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Symbol as a Literary Element - Research Paper Example

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The writer of the essay "Symbol as a Literary Element" will be analyzing symbols in two short stories and two novels: N. Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown, Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, F. S. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men…
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Symbol as a Literary Element
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Download file to see previous pages The writer often prefers using metaphors, comparisons, and symbols rather than developing an original plot. N. Hawthorne turns metaphors and symbols into plots, and at the same time the basis for moral speculations: e.g. a priest whose face is covered with a veil, a snake hiding in a man’s chest (“The egotism, or Bosom serpent”), the protagonist talking to his twin in the looking glass (“Monsieur du Miroir”), s girl made of snow plays with other children (“The Snow-Image: A Childish Miracle”). However, all these examples are not mere descriptions of some weird cases, and neither they are simple allegories. Being initially metaphors, they turn into generalizing symbols, and thus a weird case is accepted by the reader as a phenomenon of the moral life of the modern society. Hawthorne paid attention predominantly to the symbols connected with the concepts of spirit, soul, consciousness, sin, guilt, etc. The system of these categories determines the actions of almost all of his characters. For N. Hawthorne, the spiritual life of America, its morals, and principles were projections of the inner morality of every person. This inner morality was pictured by Hawthorne as a deep winding cave inhabited by both evil and good thoughts, and only in the most remote corners of this cave, there is pure good which is the real, innate nature of men. Though these good thoughts are not revealed often, it is them that provide humans with an opportunity to rise to the top of morality. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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