Symbolism and Imagery

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Symbols and imagery are used by poets and authors to make their writing more interesting and meaningful. Imagery is powerful as it gives a memorable and concrete idea of the ill effects of unrealized dreams. While symbols are used to strengthen the writing, making it more interesting by adding a layer of deeper meaning to it. This is something that Anne Michaels achieves in her poem Women on Beach. An example of imagery is shown in the line “Far away in a boat, someone wears a red shirt, a tiny stab in the pale sky” (Woman on a Beach, 3). This immediately creates an image that stimulates memories of our childhood. The visual imagery is used to show the contrast between sky and the shirt. The sky is very pale compared to the red shirt. The word ‘stab’ used reminds readers of blood and shows how bright that red shirt is compared to pale sky. Second example of imagery is shown in line, “The beach glows grainy under the sun's copper pressure, air the colour of tangerines” (Woman on a Beach, 7). This is an example of figurative imagery. Michaels is making the comparison of the colour of the air to that of the colour of tangerines describing the sunset. Readers are able to visualize the intensity of the sun’s heat with the word, “glow”, because sun’s rays are radiating against the sand and creating a “glow”. An example of symbolism was in line, “You three bodies form a curving shoreline” (Woman on a Beach, 5). This quote has a symbolic meaning of how the curves of three women sitting on the beach blends with the curves of shoreline. It suggests symbolically that women and nature are one entity and they both are part of each other. Second example of symbolism is shown in, “At dusk you are a small soft heap, a kind of moss. In the moonlight, a boulder of women.”(Woman on a Beach, 13).Here Michaels is comparing the woman to moss, “the boulder of women” which symbolizes how

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