Essay by panjie1University, Bachelor'sC+, October 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Symbol-a key to understand literature

PanJie Chen

Student ID: 1408601

Page number: 4

According to a website called literary term and definition, symbol means" something over what it used to be on a literal level" and it can be place, word, or object. But no matter what the symbol is, it is the key to understand main ideas of the literature which can reveal characters' character.

By analysing symbols, the characters' personality can be easily seen. According to the dictionary of Longman, the personality is "the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual" (page 1778). Hence it is intangible and not easy to know even in real life. But in the world of literature, symbols can be used to conclude the personality of characters. Maybe the symbol is just a voice; a place; even palm, those are things are also important for summarizing the characters, although those are very small.

There are a lot of examples in Alice Walker showing that. First of all, mom says that "in real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hand."(everyday use, pages 2 ) From mom's "man-working hand", it can be seen that mom is hardworking, she work a lot in order to feed her family, so her palm is changed by the hard work. That is a symbol, which shows that mom work very hard even her hands like a man's hand. But she does not care about whether her hands like men or not, she already regarded herself as a man because of living.

Next, Maggie's burned skin is also a symbol. From the paragraph in everyday use, it shows that Maggie feel ashamed about her burn scar down her arms. Maybe she did not feel a ashamed of the burn scar,