the unicorn does not complain of being different, as she does not complain either.

And when Jim breaks the horn off the unicorn, Laura points out that now it is like the ther horses, just as Laura has shed some of her shyness and become more normal. When she hands the broken unicorn to Jim, this might represent Laura handing over her broken love to Jim, as Jim has revealed that he is engaged to be married. As can be seen, there are quite a few symbols in this play. And a number of them have diverse meanings. Most of these symbols have a direct meaning in the author’s own life. This is understandable seeing that the play is supposed to be “memory play. ” It is obvious that this memory play is based on Williams’ own memories.

Symbolism In The Lottery

Shirley Jackson’s, ‘The Lottery’;, clearly expresses her feelings concerning traditional rituals through her story. It opens the eyes of readers to properly classify and question some of today’s traditions as cruel, and allows room to foretell the outcome of these unusual traditions. ‘The Lottery’; is a short story that records the annual sacrifice ceremony of a fictional small town. It is a detailed narrative of the selection of the person to be sacrificed, a process known to the townspeople as ‘the lottery’;.

This selection is extremely rich in symbolism. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make readers aware of the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. There are three main types of symbolism in this piece: characters’ names, objects, and numbers. The names of the characters play a large role in the story. Some such as Delacroix, are rather obviously religious natures. Others, such as Adams, are a bit more obscure. The Delacroix family has a name that literally means of the cross. The principal Delacroix character, Mrs.

Delacroix, appears several times throughout the short story. She functions as a friend to Tessie Hutchinson, the woman ultimately selected for the sacrifice, but turns on her at the end along with the rest of the townspeople. Delacroix is not angry with Hutchinson, but helps kill her because of the tradition. The symbolism here is apparent. The church, usually seen as a positive influence, can sometimes turn on a person in the name of ritual and tradition. Mr. Adams, another character, is the first to draw from the lottery box.

His name, Adams, coupled with the fact that he is the first man to draw from the lottery box, Flowers 2 ndicates that he is biblically representative of humanity. Like the other characters, he is supposed to stand for the average person. This illustrates that the story is universally applicable to everyone. Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves also have symbolic names. Mr. Summers, the owner of a coal business, runs all the civic activities, including the lottery. His name is a representative of the lottery itself, which occurs every summer.

Jackson makes certain readers know ‘the lottery’; is an annual tradition. Old Man Warner quotes an old saying, ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon’;(232). Mr. Graves, the town postman, assists Mr. Summers in directing the ceremony of selecting the unlucky lottery winner. Just as he is an integral part of the drawing, his name symbolizes the element of death that is an integral part of the lottery process. The black box is the central theme or idea in the story. The box symbolizes, at first, some type of mystery.

However, as we read the ending, it is realized that is synonymous with doom. Its black color symbolizes death and absoluteness. A townperson’s fate lies in an inanimate object, the black box. The box is a concrete representation of the tradition and ritual associated with the sacrifice. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here. Every year, after the lottery, Mr.

Summers began talking again about a new box, but every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything’s being done. The black box grew shabbier each year; by now it was no longer completely Flowers 3 lack but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained. (230) The condition of the black box represents the slow transformation and decay of the religious ideals that were the foundation of the lottery concept. Not one person in the little town questions the origin of the black box, but they accept it as a tortuous part of their lives.

The effects of the passage of time are also evident by the passage regarding how the chips for wood that were used for generations had been substituted for a direct descendant, slips of paper (230). The black spot drawn on the deciding slip of paper is black to represent the death it brings. The pieces of paper that are lifted away by the breeze are symbolic of the ease with which life can be taken. However, is also symbolic of vast civilizations that were doomed to eventual failure for believing in and acting on tradition and not living according to the word of God.

Readers see that even as Tessie is being stoned to death, she does not question the reasoning behind the lottery. She questions why it should be she that has to die. Numbers serve many symbolic roles it ‘The Lottery’;. The stool the black box sits on has three legs, Tessie Hutchinson has three children. The lottery occurs on the twenty -seventh day of June, and the oldest man in the town has been to seventy-seven lotteries. The number three has two meanings in this short story. The first is the Christian concept of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The box, and thus the lottery itself, rests upon the Christian concept of religion. The number three also represents the three different attitudes of the townspeople toward the lottery. Most of the Flowers 4 eople seem to be indifferent. People continue the lottery as it was done before them simply because they know no other way. The second attitude is that of concern. Some townspeople are starting to question the tradition. Both Mr. and Mrs. Adams, show some interest in distant towns who discontinued their lottery (232). The third attitude about the lottery is excitement.

The older people generally hold this attitude. Old Man Warner expresses their feelings well when he remarks that those who would discontinue the lottery are a ‘Pack of young fools …. Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while…. First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery’;(232) The three groups vary in viewpoint from wanting abolition of the lottery to wanting to go back to the old ways.

The date of the lottery, the twenty seventh of June, has significance in many ways. If six, the number of the number of the month, is divided by the two in the twenty-seven, it leaves three and the seven. The seventh chapter of Exodus, the third book of the Bible, deals with the guilt offering: a blood sacrifice made to ease the guilt of a make. This is obviously a direct link to the blood sacrifice the townspeople make. The twenty-seven is a strong re-emphasis of the concept of the Trinity; twenty-seven is three to the third powers. The seventy-seven years Old Man Warner has attended the lottery represents luck.

Seven is traditionally associated with good luck, and the repetition of the numeral highlights the fact that he has been very lucky to live so long without being singled out as a lottery loser. Flowers 5 Society’s future may depend on the allowance of evolution through its present standpoints and how they decide to alter it. Shirley Jackson’s use of representative names, objects, and numbers contribute meaning to the story. They all add to the theme of the story, and most serve to highlight certain religious implications of the story.

Jackson’s feelings toward the misuse of tradition as an excuse to cause harm may have triggered her creativity for the creation of ‘The Lottery’;. The townspeople all came together for the annual lottery, however, in an interesting twist, those participating stone the winner to death. Everyone in the town seems horribly uncivilized yet they can easily be compared to today’s society. After reading ‘The Lottery’;, one can compare the ritual, in the story, to some of today’s barbaric traditions. Hazing is a tradition that has been around for a long time. Perhaps just as barbaric as the stoning, no good at all results from hazing.

Symbolism and The Yellow Wallpaper

For starters, I would like to begin by saying that this piece of literature, to me, was a disturbing piece of fiction that reminded me of the book (and film) “The Shining” by Stephen King. Both story’s draw from the instability of the main characters mental state. This story in particular draws from the personal experiences of the author, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is the story of a woman’s downward spiral ending in insanity. Everything is viewed through the eyes of the mental patient. She describes her day to day life, paying much attention to the yellow wallpaper.

The wallpaper in it’s decrepid state was a symbol representing the characters instable psychological being. The story opens with a description of the manor at which the narrator and her husband, John, along with their baby, and the baby’s caretaker, John’s sister Mary, are staying. The narrator describes the large piece of architecture as a “colonial mansion”(p. 157) and being “quite alone”(p. 157) some “three miles from the village(p. 157). ” Requiring further proof, the manor containing these characteristics is portrayed as an evil place that is cold, empty, and secluded.

Continuing on with Gilman’s work, there is mention of bars on the window, and the narrator even comments, “there is something strange about this house–I can feel it. ” Though the house is meant to be a place of rehabilitation for our guide, from the beginning there are overwhelming descriptions of an erieness to the house. The narrator describes to us, the reason she is under care in this large abode. It appears as if her husband, a doctor, has diagnosed his wife, with a mental order resembling depression. His treatment for her; rest and relaxation in quiet peace.

For this, she is placed in a room upstairs with a bed bolted to the floor, and wallpaper which soon becomes the main topic of the story. What is further presented in great detail, is the wallpaper itself. It is constantly reffered to throughout the piece of literature. Obviously, this is what the story is about. The story basically follows the pattern of the narrator telling about the wallpaper, of which will be discussed momentarily, and the psychological state which she is in in relation to her environment.

Another object which recieves great attention in the story is of course, the yellow wallpaper. This object, throughout the literary piece, is a symbol which demonstrates the downfall of the human mind once exposed to a mental illness. The adjectives used to describe the wallpaper could equally as well be used to describe the mind of an unstable person. One sentence in particular which was used to describe the wall covering struck me as a dead on analogy.

It read, “It (wallpaper pattern) is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide(p. 158). ” In other instances, the wallpaper is given the feel of an object with disturbed human characteristics. The author notes that, “there is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down (p. 158). ” She then goes on to say “…those unblinking eyes are everywhere (p. 8). ”

The author continuously uses traits common to mentally disturbed people to describe this decrepid covering on the wall. Further proof that the wallpaper is a representation of the disturbed human mind spiraling downward with hints of sanity can be found on page 159. Gilman comments that the wall paper has a sub-pattern of a different shade. She also uses words such as irritating, and mentions that these patterns can only be seen under certain light. This can be explained as her mental health at the present time in the story.

She still has the capacity to function civilized, but as the days go on, under certain circumstances, her mind is deteriorating and only can be used in it’s normal capacity under certain conditions. As with a mentally ill person, the author notes on page 161 she is becoming confused and is losing touch with reality when she claims that the wallpaper is no longer her enemy, but rather she is beginning to actually enjoy the wallpaper. In later thought, the author begins to describe the relevance of the wallpaper in relation to her own mental being.

She notes that there is a “strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous front design (p. 161). ” Throughout the rest of the story, we are told of a woman who at night, hides behind the wallpaper trying ever so hardly to break herself free from its restraints. This woman escapes during the day and walks among the garden outside where the author is able to view her actions. This woman behind the wallpaper is very important in understanding our main character’s mental state. What the author is trying to tell us, is that she is the woman behind the wallpaper.

The wallpaper represents her mind. The patterns which at the beginning are fairly easy to describe, soon become patterns which slowly deteriorate and begin to loose meaning. Just like the main character’s mental state. The further she loses touch with reality, the more distorted and pandemonious the patterns of the wallpaper become. Until finally, she finds herself trapped by the wallpaper and all of it’s chaos. The woman represents the main character trying to escape the utter confusion which surrounds her, the wallpaper, in other words, her own mind.

Symbolism in Beowulf

Authors often use events and things to symbolize stages in someone’s life. Symbolism is the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing meaning of significance to objects, events, or relationships. In Beowulf, Beowulf fights Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. In the anonymous epic Beowulf, Beowulf’s battles symbolize the youth, adulthood, and old age of Beowulf’s life. First, the battle with Grendel represents the youth of Beowulf’s life. The typical youth is very brave and fights for fame.

Beowulf shows how the battle with Grendel is a representation of the youth of Beowulf’s life by going to Hrothgar and asking him if he can fight Grendel for him and his people. Beowulf shows this trait when he says, “Grant me, then, lord and protector of this noble place, a single request! I have come so far, oh shelter of warriors and your people’s loved friend, that this one favor you should not refuse me. That I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this Hell. Second, another trait that a typical youth has is that they don’t want to be outwitted.

They also don’t want people to think poorly of them. Beowulf shows this when he hears that Grendel does not use any weapons to fight and so Beowulf says that he will not use any weapons because he wants Higlac to think worthy of him. Beowulf shows this trait when he says, “I have heard, too, that the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Now will I. My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: my hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster.

Third, the typical youth likes to brag about what they have done. Beowulf shows this third trait when he brags to Hrothgar about how he swam all the way over and killed all the monsters in the ocean. This is seen when Beowulf says, “I swam in the Blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned. ” I have shown you how the battle with Grendel represents the youth of Beowulf’s life. First, the battle with Grendel’s mother represents the adult stage of Beowulfs life. As adults get older they are less daring and more defensive.

