This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Use Of Symbols To Express A Theme

1105 words - 5 pages

The Use of Symbols to Express a Theme
John Steinbeck, in “The Chrysanthemums” expresses the theme through the use of symbols. The events in “The Chrysanthemums” take place in the Salinas Valley and focuses on Elisa Allen, her loneliness, and her attempt to communicate with others. In this story, Steinbeck uses various symbols to express the theme, which states that true communication must flow in both directions. The most important symbol in the story, the chrysanthemum, strongly expresses the theme as it represents the story as a whole. Additionally, the specific characteristics of the flower themselves symbolize different events in the story.
In this story, Steinbeck relates the ...view middle of the document...

Later in the story, Steinbeck describes the chrysanthemums in Elisa’s garden. After reading the description of the chrysanthemums, we automatically notice that the characteristics they possess are similar to those of Elisa. In the story, Steinbeck has Henry Allen, Elisa’s husband, comment on the size of the chrysanthemums. Henry sees the chrysanthemums and states that they are a “strong new crop”. To this she agrees. He later comments on the smaller size of some of the other organisms in her garden and how he wishes that they could be larger like the chrysanthemums. In this section, we get the sense that the chrysanthemums are the strongest, healthiest, and biggest plants in her garden. Instantly we sense the connection between the chrysanthemums and Elisa. Elisa, like the chrysanthemums, has strong and healthy characteristics. Additionally, Elisa and the chrysanthemums are the only things in the story that have common characteristics; therefore it is safe to say that the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa.
The petals of the chrysanthemums are symbolic as well. Steinbeck relates this symbol to major occurrences in his story. The chrysanthemums have been raised and nurtured by Elisa, stand tall and strong, and are “10 inches wide”. The chrysanthemums are giving all they can and are the biggest they can be. Steinbeck relates this symbol to Henry and Elisa’s relationship and the interaction between the salesman and Elisa. In the beginning of the story we see the condition of Elisa’s and Henry’s relationship. We first see Henry “…talking to two men in business suits”. We get the sense that Henry is a hard working man and is greatly involved in his work. After making a business deal with the men, Henry walks over to Elisa to inform her of the deal he has struck. During this section, Henry and Elisa have a brief conversation about her garden. Still obsessed with business, Henry reverts to talking about his deal. Henry makes plans with her to go into town and celebrate the deal. He promises to take her as soon as he “bring[s] those steers from the hill”. In this section, we see that Elisa and her husband, Henry, do not enjoy a good relationship. They communicate on a basic level, without much intimacy. Henry, according to evidence in this section, appears...

Find Another Essay On The Use of Symbols to Express a Theme

Use of Symbols in Yeats's Work, A Vision

3541 words - 14 pages Use of Symbols in Yeats's Work, A Vision In his 1901 essay "Magic", Yeats writes, "I cannot now think symbols less than the greatest of all powers whether they are used consciously by the masters of magic, or half unconsciously by their successors, the poet, the musician and the artist" (p. 28). Later, in his introduction to A Vision, he explains, "I put the Tower and the Winding Stair together into evidence to show that my poetry has

symbolaw Use of Symbols and Symbolism in The Awakening

1293 words - 5 pages Use of Symbolism in Chopin's The Awakening The Awakening is a novel full of symbolism; within each narrative segment there is often a central and powerful symbol that serves to add meaning to the text and to underline some subtle point Chopin is making. Understanding the meaning of these symbols is vital to a full appreciation of the story. This essay lists some of the major symbols with explanations of their importance. Art becomes a

Use of Symbols in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1395 words - 6 pages Many great authors use symbolism numerous of time in their stories. A symbol is a noun or word that represents a different idea. An author displays the symbols as a hit rather than blurting it out. Symbols are not only used in novels or poems, they are also used in everyday use. For an example, the American flag has fifty stars on it which each star represents a state. On the other hand, the thirteen stripes plays the part of our thirteen

The Use of Signs and Symbols in Everyday Life

957 words - 4 pages On a typical day, as an average person--whether going to work, school, or simply to the store--we all run into many different types of signs and symbols. Signs include smells, sounds, or motions which could indicate food, danger, or the existence of others. A symbol is that which makes us merely think of the object mentioned. From the time I got up until the time I got to English class at Casper College, I encountered numerous signs and symbols

Symbols and Symbolism Essay - Use of Symbols in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

920 words - 4 pages Use of Symbols in The Scarlet Letter       In World Book Dictionary, a symbol is defined as something that stands for or represents something else, especially an idea, quality, or condition. Symbols can be objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent ideas or concepts. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are many symbols that are throughout the novel. While symbols can be

