Symbolism Essays


The Great Gatsby Essay (Completed in 2019)

Topics The theme of unrequited love in The Great Gatsby Discuss the fallibility of youth in The Great Gatsby Discuss the primacy of socioeconomic status as it manifests in The Great Gatsby: which characters confront it with the most grace? Which with the least? If Daisy and Jay had been members of the same socioeconomic class would they have ended up together? Why or why not? Provide textual evidence. Nick Carraway goes to great lengths to show and tell the reader that he is a reliable narrator: discuss three concretes way he does this and how successful they are. How Continue Reading...

Renaissance and Rise Of Humanism in Painting

The Tribute Money (ca. 1420) is a perfect illustration of the complex formula of Renaissance religious symbolism and naturalistic beauty that characterized the works of art at this time. It tells the narrative story found in Matthew 17:24-27 in which Jesus and His disciples come to Capernaum and are told that they must pay the tribute. Jesus asks Simon Peter whether the children of the king or strangers pay the tribute. Peter answers that strangers pay it. Christ then asserts that the children of the king are thus to be considered free and instructs Peter to catch a fish… Continue Reading...

Dome Of St Peters Basilica

Brunelleschi in Florence in the early 1400s established a new Renaissance aesthetic by blending religious symbolism with mathematical and classical principles that he drew from visits to ancient ruins of Rome as well as from Vitruvius' De Architectura. This paper will describe how Brunelleschi's unique blend inspired a new movement in Renaissance architecture -- a movement that began with the Dome of the Florence Cathedral and stretched through to the production of the Dome of St. Peter's Basilica under Michelangelo, whose plan was a kind of compromise between the Brunelleschi-inspired plan of Bramante and the more crux-like design of… Continue Reading...

Byzantine Art from the Middle Ages

of events depicted over an arrangement of panels, windows or walls, or through suggestive symbolism that told a tale of the subject's life, mission, teaching, or ideas (Johnson). "Form ever follows function" (Sullivan 405) then as now. Art was used to teach people religious stories about the Virgin Mary, the life of Christ, the lives of the saints, the dictates of their religion, the virtues that they should cultivate, and the vices they should avoid. The form of the art works was meant to uplift and inspire and, thanks in no small part to the Crusades, the artistic world… Continue Reading...

‘araby’ by James Joyce

setting of a story is one of the powerful elements that are often used as a link of symbolism between the character and his life. It sets the mood for the story as well as depicts the mental state of the character's mind in consonance with the theme of the story. Araby is based on the oppression people are facing in the name of religion which causes them to have a very false perspective of reality. Description of the setting Araby is set in Dublin, Ireland and the story locale is a North Richmond Street that is depicted as… Continue Reading...

What the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Represents

the ceiling's artwork was intended for a Christian audience, the complex symbolism presented therein should be interpreted from this theologically Christian perspective, with, of course, a nod to the classical humanism underscoring the Renaissance perspective at the time. Interestingly, the center frame portrait of the ceiling is not the depiction of the creation of man or a depiction of the fall of man (these images are on either end of the center picture): the center image is a depiction of the creation of woman from the side of man. This image is given a special place in the ceiling,… Continue Reading...

Renaissance Painting Leonardos Last Supper

across from them on the other side of the table. In both of these representations, the symbolism is clear: John is the disciple who most loves Our Lord and that love is the center narrative of the painting -- juxtaposed with Judas's self-love and ultimate betrayal of Christ. In Leonardo's painting, these symbolic representations are less obvious. Leonardo places Judas on the same side of the table as the other Apostles. He is recognizable because he is cast in shadow whereas the other disciples are not, and his neck is twisted to symbolize his later hanging -- his act… Continue Reading...

The Secret Lion by Alberto Alvaro Rios Review

little boys. Indeed, some of the sentences constitute two or three words, e.g. 'so didn't.' symbolism is used largely to express the message of the story. The lion is used to show the boys' innocence that was continuously terrified. The grinding ball is also used to express the fascinating innocent encounters in life's way. Arroyo was a symbol of a safe ground of escape from the threats of life. Apart from the symbolism, the setting and characters in the narrative are used to provide an expression of transformation from boyhood to adulthood. The lion is also used to show the… Continue Reading...

