Symbolism In Kate Chopin's Ripe Figs

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Authors use many different symbols to help their readers understand their point of view. They may use a storm to symbolize a fight or the beauty and temptation that comes with a bouquet of lilies. Kate Chopin’s short story “Ripe Figs” uses symbolism to represent patients, maturity and time. The first symbol that Kate uses is patients. Which is a virtue that many people don’t have. Maman-Nainaine told Babette “when the figs were ripe” (11) she would be allowed to go visit her cousins in the Bayou-Lafourche. To a young girl, that probably seemed like an eternity. Maman-Nainaine was trying to show Babette that all things are possible if you just have patience. Maman-Nainaine was also being taught a lesson. She was “as patient as the statue of…show more content…
All people mature at their own pace. Some people mature at a very fast rate because of the environment that they are in. Others mature more slowly because they are never taught to take care of themselves. In this story, Maman-Nainaine is watching her god-daughter mature into a young lady. Babette is like the young figs. She is green and inexperienced. Maman-Nainaine is guiding Babette to help her with the rest of her adult life. To mature from a young innocent girl to a beautiful strong independent women. The figs were also maturing. At the beginning of the story, they “were like hard little green marbles,” (11) and by the end they had matured into the luscious purple fruit that Babette had been waiting so patiently for. Maman-Nainaine realizes that Babette has matured how she wanted her to in the spring. She feels comfortable allowing her to…show more content…
Maman-Nainaine understood that it was going to take time for the figs to ripen because “that is the way Maman-Nainaine was.” (11) She understood the concept of time because that’s how they timed their lives. She knew these things because they didn’t have electricity. They had to know the precise time to plant and harvest their crops. They used the changing seasons as a time line. Kate Chopin helps her readers understand Maman-Nainaine better because of her age. Babette, on the other hand, does not understand time. She does not understand that it takes time for the figs to ripen. She also does not understand why Maman-Nainaine is making her wait so long to see her family members. Babette may also see the time as a new beginning for herself. The more time progresses, the more she realizes that her life will be a new adventure. This didn’t keep Babette from being “as restless as a humming bird.”(11) The reader also sees the concept of time when Babette presents the figs to Maman-Nainaine. “How early the figs have ripened this year.” (12) Babette doesn’t understand what her god-mother is trying to announce to her. Babette thinks that she has waited far too long, but in reality, she hasn’t waited long enough. “I think they have ripened very late,” (12) said Babette. Maman-Nainaine also tells Babette to tell Frosine she “shall look for her at Toussaint when the chrysanthemums are in

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