Beowulf shows this trait when he fights mail armor and a sword. This is seen when he goes to the lake where the monsters mother has her underwater lair. Then fully armored, he makes a heroic dive to the depth of the watery Hell. Second, as adults get older they are less daring and wait for the ballte to come to them. Instead of going to Hrothgar and asking to fight for him he waits and lets Hrothgar ask him. This is seen when Beowulf is awakened and called for again. I have shown you how the battle with Grendel s mother represents the adult stage of Beowulf’s life.

The Great Gatsby, Symbolism And Colors

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism and colors in The Great Gatsby is prominent in every chapter of his novel. To fully understand the meaning of his color use, a reader must recognize the situations in which these colors are used. The color green is traditionally associated with spring, hope, and youth. One possible meaning of the color green is envy. Gatsby can be seen as an envious, jealous character. He once had the love of his life, Daisy, but now she is married to another man. He spends all of his time and effort in an attempt to win back Daisy.

It is also probable that Fitzgerald uses green to symbolize money and it’s power in society. Money rules the lives of the people in the story. Gatsby needs money to live the life that he does. Gatsby also feels he needs the money to win back Daisy’s love. The color green can both symbolize envy and money; however, the most reasonable meaning would have to be one of future hope, especially in Gatsby’s case. The use of a green light at the end of a landing stage to signal a romantic reunion, is intriguingly similar to the green light at the end of Daisy’s Buchanan’ s dock, which becomes a key image in The Great Gatsby.

The initial appearance of the green light occurs when Nick sees Gatsby for the first time, standing in front of his mansion and stretching out his arms to “… a single green light, minute and far away that might have been the end of a dock. ” The light becomes, for Gatsby, the symbol of a reunion with Daisy. This reunion seems justifiable, yet it is so far away from coming true. Gold and yellow are colors that symbolize old wealth. The colors green and gold contrast in a significant way.

In old times people used gold as a means for exchange, ut as a national currency was established green money replaced the gold and gold no longer even backed the dollar. So, gold represents the old money and green represents the new. In the same way, gold symbolizes Daisy and Tom’s old money and green symbolizes Gatsby’s new money. One might say that Gatsby is “green. ” To contrast this Tom is gold. In the same way that green and gold contrast so do Gatsby and Tom. Jordan and Daisy are also represented by gold.

“… Jordan’s slender golden arm resting in mine… ” “… igh in the white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl… The golden girl is, of course, Daisy. Daisy’s character is enhanced by Fitzgerald’s use of the color white to indicate Daisy’s freshness and innocence. He notes the “gleaming white house”, the “airy, white rooms,” and Daisy lounging in a white dress. Daisy also talks of her “white girlhood. ” Fitzgerald evokes two meanings of white: one is the traditional meaning of purity; the second is the empowerment of whiteness. Daisy, as she is initially presented, represents both privilege and purity–a kind of princess figure.

The use of white helps to characterize her as the “enchanted princess” who becomes incarnate as Gatsby’ s dream. However, the different shades of white indicate that Daisy may not be an embodiment of purity and that privilege may have a corrupting effect, at least when it is used to veil or whitewash misdeeds. An egg is white is white (pure and innocent) on the outside, but yellow (corrupt) on the inside. This example corresponds precisely to the presentation of Daisy’s character through color symbolism.

Because of the number of times it is mentioned throughout the text, white proves to be a color that is vital to the novel. From Fitzgerald’s use of the color white in these various scenarios, the color could be interpreted as: beauty, cleanliness, wealth, innocence, virginity, and also laziness. In Conclusion, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s uses of colors throughout The Great Gatsby prove to be of importance to the development of the theme and to the development and characteristics of the characters in the novel. These colors give us a great understanding of the characters and their lives.

Symbolism in Frankenstein

A romantic life full of pain and abandonment could only be given the monstrous form of “Frankenstein. ” Mary Shelley’s life gave birth to an imaginary victim full of misery and loneliness and placed him as the protagonist of one of her most famous and greatest works of art. As most people would assume, he is not just a fictional character, but in fact a creature who desperately demonstrates Shelley’s tragedies and losses during the age of the Romantic Era. Since Mary Shelley’s birth there have been numerous losses in her life.

One extremely dominating event in Shelley’s life was the death of her mother. Soon after, her father remarried and Shelley entered a battle as the victim of a fight for love. In her novel the emphasis of isolation and rejection are demonstrated through the monster. What is most significant is the abandonment the monster feels throughout the story. He expresses it by telling Walton “…I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on (184).

He claims he is the victim of his wrongdoing and affirms: “You, who call Frankenstein your friend, seem to have a knowledge of my crimes and his misfortunes. But in detail which he gave you of them, he could not sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured, wasting in impotent passions” (183). He then goes on to express his feelings of guilt and hideousness because after all, the beast is supersensitive. “But it is true that I am a wretch, I have murdered the lovely and the helpless; I have strangled the innocent as they slept, and grasped to death his throat who never injured me or any other living thing.

I have devoted my creator, the select specimen of all that is worthy of love and admiration among men, to misery; I have pursued him even to that irremediable ruin. There he lies, white and cold in death. You hate me; but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself. I look on the hands which executed the deed; I think on the heart in which the imagination of it was conceived, and long for the moment when these hands will meet my eyes, when that imagination will haunt my thoughts no more”(184). The deprivation of her mother is not the only loss in Shelley’s life.

Shelley, like the monster, also hoped for a partner or a sense of a normal life with a loving family. With her husband, Shelley shared the tragic losses of their children, leaving them only with one child. The losses didn’t end here, they endured an endless struggle with money, which is parallel with the monsters struggle to find food. Frankenstein is also defined as a rather feminist novel. The most fascinating concept in the story is the developing intention to form life. Victor takes the maternal role of a woman in producing life.

He failed to create his dream, but instead brought into existence a monster. The desire to conceive life in her story can also be the desire to bring back to life what is dead. Frankenstein is also seen as the perfect example of the Romantic era style of writing. This may be due to the romantic life Shelley led. Her book is filled with new ideas generating a time of strong emotion and intuition where misery and passion are explored throughout the story. The romantic age had an attachment to nature and the novels setting is placed in an obscure world different to that of the audience.

This focuses the theme and makes it more alluring as a horror story. Mary Shelley identified herself with her characters and even the events forming her work. The monster felt he was the exile, but he actually surpassed the boundary between a demon and a human, whereas, most people lead a life searching and failing to fulfill this. The monster represents a beautiful form of life, sensing pain and love for those who questioned him but gaining a sense of accomplishment proving himself to be able to incorporate human passion with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature.

The Great Gatsby Symbolism

Color symbolism is really popular in novels written during the 1920’s. One such example is Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. There is much color symbolism in this novel, but there are two main colors that stand out more than the others. The colors green and white influence the story greatly. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and choices that Gatsby has throughout the story. White represents the stereotypical facade that every character is hiding behind. The color green, as it is used in the novel, symbolizes different choices the character, Gatsby, can make during his ife.

The green element in this novel is taken from the green light at the end of the dock near Daisy’s house. The color itself represents serenity, as in everything is perfect. This warns Gatsby that he should not pursue his dream for getting Daisy back, because his chance has passed and everything is as it should be. This is shown with Nick’s insight, “… His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him… (Pg. 189)” Another symbolization of the color green, which contradicts the first, is the meaning “go.

As in a traffic light signal, most people associate green with the word and action “go. ” This can be interpreted as meaning Gatsby should go for his dream without hesitation. It implies that Gatsby and Daisy are meant to be together and nothing should stop Gatsby from his destined happiness and love with Daisy. It inspires hope for Gatsby that he is on the right path, heading towards the best years of his life. He believes that things will soon be as they once were, only better. “”I’m going to fix everything just the way they were before,” he said nodding determinedly. “She’ll see. “(Pg. 117. )”

The last symbolization the color green has in this novel is an urge to strive ahead in life, to do better in life and succeed. Gatsby changes his entire persona for a better, more sociable, image and status. He is constantly striving to be a more successful figure in society. Ever since he was a boy he put himself on a schedule with hopes for becoming a highly respected, well-known person. “He knew he had a big future in front of him. (Pg. 181),” his dad says about him. “Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this… (Pg. 182). ” White is the other color symbolism interlaced nto this novel.

Where green only influenced one character, white has a wider range of influence on the characters. This color symbolizes one thing, a facade, but it appears in every character. For example, Daisy is always seen wearing white, which gives her and innocent naive appearance. It is as though she uses that as an excuse for when she does something ridiculous or childish, making it seem like she does not know any better. In reality, she knows exactly what she does but just doesn’t care. She uses this little princess image and her money to hide her biased, snobbish, nd conceited view of herself and her lifestyle.

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together… (Pg. 187-188). ” Another character that hides behind the white symbolic facade is Jordan Baker. She also wears white quite often. She acts as though she is superior to everyone around her. Her posture, her attitude, and even the things she says imply this arrogance. “She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless and ith her chin raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall.

If she saw me she me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it-indeed I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in. (Pg. 13). ” She portrays a bored and apathetic attitude about everything, which is part of her “I am too good for you” appearance. In reality, she just wants to be as respected and socially accepted as Gatsby. She is not willing to take responsibility for her actions and uses her image as a guard implying that she could not ave possibly done anything immoral, much like Daisy. However, “She was incurably dishonest.

She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep the cool insolent smile turned towards the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard jaunty body. (Pg. 63). ” Color symbolism is not very noticeable, yet it can tell a great deal about a story. In this case, the colors give the reader a look at the character’s choices and the paths he or she could ave chosen compared to the ones the character chose, which adds dimension to the story.

The green the different choices Gatsby can make, whether it serves as a warning, an inspiration, or an urge to get ahead. The white symbolizes a mask, or a facade. It allows the characters to portray themselves as a whole other person and hide who they really are. This puts a piece of reality into the story, as everyone wears a white mask of some kind to hide his or her true self from the world. It is the unsubtle clues given to the reader that are fascinating and allow a person to relate to the characters.

The Great Gatsby: Symbolism of Houses and Cars

Francis Scott Fitzgeralds novel, The Great Gatsby, is full of symbolism, which is portrayed by the houses and cars in an array of ways. One of the more important qualities of symbolism within The Great Gatsby is the way in which it is so completely incorporated into the plot and structure. Symbols, such as Gatsbys house and car, symbolize material wealth. Gatsbys house [is] a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy which contains a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy is a symbol of Gatsbys large illegal income(Fitzgerald 9)(9).

Gatsbys large income isnt enough to keep him happy. He needs The house he feels he needs in order to win happiness and it is also the perfect symbol of carelessness with money which is a major part of his personality (Bewley 24). Gatsbys house like his car symbolizes his vulgar and excessive trait of getting attention. Gatzs house is a mixture of different styles and periods which symbolizes an owner who does not know their true identity. The Buchanans house is symbolic of their ideals. East Egg is home to the more prominent established wealth families. Toms and Daisys home is on the East Egg.

Their house, a red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay with its wine-colored rug[s] is just as impressive as Gatsbys house but much more low-key (Fitzgerald 11)(13). East egg and Toms home represents the established wealth and traditions. Their stable wealth, although lacking the vulgarity of new wealth, is symbolic of their empty future and now purposelessness lives together. The House also has a cold sense to it according to Nick. This sense symbolizes Toms brutality, and as Perkins’s says in his manuscript to Fitzgerald I would know…

Buchanan if I met him and would avoid him, because Tom is so cold and brute (Perkins 199). Nick lives in West Egg in a rented house that [is] a small eye-sore and had been overlooked(Fitzgerald 10). Nick lives in a new-rich West Egg because he is not wealthy enough to afford a house in the more prominent East Egg. His house symbolizes himself shy and overlooked. Nick is the Narrator and also the trust worthy reporter and, … judge that has ties to both the East and West Egg crowd(Bruccoli xii).

