Symbolism Essay

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A Foreshadowing Symbol “Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity.” -Stephen King When stories are being written by any author there is a story line and for any story worth reading there is an underlying story line as well. Authors imbed symbols and other underlying meanings to intensify the plot(s) by telling another story as well. Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities or meaning attributed to natural objects. In "Sweat," the most apparent symbol in the story is the title. It is also mentioned in the story, "Looka heah, Sykes, you done gone too fur. Ah been married to you fur fifteen years, and Ah been takin' in washin' fur fifteen years. Sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat." The "Sweat" is the product of Delia's hard work supporting them. The “sweat” stands for her work ethic and how she has tried to make her work as best as she can, a big part of her life. Another easily recognized symbol in this story is that of the snake. "Sykes, what you throw dat whip on me like dat? You know it would skeer me - looks just like a snake, an' you knows how skeered Ah is of snakes.” The snake is the main symbol in this story, it ties it together because it is mentioned at the beginning of the story and at the end. Sykes decides to bring a snake into their home, "Look in de box dere Delia, Ah done brung yuh somethin'.Syke! Syke, mah Gawd! You take dat rattlesnake ‘way from heah! You gottuh. Oh, Jesus, have mussy!” Certain objects and situations in the story suggest the influence of religion. The white clothes Delia washes in the story are symbolic of her character. White represents her virtue and saintly tendencies as she humbly tolerates Sykes' torment. The religious association of snakes and evil is present in two instances in this story. Sykes at one

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