Symbolism Essay Research Paper I have

Symbolism Essay, Research Paper

: I have never understood the purpose of digging about for symbolism in and

author’s work, and comparing the symbolism in 2

authors’ works seems ven more of an exercise in academic futility. Perhaps

this is a neurological flaw, as I am hardwired more

toward logical pursuits: words are logical symbols for objects, emotions,

events, etc. Comparison of the symbolism in two

disparate works or two authors seemed at best a logical fallacy, and at worst

an invasive and unprofessional psychological case

study of what goes on in a writer’s head.

: I don’t mean to sound like a “wiseass.” One professor of mine in colloge

almost succeeded in killing any love I had for

literature–and short-stories in particular–by pointing out ad nauseum every

“symbol.” I remeber seething as he stood in front of

the class dissecting Flannery O’Connor: Her is a guy who probably hadn’t left

Brooklyn until he entered Harvard, and had spent

most of his life in the rarefied environmnet of academia. Did he honestly

know anything about the life of a 40-something,

intelligent, articulate woman who lived in the South; where women were

traditionally depended on the men with whom they

were affiliated for protection and their identities; where a woman’s opinion

on politics or social issues was insignificant? I could

not see how he possibly arrived at his conclusions–which I’ve forgotten, or


: At the risk of branding my self as a plebian from the cultural wasteland, I

missed the point of searching for symbolism. Is there

a point–other than assigning a grade–to parsing a writer’s words for

symbolism? And assuming there is, who’s to say that the

symbolism percieved by any one doctoral candidate is even valid if there’s no

corroboration from the writer about what was

actually going on in his mind at a given point in a story. If you dwell on

such things long enough don’t you risk seeing things that

just aren’t there?


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