65 Answered Questions for the topic Symbolism
Why is the robin "sobbing"?
Blake's "The Blossom", part of his *Songs of Innocence* [which you can read online](http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1934/1934-h/1934-h.htm), is a very short poem about a sparrow and a robin. The... more
What does Pudd'nhead Wilson's joke about half a dog mean?
In _Pudd'nhead Wilson_, by Mark Twain, the character David Wilson makes a remark that results in the townspeople writing him off as a "pudd'nhead". > He had just made the acquaintance of... more
Why are Orcs associated with the colors red, yellow, and black in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings?
In Tolkien's *The Lord of the Rings* series, Sauron, and characters allied with Sauron, are frequently associated with the colors red, yellow, and black. For example, here is a description of the... more
What is the significance of "half past two" in Wolfgang Borchert's The Clock and The Bread?
In both *The Clock* and *The Bread* by Wolfgang Borchert there is a mention of the events happening at "half past two" in the morning. I have been unable to find a historical event of World War Two... more
Who or what does Benjamin the donkey represent in Animal Farm?
Benjamin is the old, irritable donkey who doesn't care who's in control, because he says that work will be the same either way. He is one of the few on the farm who can read, and who still... more
Who does the cat represent in Animal Farm?
It's well known that various characters represent real Soviet figures. Who does the cat, who is fond of shirking physical work but enjoys reaping the rewards, represent? Does the cat even have any... more
Why is black evil and white good?
This trope appears everywhere in literature - _especially_ in fantasy. Everywhere you turn, _black_ means bad and _white_ means good. This is particularly true when applied to people, or the... more
Symbolism of Marx and Lenina's names in Huxley's Brave New World?
Reading Brave New World it seemed obvious to me that Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne are in some way referring to Marx and Lenin, but I couldn't figure out any clue to support this claim. Is it... more
Meaning of President "Coin" in the Hunger Games books?
My impression was that the name Coin is meaningful as opposed to arbitrary. My thoughts on the meaning so far are: - "Other side of the same coin" in that Coin represents the good guys, but is... more
Is the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill based on real life events?
>Jack and Jill went up the hill To fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Jill came tumbling after. >Up Jack got, and home did trot, As fast as he could caper, ... more
Is there symbolism in Vronsky going bald in Anna Karenina?
As I am reading Anna Karinina I notice how as the story continues Vronsky is going bald. As characters meet him it is noted how he tries to hid his increasing baldness. For instance when Dolly... more
Does Puzzle the Donkey have an allegorical relationship with any entity in the Book of Revelation or the Bible at large?
C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia are a great children's series which present an allegory the New Testament and Biblical history. That said, Lewis sometimes put in things that don't necessarily... more
What do the "mirror" and the "lake" represent in "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath?
In ["Mirror" by Sylvia Plath](https://allpoetry.com/poem/8498499-Mirror-by-Sylvia-Plath), the speaker in the poem says,> Now I am a lake.But, also at times implies that the speaker is a mirror.... more
What is the symbolism of Eustace's arm ring?
In *The Voyage of the Dawn Treader*, Eustace put a cursed arm ring on, which resulted in him becoming a dragon. Does the arm-ring itself have any special symbolism (e.g. he was entrapped by his... more
Was this character's death symbolic in Bridge to Terabithia?
As a child, reading *Bridge to Terabithia*, I was horrified when >! Leslie died As an older reader now, I wonder whether her death was necessary to the development of Jessie. Was her death for... more
What is the significance of the "suffocation scene" at Tchermashnya in Brothers Karamazov?
I'm re-reading *The Brothers Karamazov* and was struck again by a strange scene whose meaning isn't immediately clear to me. In "Lyagavy", Part 3, Book 8, Chapter 2 of *The Brothers Karamazov*,... more
What's the point of the sandy beach in "A Dream Within a Dream"?
The main thrust of Edgar Allan Poe's poem ["A Dream Within a Dream"](https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52829/a-dream-within-a-dream) concerns the existential angst of the narrator, and his... more
Could the War of the Worlds be considered a proto Cosmic Horror story?
After reading the War of the Worlds, I have noticed that H.G. Wells has presented several themes that would not be alien to something that Lovecraft would compose. There's a deep... more
What is the symbolism of Ransom's heel wound?
In *Perelandra*, the second book of CS Lewis's planets trilogy, the protagonist Ransom is wounded in the heel by the Un-Man/Weston. We learn in the third book, *That Hideous Strength*, that the... more
What does "Burning" symbolize in "Burning the Old Year"?
In *Burning the Old Year* by Naomi Shihab Nye, Nye refers to "notes", "lists", and "letters" as things that can be burned. From reading this poem, I interpret the theme to be the short time for... more
The woods as a symbol in Young Goodman Brown?
In the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character spends a great deal of the story traveling through a "dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the... more
What is the significance of the fact that the covered wagons were traveling East at the end of Atlas Shrugged?
At the very end of *Atlas Shrugged*, a group of covered wagons picks up people who were stranded by the *Comet*'s demise. Is it significant that they're heading east (e.g. that they were somehow... more
What is the deeper meaning of Blake's "The Lily"?
The poem "The Lily" by William Blake must be one of the shortest of his [*Songs of Innocence and of Experience* collection](http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1934/1934-h/1934-h.htm), only four lines... more
227 days in Life of Pi, coincidence or symbolical?
I'm wondering whether it is known whether the 227 days in Life of Pi symbolical is for pi or that the symbolism I see (as a mathematician :)) is pure coincidence. I think that it is symbolic for... more
What does "the sad height" represent in "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas?
In the final stanza of Dylan Thomas's *Do not go gentle into that good night*, he says, > And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. ... more