Symbolizing the Journey Essay

Submitted By cocark8112
Words: 1753
Pages: 8

Symbolizing the Journey Introduction Visualize if you can a small child. She is about five years old with bouncy blonde curls that lie upon her tiny shoulders. She is kneeling over a small creature on what seems to be a deserted road. As she begins to weep uncontrollably until her little body is shaking as if she were standing on a fault line during an earthquake. If you look over her tiny shoulder a small white dog lies upon a gravel road. The dog’s eyes seem to be squinting yet all of the dust from the dirt road is almost completely covering its tiny, furry, body. But what is wrong with the dog? Is it dead or only merely injured? How did it get there and can it be saved? These questions that are shaped in the readers mind is indicative of a short story that uses not only imagery but symbols to tell a story. The picture you have formed in your head of the small, sad little girl and her beloved dog is an example of symbolism of the journey. While literally the dog is dead this may also be a symbolism of a girl losing the only thing in her little life that she trusted in a world that has abandoned her like the empty road she finds herself on. The symbolism of the journey and how two authors used this theme is the topic of this paper.
Thesis
While both Jean Rhys “Used to Live Here Once” and Eudora Weltly, in “A Worn Path” use symbolism and exposition one story is also about death and the other is about helping her grandchild’s life, yet many of the words used in “A Worn Path” as indicative of death. Each story uses symbolism of the journey. Both stories also include an omniscient point of view and using imagery, which doubles as symbolism. Also using motif the narrators guide us through their stories also bringing a racism theme. Both authors Rhys and Weltly take us on journeys through the stories told.
Symbolism and Motif in Rhys, “Used to Live Here Once” In Rhys, “Used to Live Here Once”, symbolism was used consistently throughout this entire story to show both a visual setting which also gave dual meanings of both what the narrator was seeing and what Rhys wanted the reader to take away with them. Beginning with the rocks which represent problems and phases in life that everyone must face, which symbolizes life’s journey. ”It is argued that the symbolic architecture described by the texts is inseparable from the discursive practices of the 'imperial archive.” Hope, T. (2012). In the second line of “Used to Live Here Once” Rhys starts by describing the rocks in front of the main character. “There was the round unsteady stone, the pointed one, the flat one in the middle –– the safe stone where you could stand and look around. The next one wasn't so safe for when the river was full the water flowed over it and even when it showed dry it was slippery. But after that it was easy and soon she was standing on the other side.” as cited by Clugston (2010) The first stone is described as unsteady which could be representative of either a hard childhood or just hard times which all in life endure. The pointed stone can represent growth and overcoming of immaturity. The flat stone is described as safe, this can be indicative of calm time in life possibly in early adulthood where we as humans feel as though we have things figured out. The final stone was described as deceiving in that it appeared dry when in fact it was wet this could be symbolic of being betrayed or simply being naïve at a point in life. Crossing the river can be a symbol of the “flow of human experiences” Clugston (2010) The story goes on to say that although she recognized the landscape it had changed quite a bit. This implies that she has not been near this area in quite some time. The author goes onto describe her experience with this day as, “It was a fine day, a blue day. The only thing was that the sky had a glassy look that she didn't remember. That was the only word she could think of. Glassy.” as cited by Clugston (2010). This…