66 Answered Questions for the topic Symbolism
What is the meaning of the rescue of Tashtego?
In Moby Dick, Tashtego falls into the sinking head of a sperm whale from which the crew was extracting the spermaceti; he is saved by Queequeg who cuts the head and extracts Tashtego as if the head... more
What is the symbolism of the yo-yo in V.?
The yo-yo is mentioned often in Thomas Pynchon's *V.*, including in a few chapter names. What does it symbolize?
Origin of symbolic interpretation of Prospero's breaking of his staff?
At the end of *The Tempest*, which is generally believed to be the last plays that Shakesepare wrote alone, Prospero breaks his staff and drowns his book. This has often been read as Shakespeare... more
What is "This is Just to Say" about?
In ["This is Just to Say"](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Just_To_Say) by William Carlos Williams, the speaker appears to deliver an apology for stealing the plums of the person at whom the... more
Symbolism of Albus Dumbledore's name in Harry Potter?
What is the symbolism of the name Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter? - '[Albus](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/albus)' means white - '[Dumbledore](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dumbledore)' is a... more
What does the physical Scarlet Letter represent?
I love *The Scarlet Letter*, but I surprised to find out that I did not even know what it was supposed to represent. Its significance seemed to change throughout the book. Is there one central... more
What does the "crimson hexagon" represent in "The Library of Babel"?
In *The Library of Babel* by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker says, > They were urged on by the delirium of trying to reach the books in the Crimson Hexagon: books whose format is smaller than... more
Why were these animals used to represent the different countries in Maus?
In Art Spiegelman's *Maus*, he represents different people from different countries as different animals. For instance, he represents the Jews as mice, the Germans as cats, the Polish as pigs, the... more
Who does Mollie represent in Animal Farm?
It's well known that various characters represent real Soviet figures. Who does Mollie, the horse sympathetic to the humans, represent? Is she just a generic non-Soviet sympathizer or does she... more
What is the symbolism of the conch in Lord of the Flies?
In the *Lord of the Flies*, the conch is shattered when Piggy dies. Before that, it was held by Ralph, the *de facto* leader of the boys. What does the conch symbolize?
To the Lighthouse -- "Whitening before rain"?
From Virgina Woolf's To the Lighthouse: > It was fringed with joy. The wheelbarrow, the lawnmower, the sound of poplar trees, **leaves whitening before rain**, rooks cawing brooms knocking,... more
Is the Whisperer or the Emergency symbolic?
In *The Mysterious Benedict Society* series, the Whisperer is a machine that transmits thoughts and implants messages in people's brains, usually harmful. And the Emergency is the tense, stressful... more
Symbolism in The House on the Borderland?
I just read William Hope Hodgson's *The House on the Borderland*. Is the implication that the man's relationship with his live-in sister inclines to incest? Are the swine intended as symbols of... more
What does the rose represent in "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner?
In *A Rose for Emily* by William Faulkner, Faulkner never mentions rose as a noun, only as a past tense verb throughout the work. However, its position as one of two primary words within the title,... more
Does Snape talk in code?
In *Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone*, Snape asks Harry many questions during his first Potions class. The first thing Snape asks Harry is >“Potter! What would I get if I added... more
Benvolio and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet?
What do the characters of Benvolio and Mercutio in *Romeo and Juliet* symbolize, if anything? Mercutio's character mainly provides jokes, and then, in his hot-headedness, is slain by Tybalt.... more
What concept of love does Tolstoy suggest in Anna Karenina?
I know one of the characteristics of realistic works is they are mostly formulated as some independent studies of the life of society but, at the same time, I realise that the dominant approach to... more
What does the raven symbolize (besides death)?
Whenever I ask a friend about the symbolism of the Raven from *The Raven*, they always seem to say death. **Is that the only thing the Raven is meant to symbolize?**
What did "Moloch" represent in Allen Ginsberg´s poem "Howl"?
In Allen Ginsberg´s poem "Howl", what did "Moloch" represent? > What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? >Moloch! Solitude!... more
What is the symbolism of the Western Wind (or Zephyr)?
I was reading some poetry and I stumbled upon the four-line ['Western Wind' by Anonymous](https://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/poetry_in_motion/atlas/newyork/western_wind/), written in the 16th... more
What does a dog barking at a crow signify?
In *[Much ado about nothing](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Much_Ado_About_Nothing)* by William Shakespeare, Act 1 Scene 1, Beatrice declares to Benedick >'I had rather hear my dog bark at a... 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 does the "good night" symbolize in Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night"?
*Do not go gentle into that good night* by Dylan Thomas, he begins with "Do not go gentle into that good night". He also uses this as one of two alternating refrains. In this poem, what does the... 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
In "Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote" is Menard an analogy for a critical lens?
In *Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote* by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator of the work talks about how when he read *Don Quixote* after having been told that Pierre Menard had rewritten it with... more