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Symbol A Key To Understand Essay

973 words - 4 pages

Symbol-a key to understand literaturePanJie ChenStudent ID: 1408601Page number: 4According to a website called literary term and definition, symbol means" something over what it used to be on a literal level" and it can be place, word, or object. But no matter what the symbol is, it is the key to understand main ideas of the literature which can reveal characters' character.By analysing symbols, the characters' personality can be easily seen. According to the dictionary of Longman, the personality is "the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual" (page 1778). Hence it is intangible and not easy to know even in real life. But in the world of literature, symbols can be used to conclude the personality of characters. Maybe the symbol is just a voice; a place; even palm, those are things are also important for summarizing the characters, although those are very small. There are a lot of examples in Alice Walker showing that. First of all, mom says that "in real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hand."(everyday use, pages 2 ) From mom's "man-working hand", it can be seen that mom is hardworking, she work a lot in order to feed her family, so her palm is changed by the hard work. That is a symbol, which shows that mom work very hard even her hands like a man's hand. But she does not care about whether her hands like men or not, she already regarded herself as a man because of living.Next, Maggie's burned skin is also a symbol. From the paragraph in everyday use, it shows that Maggie feel ashamed about her burn scar down her arms. Maybe she did not feel a ashamed of the burn scar, she feel a ashamed of her life. That is because she knows that compared with Dee, she is less beautiful, she is lack of education, even her mom cannot find any hopes on her and just want her marry John Thomas( paragraph 13) and also she did not have courage to meet Dee(paragraph18) . So the scar is also a symbol which represents Maggie's hopeless life just like this scar, although the pain have already dismiss, the scar still in there and let her feel no confidence about her life.Last but not least, there is also a vital symbol occurred in paragraph 23 to paragraph 30, when mom said "Dee", and then Dee said "no Mama not Dee, Wangero Leewanika kemanjo. (Paragraph 25)". From that it can be seen that Dee choose a African name which means she want to have different life style, maybe she also a little bit hate about being a African -American.so that symbol is important which show that Dee want to lead a new life style.Symbol is vital for understanding literature, it not only shows the characters' personalities but also reveal the relationship between characters. In everyday use, house is an obvious symbol. It can be seen from the first paragraph, before Dee come to house, mom sweeps all the clay and cleans the whole house, she is sensitive to every detail of the yard's appearance. Because she takes pride of...

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