Hidden Beneath Symbolism Essay

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A reader is able to acquire a better understanding and clever grasp of an author’s main points by the usage of symbolism. Symbolism is a technique used to metaphorically compare objects or words to what the words really mean. Sometimes a reader can overlook these symbols. Why does an author hide answers beneath these symbols? It makes the reading more in depth and critical—a method of reading between the lines. Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” and Glaspell’s “Trifles” use symbols to give a more effective understanding to what the author is trying to address without giving the answers directly. The play “Trifles,” Glaspell uses symbolic clues in the murder mystery. The reader is left to find the clues given to understand the play. For example, the dead canary can symbolize many things. Mrs. Hale compared the dead canary to Mrs. Wright, “…was kind of like a bird herself—real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery.” (191) Those were just personality characteristics, but going more in depth the canary could also be compared to Mrs. Wright’s singing voice. Mrs. Hale realizes that the Mr. Wright could have possibly killed the bird by pointing out that, “… Wright wouldn’t like a bird—a thing that sang. She used to sing. He killed that, too.”(192) The canary was killed was just the way Mrs. Wright’s husband was killed, both being strangled. Instead of thinking that Mrs. Wright killed her husband the way he killed her bird, another scenario is that she is insane and killed both the bird and her husband. The reader is then to ponder the situation and answers to mystery because the answers are never given. The quilt also has significance to Glaspell’s play. The quilt was mentioned a couple of times and usually an author brings reoccurring objects for the purpose of using the quilt symbolically. In this case, the quilt brought differences

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