Aztec and Pre Aztec and Inca Civilization

did not construct all the elements at Teotihuacan, the Aztec people adopted the geometric and structural symbolism of the site. Aztec deities could then be transposed and superimposed on the architecture of Teotihuacan. Both the Aztecs and the Incas used grid patterns for overall urban layout and construction, as well as radial layouts that facilitate the movement of human beings within the space. The movement of human beings within the spaces of Machu Picchu and Teotihuacan is carefully designed, dependent on the layout of avenues and corridors of movement as well as the positioning of the entrances to buildings.… Continue Reading...

Male Chastity in Novel Joseph Andrews

uses humor and satire when speaking of "male chastity." Throughout Joseph Andrews, there is sexual innuendo and symbolism as with Andrews's "office" being to "perform the part the ancients assigned to the God Priapus," as well as the use of the funny name "booby." The author cleverly juxtaposes the sexual imagery with the theme of modesty and chastity. Yet sexual innuendo is not the author's only comedic trope. He also uses clever literary devices, such as reversing the nickname for Joseph, saying that he was called "Joey, but "we shall hereafter" call him Joseph (p. 24). With Joseph's Christian… Continue Reading...

Sigmund Freud & the Human Condition

work and ideas have greatly influenced psychological imaginations and popularized notions such as Freudian sleep and dream symbolism, defense mechanism, unconsciousness, and many more. These notions have greatly contributed to films, literature, and theories such as feminism, psychology, philosophy and criticism. Freud is also known for theories such as unconscious mind, specifically those revolving around repression mechanism. He redefined sexual desire as mobile and believed that it is directed towards a wide variety of objects. His therapeutic techniques improved the understanding of transference in therapeutic relationship. The technique presumed that human beings are able to gain insight into the… Continue Reading...

Buddhist Versus Hindu Architecture

religious structures and the proportions of the Buddha are reflected in the designs of religious structures (" symbolism of the Stupa," 2012). One example of the reverence of the physical Buddha's body is the Ruwanweliseya (Great Stupa) located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The Chorten's foundation symbolizes the earth; its dome symbolizes water; and its steps symbolize the thirteen stages of Enlightenment in Buddhism ("symbolism of the Stupa," 2012). The final symbol is that of wind in the form of a parasol, signifying the unity of sun and moon ("symbolism of the Stupa," 2012). It is important to note, however, that… Continue Reading...

Scott Fitzgeralds Babylon Revisited

is meant discusses such things through exploration of themes and symbolism throughout the story, especially memory and remembrance, something is inherently tied to life and reflection. Aside from having a real-life foundation, there are several themes within the story that provide some insight into the thoughts and ruminations of the author. For example, a prevailing theme within the story is the inability to escape the past. Charlie, one of the main characters, seems to be unable to escape his wilder days. The memories of Paris haunt him, following him everywhere he goes. A good example of that is when… Continue Reading...

Ramayana Mahabharata Divine Incarnation

an actual political practice in the subcontinent. Human beings have a tendency to confuse the symbolism of avatar with real life; the same can be said for the Christian myth (Halligan, n.d., p. 89). On the other hand, the hero of the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna, incarnates as a fully divine being who self-consciously instructs the world of humans on the cosmological and theological order, which is presented as being far more important than the world of human affairs. Monogamy, marriage, and chastity are unimportant in the bellicose world of the Mahabharata. The heroes of the epic battles depicted in… Continue Reading...

Exegesis Of Pauls Letter to Philemon

union with Christ until the end of days. The literal prison takes on metaphorical and metaphysical symbolism in Paul's work as Paul bolsters the spirits of the Christian community. This idea of Christians as free, even free to take on the yoke of imprisonment or bondage is also reflected in Paul's comment that he is "bold enough in Christ to command" Philemon to do his duty but would rather Philemon do it on the basis of love (1:8). Christians are always free, even if they are in prison like Paul, because they can choose to redeem themselves, like Philemon's… Continue Reading...

Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickenson

death as the harbinger of eternal life. Otherwise, the poem lacks overt Christian symbolism or references to God. Eternal life is the framework that helps the speaker understand and accept death better. Comment by Author: John 3:16 ESV / 167 helpful votes "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.Romans 6:23 ESV / 125 helpful votes For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.John 17:3 ESV / 113 helpful votes… Continue Reading...

