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Symbolism in “The Chrysanthemums” and “A Rose for Emily.”

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  1. Introduction
  2. The strange man
  3. The end of her encounter
  4. Emily as a very prominent figure in the town
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Writers employ a wide variety of devices to further enhance the nature of their works. Whether through eloquent description or profound repetition, certain aspects of an author's technique lend a stronger reflection of the theme or idea behind the simple story. The effect can be likened to an onion, where upon layer after layer is firmly established making something so simple so much more complex and aningful. Symbolism is a very powerful and engaging factor to the reader, who may use it to form an even stronger bond or understanding with the material through association. In comparison with themselves, the reader begins to note the differences such symbols and allegories hold with relation to the actual character in the work, realizing that these
differences can be attributed to the subject's point-of-view. The author's ability to expound and tailor the devices of literature gives words a power beyond themselves.

[...] She is strong in body and mind and yet crippled by the weaknesses of her heart, her yearning for something more, beyond the casual conversation of her husband, the tedious consistency of her existence. Nature had flourished around her melancholy, evident in the fertile lands of her home. It remains surprising, although in retrospect it seems to be expected, that she should therefore bond with nature herself in order to experience the sensations of the life before her, the personal growth which she had been denied. [...]


[...] Her illusions were banished, for she finally allowed herself to realize that the man had merely taken an interest in her chrysanthemums in an effort at friendliness so that he could be rewarded with work. Elisa had known this and merely ignored it . But seeing it with her own eyes struck her, made her feel weak and exposed. turned up her coat collar so her husband, ?could not see that she was crying weakly?like an old woman? (262). She cried tears of betrayal and loneliness, coming to terms with the reality of her life, the void which she futilely hoped she could fill with the chrysanthemums. [...]

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