Nick comes from a prominent, well-to-do [family] acts like the established rich down-played, but he is trying to make it on his own and his house located in West Egg symbolizes this(Fitzgerald 7). Another person who lives on the nouveau-rich West Egg is Gatsby. Wilson a blonde, spiritless man lives in his unprosperous and bare garage(Fitzgerald 29)(29). His home symbolizes what he is, a mechanic, and is located in the valley of ashes overlooked by the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg brood on over the solemn dumping ground of Wilsons house (28).

The valley of ashes in which Wilsons house is located in symbolizes the moral decay that hides behind the facade of wealth and happiness. The valley is home of Toms mistress, Myrtle Wilson, the wife of the owner of a garage in the ash heaps that lie along the road about halfway between West Egg and Manhattan, and is incidentally fitting(Bruccoli 10). The eyes that look over Wilsons home also have a symbolic meaning. They symbolically sit in judgment on all the sleaze displayed by the inhabitants of East and West egg who pass through the valley of ashes. The car plays a major role that makes a regular appearance in the story.

In the American Society the car is always seen as a symbol of status. Gatsbys car is an embodiment of his wealth. His car is symbolic of many things, among them the disillusioned, reckless, frenetic spirit of [the youthful] owner(Rudin 160). His car symbolizes his vulgar materialism and conveys his newborn affluence. Gatsbys car is a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns obviously shows his materialism(Fitzgerald 68).

Another interesting detail is Gatsbys car is yellow instead of the standardized black of the era stresses the thought that he is engrossed with the obsession of displaying his material wealth to get the love of Daisy. The Death car is yellow, and in the novel yellow symbolizes money and corruption in the novel. The creamy color of Gatsbys car also symbolizes decay of corruption; therefore Gatsbys car is like a bulging piece of fruit that is overripe and has started to rot. Gatsbys meticulous attention to detail … [compliments] the personage of himself and the things he possess that symbolize him (Lehan 59).

Tom Buchanans car is also not like all the standardized black cars because he drives a blue car, a coupe which is a lot less showy than Gatsbys Rolls Royce(Fitzgerald 148). Tom is so desperately an empty man that he believes he can define himself with exterior belongings. He is trying to find his identity by looking for happiness in nice cars. Toms blue coupe symbolizes Tom and his emptiness because his car is a cheap car that is like everyone else’s car at that time period but it has a blue paint job setting it apart from the others and appearing to be better than all the other cars in that era.

While the cars in The Great Gatsby symbolize what the person is like the houses symbolize who the person is. Fitzgerald truly uses symbolism to convey his themes in The Great Gatsby. The symbolism of houses show the corruptive effect money can have on everyone. The symbolism of the car and house is stressed all throughout the novel and is used to confirm that a dream rooted in materialism alone will in the end always be disparaging.

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

The book The Scarlet Letter is all about symbolism. People and objects are symbolic of events and thoughts. Throughout the course of the book, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses Hester, Pearl, and Arthur Dimmesdale to signify Puritanic and Romantic philosophies. Hester Prynne, through the eyes of the Puritans, is an extreme sinner; she has gone against the Puritan ways, committing adultery. For this irrevocably harsh sin, she must wear a symbol of shame for the rest of her life. However, the Romantic philosophies of Hawthorne put down the Puritanic beliefs. She is a beautiful, young woman who has sinned, but is forgiven.

Hawthorne portrays Hester as “divine maternity” and she can do no wrong. Not only Hester, but the physical scarlet letter, a Puritanical sign of disownment, is shown through the author’s tone and diction as a beautiful, gold and colorful piece. Pearl, Hester’s child, is portrayed Puritanically, as a child of sin who should be treated as such, ugly, evil, and shamed. The reader more evidently notices that Hawthorne carefully, and sometimes not subtly at all, places Pearl above the rest. She wears colorful clothes, is extremely smart, pretty, and nice. More often than not, she shows her intelligence and free thought, a trait of the Romantics.

One of Pearl’s favorite activities is playing with flowers and trees. (The reader will recall that anything affiliated with the forest was evil to Puritans. To Hawthorne, however, the forest was beautiful and natural. ) “And she was gentler here [the forest] than in the grassy-margined streets of the settlement, or in her mother’s cottage. The flowers appeared to know it” (194) Pearl fit in with natural things. Also, Pearl is always effervescent and joyous, which is definitely a negative to the Puritans. Pearl is a virtual shouting match between the Puritanical views and the Romantic ways.

To most, but especially the Puritans, one of the most important members of a community is the religious leader; Arthur Dimmesdale is no exception. He was held above the rest, and this is proven in one of the first scenes of the book. As Hester is above the townspeople on a scaffold, Dimmesdale, Governor Wilson, and others are still above her. But, as the reader soon discovers, Arthur Dimmesdale is his own worst enemy. He hates himself and must physically inflict pain upon himself. “He thus typified the constant introspection wherewith he tortured, but could not purify, himself” to never forget what he has done (141).

To Dimmesdale, it is bad that Hester is shown publicly as a sinner, but people forget that. What is far worse than public shame is Dimmesdale’s own cruel inner shame. Knowing what only he and Hester know, the secret eats away at every fiber of Dimmesdale’s being. As the Puritans hold up Dimmesdale, the Romantics level him as a human. The Scarlet Letter is a myriad of allegorical theories and philosophies. Ranging from Puritanic to Romantic, Nathaniel Hawthorne embodies his ideas to stress his Romantic philosophies through Pearl, Hester, and Dimmesdale throughout all of this.

Symbolism in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Symbolism is a literary technique used in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to liven up the story and give a deeper significance to the plot. Almost anything in the poem can be interpreted as a symbol in one way or another. The Green Knight, the green sash, and Sir Gawain’s shield are three of the most prominent symbols presented to us in this author’s tale. The Green Knight, this poem’s antagonist, serves as a symbol himself. He is not only portrayed as evil, but a mixture of the familiar and foreign, nature and synthetic, and divine and damned origin. His large stature can be interpreted as threatening or powerful.

His green glow could be nature-associated or alien-associated. The first time he appears in the poem, he is even carrying a holly-branch (signifying peace) in one hand and a battle axe (signifying conflict) in the other. It’s hard to say exactly for what the Green Knight stands, because for every characteristic symbolizing one extreme, the other extreme is also symbolized. Perhaps he stands for the Earth: for its familiar and foreign; peace and tempest; threatening and safe; evil and good attributes that exist in unity to make up this one giant ball of mass in the universe.

At the beginning he came for a dangerous game; we believe he wants to harm Sir Gawain. In the end, it turns out that he planned the whole thing as a test for Gawain, knowing perfectly well that he would prevail, and that in the end, this whole ordeal would make him a stronger and better person. The green sash is a smaller symbol in the story, yet serves quite a large purpose. The green color signifies Gawain’s cowardice, and the fact that he was going to encounter the green knight the next day. The sash, supposedly able to keep him alive, was not the reason his life was spared, for the whole story was a test.

The host’s wife untied it from around her waist and tied it around his, and he accepted it. This sexual innuendo and symbol of courtly love ended up causing his downfall. He ended up keeping the sash as a reminder of this “year and a day,” and the test he was given. All of the other knights of the Round Table also started wearing green sashes in order to remind them of the lesson learned by Gawain. Sir Gawain’s shield is another symbol with multiple meanings, offering him both physical and moral protection. There is a pentangle on the outside, with the Virgin Mary on the inside.

The virgin is close to his heart, symbolizing his belief in God and trust in Him. This relationship with God is the source of his inner strength. While his faith is something he keeps to himself, he displays the pentangle and its chivalric code to the world. Each point stood for: his flawless five senses, five fingers, the five wounds of Christ, the Five Joys, and the virtues of free-giving, friendliness, chastity, chivalry, and piety. The pentangle is a star interlaced, with no beginning and no end, so that anywhere you start, the beginning gives way to the end and the end ultimately becomes the beginning again.

In that in a year and a day, winter had given way to spring, then summer, then fall, then back to winter, and his promise was due. By the time Gawain thought it was all over and the Green Knight would take his life, it was actually the beginning of his life, but with a whole new prospective. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is rich in symbolism and other literary techniques (not to mention alliteration), which help the reader assimilate the events of the novel. These three symbols in particular give this poem a whole new dimension. In a way, you realize a book is so much better when you finish reading it than you think it is while you read it.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Symbolism And Irony

It is Edgar Allan Poe’s intense use of symbolism and irony throughout “The Cask of Amontillado” that establishes the short story as a candidate worthy of analysis. The skillful use of these devices are utilized by the author to create this horrific and suspenseful short story. Irony and symbolism in “The Cask of Amontillado” greatly effect the outcome of Fortunato’s well being. “The Cask of Amontillado” should be regarded as a slice of a horror story, which revolves around the theme of revenge and pride” (Levine 90). “Poe’s story is a case of premeditated murder.

The reader becomes quickly aware of the fact that Montressor is not a reliable narrator, and that he has a tendency to hold grudges and exaggerate terribly, as he refers to the thousand of injuries that he has suffered at the hands of Fortunato” (Womack NP). The story relates a horrible revenge made even more horrible by the fact that the vengeance is being taken when no real offense had been given. Montressor is “one who will stop at nothing to get the revenge that he deems himself and his family worthy of, and another who’s pride will ultimately be the catalyst for his death” (Benton 215).

Irony is a manner of expression through which words or events convey a reality different from and even opposite to appearance or expectation” (Juvante NP). The use of such devices in this story provides it with humor and wit, and makes the piece more interesting to read. The sustained irony is detected through style, tone, and the clear use of exaggeration of Montressor. From the very beginning, we notice the use of irony in the story. The very name Fortunato would clearly imply that this is a man of good fortune, when the actual case is that he is about to suffer a most untimely demise: the end of his own life.

The setting in which the story takes place again shows an ironic element. It is during Venice’s Carnival that the characters meet. “Carnival is supposed to be a time of celebration and happiness for everybody. However, it is a time for revenge and death” (Taylor 67). The way the narrator treats his enemy is one of the clearest examples of ironic elements. When the characters meet, Montressor realizes that Fortunato is afflicted with a severe cold; nevertheless he makes a point of him looking, remarkably well.

Montressor acts in the natural and friendly way toward the object of his revenge, and even praises his friend’s knowledge on the subject of wines. Further evidence of ironic components is found with Montressor being a mason. We anticipate this means he is a member of a high-class group of men, yet he actually is a stone craftsman, someone whose job it is to prepare and use the stone for building. Montressor makes his trade as a mason useful to build up the wall that will lock the unfortunate Fortunato inside the niche.

When Fortunato is trapped behind the wall his avenger built, Montressor re-echoes and even surpasses Fortunato’s yelling, apparently to sympathize with his victim. He is evidently being ironic since he is actually delighted by what he has done and “gloats over the details of his victim’s sufferings” (Levine 90). The story ends with Montressor’s words ” In pace requiescat! ” (May he rest in peace) (Poe 177). His words are unmistakably sarcastic: if he is a performer of a dreadful murder, then how could Montressor pray for Fortunato to rest in peace? The story also contains many accounts of symbolism.

They can be classified as reinforcing; that is, their meaning is not apparent to the reader. We learn from the narrator that when he first meets Fortunato, the latter has apparently been drinking and is dressed in many colors, resembling a jester. His costume suggests that he will be the one playing the role of the fool. On the other hand, Montressor is dressed in a black colored cloak and his face is covered with a black mask. At this point one can mention the presence of symbols: the black mask and outfit might be a representation of death or the devil. Such figure foreshadows the events taking place later that night in the catacombs.

