The Importance of Symbolism
Growing up can bring a person back to a stark reality. Many young people are dreamers with an idealistic view of the world and their future. All of us have had an experience or experiences that lead to our entry into adulthood. In three of the assigned short stories: “Araby”, “Her First Ball”, and “A White Heron”, the authors illustrate these experiences by telling profound coming of age tales through detailed imagery and symbolism. In literary pieces symbolism is significant because it can help the author incorporate important concepts into the stories and add depth to the characters and storylines.
Symbolism can be defined as “the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meaning or significance to objects, events or relationships.” Authors use symbolism to help enrich the narrative, giving the reader a better connection with the characters and events that occur. This is especially important in these coming of age short stories because it helps establish themes that teach the reader moral lessons on life. These symbols also help to describe how the protagonist in each story reacts to the life changing events that occur.
The short story “Araby” written by James Joyce is about a young boy who grew up in Dublin, and is infatuated with his ideal love known only as Mangan’s sister. Although the narrative is told in first person it is really the older version of the boy recalling the events of his childhood in retrospect In the beginning of the story Joyce describes North Richmond Street as “being blind” (775), meaning it is a dead-end. I believe this symbolizes the boys’ feeling of being trapped and confound to life on the street forever. The street is described as being quiet except for when the boys were released from school. The children in this story are portrayed as carefree and playful but it seems as though they are being stifled by their gloomy environment. The house the boy lives in...