Nabokov's Distorted Reflection In Signs And Symbol

Words: 1520
Pages: 7

Thesis: Although it seems as if the boy in the story is the one who suffers the most mentally, it is in fact his parents who suffer and want to escape the most.

Field, David. “Sacred Dangers: Nabokov’s Distorted Reflection in ‘Signs and Symbols.’” Studies in Short Fiction; Summer88, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p285-293 (2002). Literary Reference Centre. Web. 5 April, 2016.
The beginning of the article, the author talks about Nabokov’s writing style. He then recaps Nabokov’s short story “Signs and symbols”. In his summary, he mentions that due to the boy’s suicide attempt, the parents decide to take the boy home and treat and care for him themselves. It shows the family love, and the sacrifice they will make for their child. He also talks about criticisms
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The article does not really help with my thesis statement significantly, but in his summary, he states that the parents have decided to bring the boy home. This action shows the beautiful capacity of family love and the pain they are enduring and tolerating in their lives. This can potentially be part of my argument in my essay.
Hagopian, John V. “Decoding Nabokov’s ‘Signs and Symbols.’” Studies in Short Fiction; Spring81, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p115-119 (2002) Literary Reference Center. Web. 4 April, 2016.
The article starts off with recapping the story of “Signs and Symbols”. Hagopian summarizes two main points from the story. The father of the family used to be a successful business man in his own country, however after moving to America to treat his son’s mental illness, he is now totally dependent on his brother Isaac; the whole story is full of intense sadness as Nabokov describes the family’s life. The author then ends the article with a critical analysis of the start story. He explains why Nabokov wrote the short story in third person instead of first person. He points out that
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Rosenzweig interprets the phone call in three different ways. The call conveys tragic news of the successful suicide attempt of the son; it is merely just a wrong number call by the same young caller calling for “Charlie”; or it is someone else calling. Rosenzweig says the first response is the most predictable as reader will assumes that the short story has a pattern and the signs and symbols throughout the story are suggesting this response. However, there is no evidence to prove that the call is from the mental hospital. On the other side, the young caller has already made two wrong number calls prior to the third phone call, so there is a higher possibility that the call is mistakenly called by the little girl. The article has not directly helped me with my essay, but according to different interpretation for the last phone call, I can interpret the level of pain the characters in the story are suffering. By doing so, I can support my thesis