The coat of arms of Montressor’s family is perhaps the best example of symbolism and foreshadowing in the whole story: ” A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure: the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the hill” (Poe 175). It is clear that a metaphor has been constructed. In this image, the foot is symbolic of Montressor and the serpent is symbolic of Fortunato. Fortunato has wronged Montressor and had offended both him and his ancestors. Although Fortunato has hurt Montressor, the coat of arms suggests that Montressor will ultimately crush him.

Montressor is determined to uphold his family’s motto: ” Nemo me impune lacessit”, which is Latin for ” No one can injure me with impunity” (Poe 175). Montressor seeks his vengeance in support of this principle. A further example of symbolism is the vaults in the end of the catacombs piled with skeletons. The build up of human remains may be an insight of human destroyment. The absence of light and the dark murkiness that surrounds the characters are images that aides for the perfect setting of horror and makes the reader capable of getting the sensation of a horrorific doom.

Finally, the very title of the story: “The Cask of Amontillado” represents the ruins of Fortunato: his pursuit of the cask will in the end be his own casket. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a carefully crafted short story. In this story, Poe uses the themes of irony and symbolism to convey his message in a creative and original way. “As it can be seen, Poe used no single word in vain and all the devices present in this story are not by chance. They all serve the main purpose; making the readers not only see, but participate in the events” (Johnson 42).

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

Symbolism is the practice of representing things by symbols. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a book of much symbolism. Set in 16th century New England, the book starts with the public punishment of Hester Prynne, a convicted adulterer. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Hesters illegitimate daughter, Pearl. Throughout the story, she develops into a dynamic symbol – one that is always changing. Pearl represents her mothers punishment, a rose, and the scarlet letter.

In The Scarlet Letter, the Puritans forced Hester to wear a scarlet letter A across for her chest, for the crime of adultery. The punishment continued as Hester was treated as outcast and mocked by the town. Tomorrow would bring its own trial with it; so would the next day, so would the next, the narrator explained. On the other hand, Gods treatment of Hester for her sin was quite different than just a physical token: he gave Hester a very unique child which she named Pearl.

The child was a constant mental and physical reminder to Hester of what she had done wrong and how she could not escape it. In this aspect, Pearl symbolized Gods way of punishing Hester for adultery. She named the infant Pearl as of being of great price-purchased with all her mother had, the narrator says. Pearl grew to be a very passionate and lively young girl. She becomes a contradicting factor in her mothers life. To her mother, Pearl symbolized the rosebush outside of the jail, because at some times she could be bright and vibrant.

However at other times, she could be wilting. It was at these times when she was wilting that brought Hester the most grief. One final way in which Pearl symbolized something in the novel was her association with the scarlet letter. Hester began to think of the letter and her daughter as both the object of her affection and the emblem of her guilt and torture. Hester clothed the child in bright crimson dressed. That, combined with a vivid complexion, gave Pearl the appearance of the scarlet letter.

The townspeople began to notice the similarities, also. While Hester and Pearl walked through town, someone announced, There is the woman of the scarlet letter; and, of a truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! In conclusion, Pearl was a source of many different kinds of symbolism. From being a rose, to representing the scarlet letter A, she was a burden, yet consolation for Hester. And as a final note, Pearl was more then her mothers only treasure; she was her mothers only source of hope.

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby tells of a man’s attempt to regain his long lost love and the happiness he once had in life by way of wealth and material possessions. Jay Gatsby is representative of the American man because he believes that with great wealth comes great happiness. This is evidenced throughout the novel by way of Gatsby himself, through the portrayal of the Buchanans, and through the use of the word green which symbolizes hope, renewal, and promise. The character Jay Gatsby is the most symbolic element of the story due to Fitzgerald’s details about Gatsby’s entire life.

Gatsby who was the son of poor farmers was determined to better his life. As Gatsby’s father later showed Nick, when Gatsby was a child he had laid out a detailed plan on how to run his life. This plan he felt would make him more successful in life. By the time Gatsby left to join Dan Cody, he had already set himself apart from his old way of life, hence his name change. Gatsby leaving his old life to start a new and more successful one parallels almost identically to those of the early colonist who left their old cultures and traditions in search of a new and more prosperous life in America.

During his army days, Gatsby falls in love with the well-to-do Daisy. He falsely allows her to believe he can support her but when she realizes he can not she marries Tom Buchanan, a man who is able to care for her financially. Not until he loses her does Gatsby realize that the time with Daisy was the happiest of his life. Realizing that only with money can he regain Daisy’s affection, for years he runs dishonorable businesses to become rich in hope that one day his wealth will bring her back.

This hope of happiness through money is believed in by countless Americans today, no matter what the problem, people believe that wealth and material possessions can make things right. Along with Gatsby’s life being a symbol on its own, his discovery that once he had Daisy in his arms the enchantment that surrounded her disappeared parallels the belief that Americans have, that wealth brings happiness. In a way, Gatsby found the hunt to reunite with Daisy to be exciting; and when he finally had her that hunt was over.

Similarly people with millions of dollars gain many material possessions but unless they find someone they truly care about to share it with their possessions are meaningless. The idea of being surrounded by people you care about not the ones who only care about your money is also shown at Gatsby’s funeral. Hundreds of people have associated with him or have gone to his parties including his lover Daisy but only Gatsby’s true friends, like his father and Nick were there with him when he died. A second way that symbolism is displayed in the book is by the portrayal of Tom nd Daisy Buchanan.

They come from the most sophisticated, respected, and wealthy backgrounds and live off their families money while traveling around the world. The wealthy, like Daisy and Tom, aimlessly go about recklessly doing whatever they want letting others clean up after them. They set themselves apart as being better than the new type of millionaires like Gatsby who created their fortunes rather than inherited them. While the description of their life may appear bleak, it’s a form of symbolism. They live in the present with no worry in the world, a trait Gatsby probably admires.

His wealth, he feels, can give him that trait. The third use of symbolism in the novel is shown by the use of the word green. The word green is used twice in the novel, once as the color of the light bulb on Daisy’s dock and a second time in the sentence “a fresh, green breast of the new world”. In both examples green represents hope, promise, and renewal. The hopeful renewal of a long departed relationship with Daisy is seen by the green bulb at the end of Daisy’s dock which is similar to the hope and promise that the early explorers felt when feasting their eyes on the country and its many resources.

The Great Gatsby is symbolic of a variety of things on a variety of levels. The three symbols that support the idea that wealth can bring happiness is illustrated by Gatsby’s desire to become rich in order to win back his love, second, the escriptions about Tom and Daisy Buchanan, finally by the mention of green, which is symbolic on its own for hope and promise. Just like many Americans searching for happiness in the world by way of accumulating wealth, Gatsby found out that after his quest to reunite with Daisy was through he discovered that she was just another materialistic possession hollow, uncaring, and meaningless.

Monkey and Masque – A comparison of symbolism

Imagine you could wish for your hearts desire. It could be anything you wanted. However, someone would have to die for your wish to come true. Remember, be careful of what you wish for; The consequences may be horrific. The idea of fate and symbolism, when mixed together, can make a lethal pair. Poe and Jacobs use fate and symbolism to paint an effective picture of death. The idea of fate is used in both The Monkeys Paw and The Masque of the Red Death very well. In Monkey, the paw manipulates faith. It moved….. As I wished it twisted in my hand like a snake.

The twisting and movement represents someone or something manipulating fate for their wants. In Masque, the aristocracy also tried to manipulate fate. However, they werent wishing any material possessions; they were trying to control fate to survive the Red Death. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. By provisioning the abbey and taking other precautions, the partygoers were trying to cheat death. Changing your destiny can have consequences. Op and Jacobs both demonstrate this.

In Monkey, the father wishes for two hundred pounds. While it does come true, there was a consequence. This was Herberts death. The same thing goes for Masque. Even though the people took precautions (a. k. a. manipulating fate) against the Red Death, they still died. Edgar Allen Poe and W. W. Jacobs do an excellent job of using symbolism in their stories. Jacobs uses the monkeys paw to symbolize someone trying to change or manipulate fate. The fact that is a monkeys paw is important for one reason: A monkey is the only other animal besides humans that has opposable thumbs.

In Masque, one of the seven deadly sins, pride, is used to symbolize fate manipulation. The people had so much pride that they thought they could do anything. They even thought they could change their destiny. Another symbol in Monkey is the chessboard and game at the beginning. The chessboard symbolizes life. The pieces are people like us. They can move certain ways, but if they make a mistake or try to do something audacious, there can be consequences. Checkmate, or death, is one of those consequences. The mummer in Masque also symbolizes death.

The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closes scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. This description alone represents the Plague, the death of the people. Poe and Jacobs both used the idea of changing our fate very well in their stories. They did the same with symbolism, too. These two literary concepts can create a vivid image for the reader. I feel there is one major theme you can get from these stories, especially The Monkeys Paw.

The Symbolism of Houses and Cars

Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is full of symbolism, which is portrayed by the houses and cars in an array of ways. One of the more important qualities of symbolism within The Great Gatsby, is the way in which it is so completely incorporated into the plot and structure. Symbols such as Gatsby’s house, symbolize material wealth. Gatsby’s house “[is] a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy” is a symbol of Gatsby’s large illegal income(9).

Gatsbys large income isnt enough “The house he feels he needs in order to win happiness” and it is also the perfect symbol of carelessness with money which is a major part of his personality (Bewley 24). Gatsby’s house like his car symbolizes his vulgar and excessive trait of getting attention. Gatz’s house is a mixture of different styles and periods which symbolizes an owner who does not know their true identity. The Buchanan’s house is symbolic of their ideals. East Egg is home to the more prominent established wealth families. Tom’s and Daisy’s home is on the East Egg.

Their house, a “red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay,” is just as impressive as Gatsby’s house but much more low-key (11). East egg and Toms home represents the established wealth and traditions. Their stable wealth, although lacking the vulgarity of new wealth, is symbolic of their empty future and now purposelessness lives together. The House also has a cold sense to it according to Nick. This sense symbolizes Tom’s brute ness, and as Perkins’s said in his Wyatt 2 anuscript to Fitzgerald “I would know… Buchanan if I met him and would avoid him,” because Tom is so cold and brute (Perkins 199).

Nick lives in West Egg in a rented house that “[is] a small eye-sore” and “had been overlooked”(10). Nick lives in a new-rich West Egg because he is not wealthy enough to afford a house in the more prominent East Egg. His house symbolizes himself shy and overlooked. Nick is the Narrator and also the “trust worthy reporter and, … judge” that has ties to both the East and West Egg crowd(Bruccoli xii). Nick comes from a “prominent, well-to-do [family]” acts like the established rich down-played, but he is trying to make it on his own and his house located in West Egg symbolizes this(7).

Another person who lives on the nouveau-rich West Egg is Gatsby. Wilson “a blonde, spiritless man” lives in his “unprosperous and bare” garage(29)(29). His home symbolizes what he is, a mechanic, and is located in the valley of ashes overlooked by the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg “brood on over the solemn dumping ground” of Wilson’s house (28). The valley of ashes in which Wilson’s house is located in symbolizes the moral decay that hides behind the facade of wealth and happiness.

The valley is home of Tom’s mistress, “Myrtle Wilson, the wife of the owner of a garage in the ash heaps that lie along the road about halfway between West Egg and Manhattan,” and is incidentally fitting(Bruccoli 10). The eyes that look over Wilson’s home also have a symbolic meaning. They symbolically sit in judgment on all the sleaze displayed by the inhabitants of East and West egg who pass through the valley of ashes. The car plays a major role that makes a regular appearance in the story. In the Wyatt 3 American Society the car is always seen as a symbol of status.

