Symbols in Short Stories

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Symbols in Short Stories The controversy of whether people think there are symbols in short stories is an ongoing discussion especially in are classroom. I strongly feel that there are indeed symbols in short stories for a lot of different reasons. First of all I think all the stories that we have read in class so far this semester all have symbols in them. These stories include “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield, “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant, “The Swimmer” by Jon Cheever, “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The guest” by Albert Camus, and “The Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. Also I feel the majority of short stories I have read outside of the class and in other English classes have had symbols in them. Every story has an object or thing that is important and stands for something else. Symbols are seen throughout almost everything as long as it has a plot and meaning. The story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London has a pretty noticeable symbol throughout the story. This symbol is the fire. The fire is a repeating symbol in London’s story because it is a life-sustaining force that is barley keeping the man alive. In the deadly cold of the Yukon area the fire is used for warmth to keep the body going. It’s also used as a protection from wild animals and to make food so you don’t die of starvation. The fire is what keeps the man alive until he accidentally puts it out in the end which eventually kills him. So as we can all see the fire is the symbol that will determine if the man survives or not. In the story “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant the major symbol throughout the story is the necklace. This is a symbol in the story because it acts as the power of perception and the difference between appearance and reality. Mathilde borrows the necklace just so she looks

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