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Examine the use of animal imagery in modern short stories and their symbolic significance - Essay Example

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Depending on the type of animal used, authors have been able to use the symbol of the animal to represent fidelity, cleanliness, fastidiousness, courage, ferocity, wildness, domesticity,…
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Examine the use of animal imagery in modern short stories and their symbolic significance
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, the degree to which a character is related to the animal in question may have some impact on the characteristics that are brought out in each. A nanny closely related to a busy parakeet might cause both woman and animal to take on stronger characteristics of nagging and cleanliness, for instance. A man closely related with his bulldog might also seem to be watchful, noisy and largely for show. What is interesting about this use of animal imagery in stories is the way in which this relationship develops to bring out specific characteristics in both animal and character. Two stories that provide a great deal of insight into this relationship are Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl.
Although the story takes up less than 100 pages, Franz Kafka’s story Metamorphosis lends itself to a wide variety of interpretations as it uses the image of the cockroach to emphasize attributes of its main character. From its small size to a brief summary of its events, there doesn’t seem to be all that much to the story itself upon first glance. The story follows the experiences of Gregor Samsa after he wakes up one morning to find himself turned into a giant bug in his own bed. As he reveals himself to his family and his employer, it becomes obvious that this change is not meant to be a figurative change on the part of the author, but is also a physical change. Although the family continues to care for him, providing him with food and water and cleaning his room once a day, Gregor becomes more and more detached from them, eventually finding it difficult to keep track of what has been happening around him. His room becomes dirtier, his family becomes less attentive and he becomes less concerned with their welfare in connection with his own. As his sister and mother move his personal furniture out of his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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