Gatsby’s car is an embodiment of his wealth. His car is symbolic of many things, among them the “disillusioned, reckless, frenetic spirit of [the youthful]” owner(Rudin 160). His car symbolizes his vulgar materialism and conveys his newborn affluence. Gatsby’s car is “a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns” obviously shows his materialism(68).

Another interesting detail is Gatsby’s car is yellow instead of the standardized black of the era stresses the thought that he is engrossed with the obsession of displaying his material wealth to get the love of Daisy. The Death car is yellow, and in the novel yellow symbolizes money and corruption in the novel. The creamy color of Gatsby’s car also symbolizes decay of corruption; therefore Gatsby’s car is like a bulging piece of fruit that is overripe and has started to rot. Gatsby’s “meticulous attention to detail … [compliments] the personage” of himself and the things he possess that symbolize him (Lehan 59).

Tom Buchanan’s car is also not like all the standardized black cars because he drives “a black car, a coupe” which is a lot less showy than Gatsby’s Rolls Royce(148). Tom is so desperately an empty man that he believes he can define himself with exterior belongings. He is trying to find his identity by looking for happiness in nice cars. Tom’s blue coupe symbolizes Tom and his emptiness because his car is a cheap car that is like everyone else’s car at that time period but it has a blue paint job setting it apart from the others and appearing to be better than all the other cars in that era.

While the cars in The Great Gatsby symbolize what the person is like the houses symbolize who the Wyatt 4 person is. Fitzgerald truly uses symbolism to convey his themes in The Great Gatsby. The symbolism of houses show the corruptive effect money can have on everyone. The symbolism of the car and house is stressed all throughout the novel and is used to confirm that a dream rooted in materialism alone will in the end always be disparaging.

Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451

Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451 Light, especially fire, and darkness are significantly reoccurring themes in Fahrenheit 451. Guy Montag, the main character, is a fireman, but in this futuristic world the job description of a fireman is to start fires wherever books are found; instead of putting them out. Montag takes a journey from a literary darkness to a knowledgeable light. This journey can be compared to the short story Allegory of the Cave by Plato, in which a prisoner experiences a similar journey. An example of light, in reference to knowledge, occurs just after Montag meets Clarisse for the first time.

When they reached her house all its lights were blazing” (9). Since Montag had rarely seen that many house lights on, I interpreted those lines as saying “that house is full of knowledge and enlightenment; not like the rest of the houses around here which are always dark. ” Clarisse went on to explain to Montag that her mother, father, and uncle were just sitting around and talking. This was also something that wasn’t very commonplace in the city. Fire is an important element of symbolism in Fahrenheit 451. Fire consumes minds, spirits, men, ideas, and books. Fire plays two very different roles in this book.

The role of a destructive, devouring, and life ending force, and the role of a nourishing flame. The first role that fire plays in Fahrenheit 451 is apparent from the very beginning of Bradbury’s novel. “IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN. It was a pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed” (3). In these first two sentences, Bradbury creates a sense of curiosity and irony because in the story, change is something controlled and unwanted by the government and society, so it is very unlikely that anything in Guy Montag’s society could be changed.

The burning described at this point represents the constructive energy that later leads to catastrophe. A clear picture of firemen is first seen when the narrator says, “With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black” (3). Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn and is symbolically written on the firemens helmets, tanks, and in the firestation.

During a moment of revelation Montag comes upon an interesting idea about fire and the burning of books that takes place. He states, “the sun burnt every day. It burnt timeSo if he burnt things with the firemen and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burnt! One of them had to stop burning. The sun wouldnt, certainly” (141). With this comment Montag realizes that he can no longer be a book burner, but that he has to preserve books. After this revelation, Montag happens upon fire once again.

That small motion, the white and red color, a strange fire because it meant a different thing to him. It was not burning. It was warming He hadnt known fire could look this way” (145-46). Montag was now seeing fire as a nourishing, life giving flame. The title of the third part of the book, “Burning Bright”, shows that even while the city is still burning brightly from the wars destruction, the spirit of all the exile men is also burning brightly. This signifies a future of hope and optimism. Throughout Fahrenheit 451 Montag goes through a transformation from book burner to book preserver.

Montag mirrors the path taken by one of prisoners in Platos Allegory of the Cave. The prisoner went through a metamorphosis from illusion to wisdom. In the Allegory of the Cave there are many prisoners; all with their arms, legs, and heads shackled so that they could only look forward. This represents how the totalitarian government in Fahrenheit 451 forces everyone to see only the governments beliefs and views. While in this cave, there is a fire above and behind them, and between them and the fire is a wall.

This wall is acting like a screen in a puppet show. There are other men walking along the wall carrying statues and carvings of animals which appear over the wall. This symbolizes Montags job of burning books and his helping to keep others in the dark; only showing them what the government wants them to see and know. The prisoners, like Montag and others in his society, can only see the shadows of the statues along the cave wall, and this is what they believe to be the truth. Somehow one of the prisoners is able to escape, and at first he is in pain.

Just as Montag escaped the beliefs and views of his society, with the help from Clarisse and Faber. At first, Montag could not and would not accept books, but he began to see the power they had, he began to see the truth. This pain comes from the light (truth), and the prisoner is compelled to look away from the light, and to take refuge in the objects which he could see. Once again, the prisoner carries himself towards the cave entrance, and this time he sees the sun. At first, the sun hurts him also, but the prisoner grows accustomed to the light.

The same way Montag felt when he first learned the truth; it hurt to know that all he knew was false, but he began to accept it and he liked it and wanted to share this knowledge with others. After learning the truth of the cave, the prisoner also tries to return to the others that are held captive and free them to show them the truth. However, they only believe what their illusions, and the prisoner is ridiculed, called crazy, and exiled from the cave. This also happened to Montag when he tried to share his knowledge with others; such as his wife, her friends, and Captain Beatty.

Symbolism in the Great Gatsby

What is unknown is often talked about as being mysterious, perhaps even ominous. Naturally, many people become curious and want to find out what lurks about in the dark and be able to say that they know what others do not. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the main character, Jay Gatsby is quite enigmatic. Seclusion and isolation are well known to Gatsby, especially when it comes to his personal life and his history.

Throughout the novel, except when with Nick or Daisy, Gatsby asserts himself as an observer, who would rather watch others than to join in with the crowd. The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight, and turning my head to watch it, I saw that I was not alone–fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighbor’s mansion with his hands in his pockets . . . (p. 21) Being the absolute mystery that he is, Gatsby is this “silhouette of a moving cat,” and lives his life this way.

As this quote shows, Gatsby emerges from the shadow to reveal himself to Nick (who is one of a very few amount of people that he confides in with the truth of who he really is). Whether Gatsby is throwing extravagant parties in his own home or with a small group of people, who he is remains a secret. Gatsby is constantly encompassed by darkness and secrecy When Gatsby threw his large parties, he was rarely seen amongst his guests and was most often alone, observing them. Gatsby, standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another. “(p. 50) The one time that Gatsby is noticed talking to his guests is when he introduced himself to Nick and started a conversation with him. Yet, most of the time that he throws these parties at his own home, he is alone and does not socialize with the people who attend. Trying to understand Gatsby is a very difficult thing to do, because there is so much to grasp.

Entering into the upper class of wealthy people, Gatsby not only held onto a secret past, but also had the hidden agenda of trying to get Daisy back, whom he had fallen in love with while in the war. As people became more and more curious as to where he came from and who he really was, Gatsby stepped farther into the shadows and attempted to blend in with his surroundings. This went on until he met Nick Carraway, Daisy’s cousin, who was able to bring him out of his small world. Then, upon reuniting with Daisy, Gatsby was pulled even farther into the reality of who he really was.

Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie uses an extensive pattern of symbolism that describes the characters of Tom,Amanda,Laura and Jim. Glass,light,color and music constitute the substance of the dominant symbols and motifs,serving to reveal deeper aspects of characters and underlying themes of the play. Tennessee Williams wrote the play so that each character had a special symbol which resembled their personality. But he didn’t only give the characters of the play a a resembling symbol;he also mentions the apartment blocks to be hivelike conglomerations of cellular living-units resembling a eenstock.

The way he describes their location also has a lot of symbolism in its roots because he describes them to be flowering as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers. Tennessee Williams used many symbolic aspects to describe Laura and the world she lives in. In the play,Laura represents the very fragile,shy and emotionally crippled girl. In her mind she lives in a world of glass animals and doesn’t have a connection to the real world. The managerie of glass also represents the fragile relationships among all the characters.

The glass unicorn is most obviously a symbol of Laura–delicate,sadly different,an anomaly in the modern world. The glass motif recurs throughout the whole play in many other forms. When Laura dropped out of college she constantly visited the zoo,a glass house of tropical flowers that are as vulnerable as she is. During Laura’s and Jim’s brief romantic encounter,Laura is gaining more confidence about herself. It seems as if she is starting to escape her world of illusions. When they started dancing together,Jim accidently knocked the little glass horse over.

Laura,who usually worships her glass collection more than anything else,replied to his excuse;”He’s lost his horn. It doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. ” and “I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less–freakish! Now he will feel more at home with the other horses,the ones who don’t have horns…. “. These two quotes give an impression that Laura is finally escaping her illusive world. She thinks that she might have a chance to survive the real world. What she doesn’t know is that she is about to be wounded by the news of Jim’s ngagement.

After Jim tells her the news,she gives him the unicorn as a souvenir and retreats into her land of the glass menagerie never to come out again. In the play,Tom is the adventure seeking man trying to escape the prison Amanda is keeping him trapped in. To escape the real world,Tom constantly goes to the movies. The movies make him think about all the adventures he missing. It his little land of dreams. He is jealous of his father who left his family and achieved what Tom always wanted, “Freedom”. Tom has never been comfortable with the way his mother treated him. She always disagreed with the way Tom behaved.

When Amanda put him down after Jim left,saying that he didn’t even know that his friend was engaged and that Jim broke Laura’s heart,Tom finally had enough. He took the money that was meant to pay for the electric bill,left the family and finally pursued his dream of adventure. Still,when he crosses by a window with little perfume bottles made of glass or other small things made of this material,he thinks of Laura. Amanda,who is the domineering parent of Tom and Laura,lives in a fantasy world in which he was a young beautiful girl,living in an area called Blue Mountain.

She always told Laura and Tom about the many gentleman callers she received every day. Sometimes there were as many as seventeen a day,all prominent men on the Mississippi Delta. To make some extra money she sells The Homemaker’s Companion that features the serialized sublimations of ladies of letters who think in terms of delicate cuplike breasts,slim,tapering waists ,and rich and creamy thighs. Those are all parts of her fantasy world which make her think back to the time when she was a young and beautiful girl. She also is the domineering parent in the family.

She treats Tom very harsh sometimes. She does that because she is scared that she is going to lose her children just like she did her husband. Jim is the most realistic character in the play. He is didn’t live in any fantasy world like Tom and his family did. When he talked to Laura after they had dinner,he tried to make her more comfortable because he felt that Laura was very shy. He showed Laura how superior he is in order to impress her. For example,he said,”Look how big my shadow is when I stretch. He wanted to show Laura how manly he is.

Jim’s nickname for Laura ,Blue Roses,suggests a phenomenon that is contrary to nature. Blue also means sad. The symbolism in the play The Glass Menagerie made the story much more interesting. It gave the play a special point which made it more interesting to read. Tenessee Williams used a wide range of symbolic aspects to describe Laura,Amanda,Jim,and Tom who are four out of the five characters in the play. Symbolism is sometimes very important in plays,stories,etc. because it tells us about the secrets which are hidden inside.

