Literary Elements: Theme and Symbol
In literature, many different elements conform to bring meaning and structure to a story. An author uses various literary techniques to influence the audience’s attitudes and feelings. These elements can be found in the shortest, simplest, children’s books, or in the longest of novels. In John Cheever’s “The Country Husband,” a couple of different themes are presented, and in Earnest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants,” symbolism is implemented throughout.
“A wonderful feeling enveloped him, as if light were being shaken about him. The realization of how many years had passed since he had enjoyed being deliberately impolite sobered him. He was grateful to the girl [Anne], for this bracing sensation of independence.” (Norton, 81)
At the end, Francis is changed by his experience with the plane crash. He realizes that he has a second chance at living and decides to live bold and selfishly. It’s ironic though because at the end of the story, Francis remains somewhat the same but has picked up the hobby of woodworking. He is still the same guy living in a 1950’s suburbia.
In Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” symbolism dominates. Through the story, symbolism helps the reader pick up on the subject of the story. The story starts off with an American guy, and a girl, Jig, sitting at a train station in northern Spain. They order some beers at the bar and sit at a table to discuss an issue that has come up between them. The narrator never directly reveals what the conversation is about, but uses symbols to infer that the couple is trying to decide on having an abortion. First, I looked at the title of the story to find the relationship between it, and the subject of the story. “Hills Like White Elephants” can be interpreted many different ways. Because the title uses the word “like,” it refers to a simile. The color white refers to light, purity, and virginity (Herder, 214). Elephant is associated with power,...