Use of Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

1326 words - 5 pages Symbolism plays an important role in any novel of literary merit. In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbols to portray events, feelings, personalities and time periods. Throughout the narrative, Fitzgerald uses strong contrasting symbols such as West Egg and East Egg. His superior use of other predominant symbols such as color and light are also evident throughout the novel. The story begins as the narrator, Nick

Use of Metaphor, Symbols and Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

1327 words - 5 pages social status or fulfillment and truth. In his quest to enlighten the reader, Fitzgerald utilizes metaphor and symbols to clarify his message. The author wants to show what happens when the American dream (the pursuit of happiness) becomes warped into the American nightmare (the pursuit of money).                The first obvious symbol in The Great Gatsby is the color green. Green represents new life and hope for a better future – the

The Theme of Heritage in “Everday Use”

1544 words - 6 pages In her late twentieth-century short story “Everyday Use,” African-American writer Alice Walker contrasts the struggle between the main characters involving the recurring theme. The story takes place in a rural Georgia setting during the 1970s. The plot circulates around Mama, Maggie, and Dee. Throughout, heritage develops and remains a central theme revolving them. Each of these women in the Johnson family tries to stay true to heritage

The Use of Trickery:, A Theme in the Novel: The Life of Frederick Douglass

911 words - 4 pages Some people deceive others into doing their bidding for them, while others trick for the jokes that come out of it; however, some may claim the need to trick is a requirement to survive. In Frederick Douglass’s Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass utilizes the ability to play the game of trickery to convey his journey to freedom. Through the use of anecdotes, appeal to pathos, and figurative language, Douglass expresses the

Theme of Inhumanity Invades in Symbols

1304 words - 6 pages towards their old persecutors. Man, himself, becomes a more brutal race in this time of animosity. He has no compassion towards his fellow man, resulting in extraordinary bloodshed. Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens conveys the theme of inhumanity by using symbols, especially scarecrows, blue-flies, and dogs. By using scarecrows to represent the peasants, Dickens successfully portrays the theme of inhumanity. He states, “But, the time

Chapter by chapter analysis of "The Lord of the Flies". Detailed analysis of symbols, setting, society, theme and significan quotes. Set up as a jot note style journal

2834 words - 11 pages they get to Castle Rock, it soon turns into a violent and angry atmosphere.Roger drops a boulder onto Piggy who obviously dies and while all this happens the conch is crushed.Society:Jack tribe is in full force and they are as vicious as ever. They have lost all inhibitions and moral/social obligationsTheme:Once again, I believe this chapter's theme speaks of the underlying violent nature of human beings.Significant Quotes:"Roger, with a sense of

Similar Essays

Use Of Symbols In To Kill A Mockingbird

2855 words - 11 pages killed because of assumption of what they are known to do. In conclusion, Harper Lee used ties with nature to express major themes of the novel. She uses the mockingbird to symbolize innocence, and the “killing of a mockingbird” to represents the persecution of innocent people or the altogether loss of innocence. Lee also uses flowers to demonstrate religious, social, and racial issues of Maycomb County through different characters. She also

Hawthorne's Use Of Symbols To Emphasize Conflicts Present In The Scarlet Letter

1211 words - 5 pages The scarlet letter is Hester's passport into regions where other women dare not to tread for fear of being ostracized by the Puritan community. This is one symbol used in The Scarlet Letter to illustrate how society affects individuals' actions and beliefs. Some symbols have a greater impact than others because they hold a deeper, more direct meaning. Through the use of symbols, such as the scarlet letter, the scaffold, and Pearl, Nathaniel

The Inferno Is A Work That Dante Used To Express The Theme On His Ideas Of God's Divine Justice. God's Divine Justice Is Demonstrated Through The Punishments Of The Sinners The Travelers Encounter

2649 words - 11 pages OUTLINEThesis statement: In Dante's Inferno, the first part of the Divine Comedy, Dante develops many themes throughout the adventures of the travelers. The Inferno is a work that Dante used to express the theme on his ideas of God's divine justice. God's divine justice is demonstrated through the punishments of the sinners the travelers encounter.1) IntroductionA. An overview Dante Alighieri's life, writing style and the InfernoB. Dante

The Theme Of To Build A Fire

1274 words - 6 pages The struggle between man and nature is a common theme in a lot of literary pieces. Some exaggerate the role of either nature or man; however, this tale exposes weaknesses of both sides and provides an interesting twist. Through the use of both flat and round characters, involved in a specific life changing event, will lead to a role reversal that proves nature will truly win out over nurture in some situations. Mr. London involves the