Hawthornes Use of Pearl as Symbolism in The Scarlett Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne commingles the use of symbolism frequently in his book The Scarlet Letter. The most complex of these symbols is Pearl, the daughter of the illicit relationship between Hester Pyrnne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Pearl possesses intelligence, imagination and an attitude of inquisitiveness and determination, which occasionally gives way to sheer disobedience of her mothers will. She is a girl of diverse temperaments. Her unusual behavior leads to appellations of different sorts usually inauspicious. A few examples of these names include, “imp,” “elf-child,” “airy sprite,” and “children of the Lord of Misrule.

The majority of the Puritan community deem Pearl as a “demon offspring. ” These varying aspects of the dynamic character, Pearl, suit her to be the most eminent symbol which Hawthorne utilizes in The Scarlet Letter. As the novel commences, the Puritan officials had deem that Hester is to wear a scarlet “A” on her bosom for the rest of her natural life as a form of punishment for her sin. The Puritan community shuns her for the “A,” meaning adultery. The other punishment that Hester received is Pearl. Pearl serves as the prominent symbol of the immoral love affair between Hester Pyrnne and the Reverend Dimmesdale.

This realization dawns upon Hester when “her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token. ” (Pg. 50) A moment later, she “wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another. ” (Pg. 50) In this sense, her daughter and the ingrained scarlet “A,” are forever a constant mental and physical reminder to Hester of her sin. “But that first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware was-shall we say? the scarlet letter on Hesters bosom! ” (Pg. 93) Peculiarly, Pearl as an infant acknowledges the scarlet “A” on her mothers bosom as the first object that she recognizes.

As of that moment, Pearl evolves from being solely Gods punishment to an active and forceful symbol. The ultimate price that Hester pays for Pearl is the ruination of her life, outwardly and mentally. Subsequently, the attachment of the “A” and Pearls birth, Hester Pyrnne becomes the outcast of Puritan society. Emotionally, Hester suffers the constant nagging guilt, of which Pearl is a reminder.

Pearls actions and words constantly torment Hester. Pearl would run about and “amused herself with gathering handfuls of wild flowers and flinging them, one by one, at her mothers bosom, dancing up and down like a little elf whenever she hit the scarlet letter. ” (Pg. 94) Her mothers breast being injured with Pearls “battery of flowers. ” (Pg. 94) Hesters daughter then demands an explanation for where she is from. Pearl refuses to accept Hesters explanation, “Thy Heavenly Father sent thee! ” (Pg. 95) She further torments her mother by saying, “I see you here. Look! Look! ” (Pg. 2) Pearl points to Governor Bellinghams polished breast plate that reflects the scarlet “A” into overpowering and gigantic proportions.

This event, without a doubt hurts Hester, perhaps unintentionally by Pearl. The elfin child then appears to mock her mother by creating, “A letter-the letter “A”–but freshly green, instead of scarlet! ” (Pg. 174) Pearl uses this event to her advantage by pestering and tormenting her mother consistently with questions of the letters significance. These examples prove that Pearl symbolizes the decimation of Hesters life and mental well-being.

Although Pearl is a far more efficient punishment than the scarlet “A,” Hester feels her daughter is her one and only treasure. Pearl being the principal star in Hesters redemption. Hester Pyrnne greatly fears the loss of Pearl. This may contribute towards her leniency with Pearl. The statement proves itself when Hester says, “had they taken her from me, I would willingly have gone with thee into the forest and signed my name with the Black Mans book too, and that with mine own blood! ” (Pg. 113) In Hesters mind Pearl symbolizes a rose. The flower appears beautiful, inviting and soothing.

The thorns of the rose symbolize her fiendish nature at times, uninviting, callous and the infliction of affliction upon her mother. A rose is usually treasured by the person; Pearl in the same concept is similar to the rose. Another symbol that Pearl represents is the living embodiment of the scarlet letter. She begins to symbolize her mothers conscience. Hester would lead a life less grievous if not for Pearl. Should Pearl not be born, Hester Pyrnne would be less likely to be found guilty of adultery; therefore, never having to wear the scarlet “A” on her bosom.

This is the reason of Pearl being the living embodiment of the scarlet letter. Pearls ever-changing moods and temperaments secure her as Hawthornes most prominent symbol in The Scarlet Letter. Pearl, the impish girlish creature, symbolizes many elements in Hawthornes book. Hesters love for Pearl is never misplaced in the tale, but the reader gains a sense of contempt. Hester believes that without Pearl, she would not have survived the seven long years of exile from the Puritan society. Her daughters varying personality traits brings about a sense of joy and a change in her monotonous life.

Avian Symbolism in the Awakening

Kate Chopin consistently uses avian symbolism in the novel The Awakening to represent and Enlighten Edna Pontellier. She begins the novel with the image of a caged bird and throughout the story other birds and avian images appear representing freedom, failure, and choices that Edna, the storys main character, must make. Throughout The Awakening Chopin uses flight and descriptions of birds to express the psychological state of mind of her main character, Edna Pontellier. As the story begins we are immediately introduces to the importance of avian symbolism.

The first spoken sentences of the novel, are curiously enough, squawked by a parrot rather than a main character or some other human. “Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! Thats all right! ” (Chopin 3) are the words yelled by this crazed, caged bird. “Go away! Go away! For heavens sake! ” is the translation of this message into English. This message represents the forbidden and taboo thoughts racing through the mind of Edna Pontellier during her post-awakening period. Edna longs to leave her subservient role as the loving, submissive wife and mother that society forces on her.

She longs for something more exciting, something of her own choosing and free will. These lines are echoed again immediately prior to her awakening. While the twins are once again playing the same songs on the piano the parrot shrieks, Allez vous-en! Sapristi!. This is the final warning that the parrot relays to Edna. Edna should have listened to the parrots message and escaped from her unsatisfying life immediately. Yet, she chose not to heed his warning and she was destined to end her life in order to be free. In addition to the parrots message, the image of this hostile, shrieking bird is a symbol in and of itself.

For like the parrot, Edna is also trapped, not behind the bars of a cage, but by the standards of society and the role that has been appointed to her as a woman. In the same way that the parrot cannot free himself of his cage, Edna cannot ever fully break free of the limitations that society has placed on her as a woman, wife, and mother. Although she makes a conscious effort to separate herself from the people who are holding her back and break free of the boundaries that society has set upon her, she can never fully succeed in satisfying her hunger to live her own life.

The next example of the avian imagery in The Awakening comes in the form of a handsome, young charmer named Alcee Arobin. Although on first glance he does not seem to be of or related to birds, upon closer examination we see that his last name syllabicated slowly is pronounced “a – robin”. This bird, the harbinger of spring, is able to fly freely and live in close proximity to humans. Arobin matches this description, for he, as his name implies, flies freely through society and as his reputation suggests becomes close with many women.

Admittedly, with”… ingenuous frankness he spoke of what a wicked, undisciplined boy he had been. ” (78) and to Edna he, “talked in a way that astonished her at first and brought crimson to her face” (80). Furthermore, he has no regrets or worries when he pursues a relationship with Edna, a married woman. Alcee Arobin is a man who soars through life with no cares at all. He is known for his pursuits with women and is very straightforward when trying to get what he wants. Clearly he disregards the restrictions and rules that society has set up.

Edna sees these qualities as admirable and longs to have them so that she too will be able to fly freely through life without restrictions and a cage to lock her up inside. The advice, given to Edna by the mysterious Mademoiselle Reisz also falls into the pattern of avian imagery to represent a deeper meaning for the novels main character, Edna Pontellier. Mademoiselle Reisz says that, “The bird that would soar above the level of plain tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth” (85).

Though Edna does never really understands the message behind Mademoiselle Reiszs warning, the reader realizes that if Edna is determined to break through the stereotype of the submissive, little woman of her time, and to break free as herself in society, she must have strength in order to succeed. When Edna attempts to gain her freedom she moves into a little house around the corner from her larger more luxurious house in which she is trapped by her family and the standards that have been set upon her by the society around her. Not coincidentally she names the house the pigeon house. Edna felt that,

The pigeon house pleased her. It at once assumed the intimate character of a home, while she herself invested it with a charm, which it reflected like a warm glow. There was with her a feeling of having descended in the social scale, with a corresponding sense of having risen in the spiritual. Every step which she took toward relieving herself from the obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. She began to look with her own eyes; to see and to apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to feed upon opinion when her own soul had invited her.

This house was the large step that she took toward self-fulfillment and happiness. It seemed to be the only thing that was every truly her own. Once again the image of birds is used to free her and to represent her passage into a new life. At the tragic conclusion the presence of birds are once again very apparent. Prior to Ednas suicide, she notices that, “a bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water” (116). The wounded bird being injured and weak plunges into the water symbolizing Ednas failure to escape the boundaries and limitations in her role as a woman.

Edna soon follows the bird into the depths of the ocean, ending her life and freeing herself of the madness that was surrounding her. Thus, with consistent references to birds and flight, Kate Chopins trapped character meets her destiny While she is unable to heed the advice of the parrot, not ready to follow the loveless, amoral path of Arobin and the men that she is sure will follow him, and only half-understanding the message of Mademoiselle Reisz, in her death she finally becomes a free woman. As she waded into the cold ocean water at the novels end, Edna Pontellier was “flying free” to her death.

Glass Menagerie Symbolism

In his drama, The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams uses symbolism in order to develop multi-faceted characters and to display the recurring themes of the play. These various symbols appear throughout the entire piece, and they are usually disguised as objects or imagery. They allow the reader to know the characters’ personalities, and their true inside characteristics. These symbols also add to the major themes, which develop as the play gains momentum. In the drama, symbols play the most important role.

One of the most recurring symbols is the glass menagerie itself. It consists of glass animals frozen in form and it is housed at the Wingfield’s apartment. The glass menagerie has a high amount of meaning for all of the characters in this play. ‘Ultimately, the glass menagerie is symbolic of all their shattered dreams, failing to fulfill their transcendent aspirations, the Wingfields find themselves confined to a wasteland reality, their dreams become a ‘heap of broken images”; (Thompson 15). Just as the menagerie itself is frozen in time, the Wingfields are also.

They are restricted to the one way of living that they have practiced as time had passed, so they do not know how to break free of that confinement. All the characters as a whole have tried to escape the harsh reality, but in every case they manage to fail, and in turn shatter their dreams like glass. This continuing struggle is a large part of the major theme of The Glass Menagerie. Just as the glass menagerie represents all of the characters as a whole, it also represents each character individually. ‘Though the glass menagerie is most directly relevant to Laura, all four characters have sublimated their animal drives into esthetics.

Laura has her glass animals, Tom his movies and poems, Amanda her jonquil-filled memories distorted into hopes, and Jim his baritone cliches of progress’; (Cohn 101). Though Amanda blames her children alone for relying on false illusions, she too carries this fault. Although it is obvious that the glass menagerie represents Laura because of her frailty, Tom, Amanda, and even Jim are exemplified too. They all concentrate their powers in illusions, only in different ways. More specifically, the glass menagerie unravels the character of Laura and lets the reader into her true personality.

The glass menagerie ’embodies the fragility of Laura’s world, her search for beauty; it registers sensitively changes in lighting and stands in vivid contrast to the harshness of the outer world which can (and does) shatter so easily’; (Stein 110-111). Glass itself, being so fragile, is the perfect item that can symbolize Laura. Just as it can shatter so easily when exposed, Laura can too. The glass being translucent also symbolizes Laura’s struggle to become her own person and to let her inside feelings know to the world. Though it is learned that Laura has a physical handicap, and emotional handicap lies within her also.

It enables her to lead a normal life, and restricts her to illusions. The glass menagerie symbolizes this because it shows that Laura as an unreal image, not made of the human characteristics others possess. Drained of the courage and self-esteem needed to face the world, all that is left is a defenseless girl unable to face the world. The glass menagerie’s ‘frozen animal forms image her own immobilized animal or sexual nature, her arrested emotional development, and her inability to cope with the demands of a flesh-and-blood world’; (Thompson 15). The menagerie also symbolizes the change, which takes place when Laura is exposed to Jim.

Jim reveals a side of Laura that the reader is not familiar with at this time. He recharges her self-confidence and boasts her courage and trust, but this does not last. As described by Williams, ‘A fragile, unearthly prettiness has cone out in Laura,’; when with Jim, ‘she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary, not actual, not lasting’; (Williams 69). It is obvious that Laura has changed, but this change does not become permanent. Just as the menagerie represents Laura, it also holds significance for Laura’s mother, Amanda.

Throughout the drama, Amanda tells her children about the life she lived when she was young and living at Blue Mountain. She recalls her dozens of gentlemen callers and her popularity at the time. Seeing how time has changed for Amanda from her youth to the time presented in the play, it is plain to understand why she would try to relive her past. Amanda wishes that her life would be as simple and enjoyable as it was when she was young. She also wants to create such a happy childhood for her two children. Amanda tries to force upon her views to Laura and Tom, and in turn wants to live in the past.

She yearns for Laura to have gentlemen callers as she had, and tries to make this dream a reality. ‘It is Amanda who names Laura’s collection a ‘glass menagerie,’ in which animal drives are frozen into esthetic objects, and it is she who longs for gentlemen callers in an ungentle world’; (Cohn 101). Amanda tries to freeze her life to preserve the girl she once was. The glass menagerie, being frozen in time, symbolizes Amanda’s wishes for Laura to live the life Amanda once had. One specific member of the glass menagerie, the unicorn, plays an important part in symbolizing the situation between Laura and Jim (the gentleman caller).

As Jim and Laura become more closely acquainted, Jim changes Laura and makes her a more solid being. Symbolically, the horn of the glass unicorn (Laura’s favorite piece) breaks off when Jim is exposed to it. Metaphorically, this occurs right after Jim reveals his marital situation to Laura. When Laura finds out that Jim is engaged to be married, a part of her breaks too. When Jim breaks the glass unicorn’s horn, he is unintentionally bringing Laura into the real world. This also symbolizes the breaking of Laura’s hope, which adds to the major theme of the drama (Adler 2069-2070).

In high school, Laura was the unicorn in a society full of horses. Because she was shy and had a leg brace, she was considered an outcast, and overall, different. Symbolically, the unicorn’s horn breaks off just as Laura breaks out of her closed shell (Mendez 1). Originally, Laura is delicate and unique, as is the unicorn. She is different because of her disability, but internally, she is a girl who missed a couple steps while growing up. When the unicorn loses its horn and becomes like the rest of the animals in the glass menagerie, it loses its uniqueness.

Likewise, when Laura gains confidence through Jim, she realizes that she is not too different from everyone else. This is a characteristic that is able to be overcome, but just needs some assistance (Ross 1). Jim brings out Laura’s inside, but then destroys it when the truth is revealed. ‘When this incompatible couple waltzes into the glass menagerie, they begin to destroy it. At first, Laura does not mind. She is too thrilled with the prospect of being normal to care whether her glass unicorn has lost its distinctive horn.

But the accident warns the reader of what Jim awkwardly confesses after the kiss – that he has made a mistake and will see her no more. Laura now knows that she belongs to a different world from Jim. He wandered into a zoo of exotic animals, but that was on his day off and he must return to the real world’; (Scanlan 102). This quote depicts the situation perfectly. When Jim switches worlds as he steps into the Wingfield’s apartment, he represents a member of the glass animals. Laura is shattered though when she realizes he cannot be an animal in her menagerie, and that they are not members of the same world.

It is obvious that the unicorn revealed many traits of both Laura’s and Jim’s characters. Imagery is another important form of symbolism used in William’s play. Lighting techniques and other such icons create a balanced set of qualities in the characters, and add meaning to the entire story itself. Lighting gives the scenes added significance by providing more details towards the theme. All of the characters struggle to make their dreams come true, but they all end up failing in each situation. Light symbolizes hope in The Glass Menagerie. During one of the many quarrels between Amanda and Tom, some of Laura’s glass animals break.

Laura is present during this scene, and the reader is told that one single beam of light is concentrated on Laura’s face. The disappointment and sorrow is evident, and the light depicts this exactly. In this case, light symbolizes Laura’s grief without any words needed (Adler 2069). Another situation between Amanda and Tom also includes symbolism through lighting. Amanda tells Tom to make a wish on the ‘silver slipper of the moon’; (Williams 58). The small amount of light shown by the moon represents the small amount of hope that the wish will come true.

The blackout (which starts off the seventh scene) is used to make the transition back and forth between hope and pain. The lights flicker, and then go out, leaving the scene in complete darkness. The black out is also what reveals the truth about Laura’s gentleman caller. Directly following the blackout, candles are lit by Jim. The significance in this is that Jim sets the mood of the scene, putting him in complete control over the events to come. The flickering of the candle light in this scene shows that the situation is wavering between hope and disappointment (light symbolizing hope).

This is proven even further when all light is erased after Laura learns about Jim’s fiance, and the scene is left in darkness (Stein 111). Just as Jim set the scene with hope represented by the flames, Laura took that hope away after Tom tells her to blow out her candles. Tom realizes that there is no hope left for them, and that there is no point in trying to overcome the inevitable failure. Lightning, which is also considered flickering light, is also used in this final passage of Williams’ drama. Tom states in his final speech, ‘the world is lit by lightning’; (Williams 115). This comment reflects on all of the Wingfields.

The family tries to team up against the harshness of the world and fails (Scanlan 103). As quickly as hope is presented, it is erased. The image of a rainbow is also used in this play to symbolize hope. Adding to the continuing theme, every situation in which this symbol is used ends up disastrous. Tom uses a magic scarf in order to change a goldfish into a bird. This shows his need to escape his imprisonment and fly away. The rainbow gives him hope, but it is proven that Tom actually never does leave his pain. He does escape, but the memory and Laura and his mother still haunt him. The chandeliers at the Dance Hall create rainbow prisms.

This foreshadows the hope instilled in Laura during her dance with Jim. Though she feels at peace with him during their encounter, this also ends up in disappointment (Harris 1). Though the glass menagerie and imagery are symbols used throughout the entire drama, there are also other symbols that play brief, but important roles. They may appear only in the author’s directions, but they help the reader examine the characters completely. The nickname ‘Blue Roses’; is given to Laura by Jim when they are in high school together. Though this may seem like a random nickname, it actually has a large significance to the character of Laura.

Jim tells Laura that she is unlike all others. They are all weeds but she is Blue Roses. Though Laura says that blue is wrong for roses, because she is different, they are right for her. Just as blue is a unique color for a rose; Laura is unique (Williams 105-106). In general, ‘Blue Roses’; is symbolic of Laura’s existence as a whole. Roses are frail and beautiful but cannot be blue. This is also symbolic of the imaginary presence of Laura. (Adler 2069-2070). Though she is a visible human being, her appearance is too frail to be one of a real woman. The fire escape is used by all of the characters symbolically.

It is the only entrance to the Wingfield’s apartment, so it holds much significance. As Williams describes, ‘The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all of these huge buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation’; (Williams 21). The continuous drama, which takes place in the Wingfield’s apartment, provides two uses of the fire escape; an escape and a refuge. Amanda uses it as an escape; it is the only way a gentlemen caller can come and rescue Laura. For Laura, it is an escape from the world.

She is proven weak when she has to leave the apartment and stumbles. Tom uses it as an escape to the outside and from his mother (Mendez 1). For Jim, it is a way of entering the Wingfields’ lives (Harris 1). ‘As Laura is symbolized by her glass unicorn, Tom is symbolized by his movies,’; Cohn states. ‘He explains movies to his mother as sublimated adventure, but by the time Jim comes to the house, Tom is tired of vicarious adventure’; (Cohn 100-101). Tom uses movies as a get-a-way from his unhappy life in the apartment. He goes to the movies instead of moving, but as he explains, he wants to move.

Tom escapes to the movies, but then finds that he wants adventure of his own, in real life. In conclusion, these symbols which appear throughout the entire drama show the true personalities of Tennessee Williams’ characters. Each character has separate traits, which are revealed by these images. The theme of the drama is the destruction and failure of hopes and dreams. Each of these symbols helps display this thesis individually, but they all add together to prove it as a whole. All of the developing characters in The Glass Menagerie together produce a central theme, which is reliant on symbols.

Glass Menagerie: Fantasy Worlds and Their Symbolism

Everyone has their own little world in which they indulge themselves in whether it be real or just a fantasy. In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, everyone in the play experiences their own little world, and the shock it is to be thrown from it. Tom supports his family despite his unhappiness. He tries to please Amanda by being the sole supporter of the family, but only gets rewarded by Amanda’s constant nagging and suspicion. Eventually he finds himself more like his father as he seeks adventure in the movies and in drinking.

Tom hangs out on the fire escape to avoid suffocation (in the made-up worlds of the women) and desperately seeks the life he always desired the life of adventure. By hanging out on the fire escape, Tom finds a temporary safe haven from Amanda. With Amanda faultfinding Tom about every minute action, Tom needed to find somewhere to escape. Since Amanda and Laura have their fantasy worlds inside, Tom can easily escape them by going out on the fire escape. Perhaps, even more, the fire escape shows various things about Tom’s personality. He does not desire to be part of any fanciful worlds, which only prove to be the downfall of Amanda and Laura.

He realizes that the world is not what Amanda has made it seem inside the house. However, during his internal reflections on the fire escape, he is not really separating himself from the imaginary world because that metal frame is still attached to the apartment wall. Therefore, he is still attached to the fantasy domains. This shows that no matter how hard Tom tries to escape he will always be attached, or bounded, to the apartment. His emotional attachments to Laura would permanently keep him there no matter what method of escaping he had attempted.

With such a dull and stressful life, Tom was constantly looking for adventure like his father. Although this is only referred to a couple of times, I feel as though the portrait of Tom’s father is one of the most important symbols representing Tom. In the play, the portrait is a constant reminder to Amanda of the past she once knew and cherished. Also, it represents an option of Tom: running away. A long time ago, Amanda’s husband abandoned her and her children because of his unhappy home life. Tom, like his father, felt that his home life was suppressing his true desires for adventure.

It became seemingly impossible for Tom to enjoy himself with Amanda’s nagging. At every possible moment Tom would speak of some adventure, something much better he could be experiencing. Eventually Tom paid dues to the Union of Merchant Seamen using the money for the electric bill. That organization symbolized his temporary escape from suffocation and a ticket to the life of adventure. Malvoli the Magician was an act that Tom would often see when he went to the movies every night. Malvolis coffin trick is a symbol of Tom’s suffocating life. Both Malvoli and Tom face life-threatening situations.

In the trick, Malvoli faces death by actual suffocation if he does not successfully escape the coffin. Tom faces death by emotional and spiritual suffocation if he does not successfully escape the apartment. Also, the coffin itself symbolizes the lifestyle Tom is trying to rid himself of. Tom views his life as a very cramped, dark situation. He greatly fears spending fifty-five years of his life in the basement of the warehouse, only making sixty-five dollars a month, and never being able to achieve his dreams. Although he loves his family, the thought of being cooped up in a lifestyle he does not desire is death in itself.

Furthermore, during the coffin trick, Malvoli not only escapes, but also does it without disturbing any of the nails. Tom claims “You know it don’t take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing a single nail”. I think Amanda and Laura symbolize those nails. It would be impossible for Tom to escape his coffin without disturbing the nails. He knows it is just a matter of time before he suffocates in his coffin, but at the same time he knows his escape will upset Amanda and Laura.

Throughout the play there are many symbols representing different aspects of all the characters. From a realistic standpoint, Tom escaped from the fantasy world of Amanda and Laura by hanging out on the fire escape, even though he could never fully escape. Unfortunately for Tom, his life was cramped like the coffin and he was slowly suffocating, both emotionally and spiritually. Unhappy with the lifestyle he followed (in the footsteps of his father,) he searched for adventure, escaping the criticism of Amanda. Some people have their fantasy worlds, and chose to live in them but that does not necessarily mean it is the best for everyone.

Color Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

Color symbolism was really popular in novels written during the 1920’s(Microsoft Encarta). One good example is Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. There is a lot of color symbolism in this novel, but there are two main colors that stand out more than the others. The colors green and white influence the story greatly. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and choices that Gatsby makes throughout the story. White represents the stereotypical mask that every character is hiding behind. The color green is used to symbolize the different choices Gatsby makes during his life.

The green element in this novel is taken from the green light at the end of the dock near Daisy’s house. The color itself represents serenity, meaning everything is perfect and peaceful. This warns Gatsby that he should not pursue his dream for getting Daisy back, because his chance has passed and everything is as it should be. This is shown with Nick’s comment, “…His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him… (Garrison notes Pg. 189). ” Another symbolization of the color green, which contradicts the first, is the meaning “go.

Because it is a traffic light signal, most people associate green with the word “go. ” This can be interpreted as meaning Gatsby should go for his dream without hesitation. It implies that Gatsby and Daisy are meant to be together and nothing should stop Gatsby from his desired happiness and love with Daisy. It gives Gatsby hope that he is on the right path, heading towards the best years of his life. He believes that things will soon be as they once were, only better. “”I’m going to fix everything just the way they were before,” he said nodding determinedly.

She’ll see. ”(Garrison notes Pg. 117). ” The last symbolization the color green has in this novel is an urge to strive ahead in life, to go and do better in life and succeed. Gatsby changes his entire personality for a better image and status. He is constantly striving to be a more successful figure in society. Ever since he was a boy, he put himself on a schedule with hopes for becoming a highly respected, well-known person. “He knew he had a big future in front of him. (Garrison notes Pg. 181),” his dad says about him. “Jimmy was bound to get ahead.

He always had some resolves like this…(Garrison notes Pg. 182). ” White is the other color symbolism found in this novel. Where as green only influences one character, white has a wider range of influence on the characters. This color symbolizes one thing, a mask, but it appears in every character. For example, Daisy is always seen wearing white, which gives her an innocent naive appearance. It is like she uses this as an excuse for when she does something ridiculous or childish, making it seem like she does not know any better. In reality, she knows exactly what she does but just doesn’t care.

She uses this little innocent image and her money to hide her biased, snobbish, and stuck up view of herself and her lifestyle. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together…(Garrison notes Pg. 187-188). ” Another character that hides behind the white symbolic mask is Jordan Baker. She also wears white quite often. She acts as though she is superior to everyone around her. Her attitude, and even the things she says imply this arrogance.

She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me she me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it-indeed I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in. (Garrison notesPg. 13). ” She portrays a bored and careless attitude about everything, which is part of her “I am too good for you! ” appearance. In reality, she just wants to be as respected and socially accepted as Gatsby.

She is not willing to take responsibility for her actions and uses her image as a guard implying that she could not have possibly done anything immoral, much like Daisy. However, “She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep the cool insolent smile turned towards the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard jaunty body. (Garrison notes Pg. 63). ” Color symbolism is not very noticeable, yet it can tell a great deal about a story.

In this case, the colors give the reader a look at the character’s choices and the paths he or she could have chosen compared to the ones the character chose, which adds a whole new dimension to the book. The green, which is the choices Gatsby can make, whether it serves as a warning, an inspiration, or an urge to get ahead. The white symbolizes a mask. It allows the characters to portray themselves as a whole other person and hide who they really are. This puts a piece of reality into the story, as everyone wears a white mask of some kind to hide his or her true self from the world.

John Steinbeck: Grapes Of Wrath Symbolism of the Turtle

John Steinbeck uses symbolism to enrich his writing. Several of these symbols can be found in his book, The Grapes of Wrath. The Joad’s, a family from Oklahoma, are in search of a better life. They leave their home in journey to California because of the dust bowl. The symbols in the book are the dust, the turtle, names of people, and the grapes. These symbols give the reader an additional perspective of the book. Dust represents life and death. Dust makes a mess of things and leaves possessions under a mucky film. The farming in Oklahoma becomes difficult because the heavy winds uplift the soil and carry it great distances.

Then the farmers are left with no soil to grow their crops. The Joad’s livelihood depends on the soil. If the soil is rich, then it will feed hundreds. But if the soil is dry, it destroys crops and causes famine. The dust covers Oklahoma and leaves the Joad family with no other choice, but to move. The Joad’s journey to California is as slow as a turtle. Heat in the desert, car problems, and the death of the grandparents make the journey long and painful. A turtle shelters himself by pulling his head, legs, and tail inside his shell. The Joad’s gather together as a family to comfort and shelter themselves.

A turtle feels safe when it enters his shell and the Joad’s feel safe when they gather as a family. There is symbolic significance in the names of characters throughout The Grapes of Wrath. Tom, one of the main characters, is hitchhiking home when he stumbles upon a preacher by the name of Jim Casey. Jim baptized Tom, but now he is no longer preaching because he has found that everything is holy and man needs no preacher. His initials are J. C. which are the same as Jesus Christ. Jim shows similar characteristics to Jesus Christ. He sacrifices himself for Tom.

Tom has caused a deputy to loose his suspect and is said to be under arrest, but Casey steps in and takes the blame. “It was me, alright” (p. 364). Casey is taken by two deputies, but appears to be proud because he knows he has done the right thing. “Between his guards Casey sat proudly, his head up and the stringy muscles of his neck prominent” (p. 364). He gives up his freedom so the Joad’s can accomplish their dreams as a family. Tom then meets Muley Graves, an old neighbor. Muley shows animal like characteristics and acts like a mule. Just like a mule, Muley is stubborn.

He refuses to leave his land after he has already lost it. “I’ll be aroun’ till hell freezes over. There ain’t nobody can run a guy name of Graves outa this country. An’ they ain’t done it, neither” (p. 62). Muley’s last name symbolizes death. The fact that he is to die on his land. Everyone is tractored off the land, but him. As the Joad’s are forced to move off their land, they decide to move west, to California. After traveling all night they finally reach the mountains on the other side of the desert. Everyone gets out of the truck to gawk at the beautiful fields.

But not everyone sees the same thing. Tom claims that Ruthie and Winfield, his younger siblings, are the ones that see the true beauty. “Who’s really seein’ it is Ruthie an’ Winfiel'” (p. 313). Winfield is young and his name hints to the reader that he might “win the fields” from the rich farmers down the line. He is capable of working the land and may be the first farmer of the Joad family. While Ruthie, she is ruthless. She is very cruel and finds it hard to share. She was nibbling on some cracker jacks and some kids came and asked for some crackers, but Ruthie, she wouldn’t share.

So Ruthie got mad an’ chased em, an’ she fit one, an’ then she fit another, an’ then one big girl got up an’ licked her” (p. 563). Although she appears to be strong in reality she is weak . Grapes are the fruit of the vine; something sweet. But in actuality for the Joad’s they are a disappointment. The Joad’s talk about them as being this wonderful fruit that will bring them a better life. They will pick the grapes and earn money. But as they stare at the open fields they realize that it is all just a dream. There are no grapes. They continuously think of the grapes as an escape from their depression.

The grapes would be so fruitful that they would be able to bathe in the sweetness, but in their case it turns out completely different. Discussing the symbols of the dust, the turtle, the names, and the grapes makes the reader aware of another aspect of the story. The reader is able to realize just how well Steinbeck is able to bring his stories to life. As a reader you learn to appreciate his style of writing. Once you read his books you realize that he is not only a author, but an artist too. John Steinbeck uses symbolism to enrich his writing.

Several of these symbols can be found in his book, The Grapes of Wrath. The Joad’s, a family from Oklahoma, are in search of a better life. They leave their home in journey to California because of the dust bowl. The symbols in the book are the dust, the turtle, names of people, and the grapes. These symbols give the reader an additional perspective of the book. Dust represents life and death. Dust makes a mess of things and leaves possessions under a mucky film. The farming in Oklahoma becomes difficult because the heavy winds uplift the soil and carry it great distances.

Then the farmers are left with no soil to grow their crops. The Joad’s livelihood depends on the soil. If the soil is rich, then it will feed hundreds. But if the soil is dry, it destroys crops and causes famine. The dust covers Oklahoma and leaves the Joad family with no other choice, but to move. The Joad’s journey to California is as slow as a turtle. Heat in the desert, car problems, and the death of the grandparents make the journey long and painful. A turtle shelters himself by pulling his head, legs, and tail inside his shell. The Joad’s gather together as a family to comfort and shelter themselves.

A turtle feels safe when it enters his shell and the Joad’s feel safe when they gather as a family. There is symbolic significance in the names of characters throughout The Grapes of Wrath. Tom, one of the main characters, is hitchhiking home when he stumbles upon a preacher by the name of Jim Casey. Jim baptized Tom, but now he is no longer preaching because he has found that everything is holy and man needs no preacher. His initials are J. C. which are the same as Jesus Christ. Jim shows similar characteristics to Jesus Christ. He sacrifices himself for Tom.

Tom has caused a deputy to loose his suspect and is said to be under arrest, but Casey steps in and takes the blame. “It was me, alright” (p. 364). Casey is taken by two deputies, but appears to be proud because he knows he has done the right thing. “Between his guards Casey sat proudly, his head up and the stringy muscles of his neck prominent” (p. 364). He gives up his freedom so the Joad’s can accomplish their dreams as a family. Tom then meets Muley Graves, an old neighbor. Muley shows animal like characteristics and acts like a mule. Just like a mule, Muley is stubborn.

He refuses to leave his land after he has already lost it. “I’ll be aroun’ till hell freezes over. There ain’t nobody can run a guy name of Graves outa this country. An’ they ain’t done it, neither” (p. 62). Muley’s last name symbolizes death. The fact that he is to die on his land. Everyone is tractored off the land, but him. As the Joad’s are forced to move off their land, they decide to move west, to California. After traveling all night they finally reach the mountains on the other side of the desert. Everyone gets out of the truck to gawk at the beautiful fields.

But not everyone sees the same thing. Tom claims that Ruthie and Winfield, his younger siblings, are the ones that see the true beauty. “Who’s really seein’ it is Ruthie an’ Winfiel'” (p. 313). Winfield is young and his name hints to the reader that he might “win the fields” from the rich farmers down the line. He is capable of working the land and may be the first farmer of the Joad family. While Ruthie, she is ruthless. She is very cruel and finds it hard to share. She was nibbling on some cracker jacks and some kids came and asked for some crackers, but Ruthie, she wouldn’t share.

So Ruthie got mad an’ chased em, an’ she fit one, an’ then she fit another, an’ then one big girl got up an’ licked her” (p. 563). Although she appears to be strong in reality she is weak . Grapes are the fruit of the vine; something sweet. But in actuality for the Joad’s they are a disappointment. The Joad’s talk about them as being this wonderful fruit that will bring them a better life. They will pick the grapes and earn money. But as they stare at the open fields they realize that it is all just a dream. There are no grapes.

They continuously think of the grapes as an escape from their depression. The grapes would be so fruitful that they would be able to bathe in the sweetness, but in their case it turns out completely different. Discussing the symbols of the dust, the turtle, the names, and the grapes makes the reader aware of another aspect of the story. The reader is able to realize just how well Steinbeck is able to bring his stories to life. As a reader you learn to appreciate his style of writing. Once you read his books you realize that he is not only a author, but an artist too.