The Human Condition and Its Diversity

exploit the various aspects of the human condition through the use of divine symbolism and representative canvases.  Divine symbolism is used to convey profound spirituality and to demonstrate the spiritual aspect of the human condition.  Through this, the artists convey the depth of human emotion using a universal visual language that involves a combination of abstract forms and colors.  An example of such artwork is Composition VII in 1913, which communicated deeper human emotions and themes (The Art Story par, 5).  The other way with which visual arts expresses or exploits the various aspects of the human condition is… Continue Reading...

Feminism in Frankenstein Introduction

promotes the novel as a whole by prompting the reader to pay attention to its autobiographical symbolism and feminist discourse within a Romantic framework. The 1831 introduction shows that Shelley's Frankenstein is a novel that covertly addresses gender identity and explores the pitfalls of patriarchy. For one, the sardonic introduction lambastes the publishers' persistent questions about the origins of the novel, almost as if the publishers had been pestering Shelley because they did not believe that she was capable of writing the story herself. O'Rourke points out that in the 1831 edition in which the introduction appears, Shelley also… Continue Reading...

Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Literacy

primary work of literature that can be analyzed and discussed in class for its manifest content, artwork, or symbolism. Another way to use the medium of comic books or graphic novels is as Taylor does in " 'He's Gotta Be Strong, and He's Gotta Be Fast, and He's Gotta Be Larger Than Life,'" which uses comic books to discuss the broader issues related to gender, stereotyped masculinity, and the aesthetics of the male form. A growing body of empirical evidence shows that the instructional and cognitive value of comic books can be integrated into emerging pedagogical methods. For example,… Continue Reading...

Eucharist and Different Models Of Sacrifice

mainly that "God accepts no sacrifice from human beings," including ritual sacrifice, thereby denying the efficacy of the lamb symbolism (Peters, 2006, p. 234). The scapegoat symbol ultimately transmutes the outmoded concept of ritual sacrifice, which is anathema to the new Covenant. Although the happy exchange model corresponds best to the Cooke (1994) concept of Eucharist as communion, the use of communion and Eucharistic sacrament to convey Jesus's living sacrifice is a critical component of Catholic worship. The Eucharist represents the cultivation of a new Covenant with God, based not on the Old Testament ritual sacrifice but on a… Continue Reading...

How Artists Drive Gentrification and Political Issues

the community, they also helped to preserve the architectonic structure and its symbolism (Pallares-Barbera, Dot and Casellas, 2012). In fact, gentrification is both a material process and a symbolic act (Makagon 2010). Tri-stage gentrification is increasingly becoming normative in urban centers around the world. In fact, Makagon (2010) suggests that gentrification is never accidental, and always requires partnerships between city governments, land developers, and the artist-pioneers who generated the cultural capital that made those gentrification projects possible in the first place. One notable exception to receiving public support might be Istanbul. In Istanbul, artists eschew government support as a… Continue Reading...

Hawthorne Vs Poe Story Comparison

well as the inevitable realities underlying human nature. The novels and short tales of fiction teem with symbolism, attempting at offering deeper understandings of story plots. Typically, symbolism forms a component of the context’s natural backdrop or is integrated into the characters’ development. The aforementioned two elements of writing prove central to the styles of Hawthorne and Poe. Hawthorne regards setting to be highly vital to a tale’s comprehension and practicality. However, the author doesn’t devote much time to illustrating several of his tales’ setting, in comparison to the depth of characters’ thinking described for readers’ benefit. For instance, in… Continue Reading...

Symbolism and Setting in Masque Of Red Death

delivers his theme that no one escapes death in his short story “Masque of the Red Death” through symbolism, setting, and narration. The colors of the room serve as symbols of life, with the red room serving as a symbol of blood and of the horror that awaits the revelers as the plague that they think they have escaped makes its way in to their party. The setting is also important. It is a party held in an abbey, secluded from the rest of the country, and the people are celebrating while those outside are dying. There is a… Continue Reading...

Super Size Me Documentary Review

any of it for yourself), and it is about symbolism and tradition. McDonald’s has the ultimate symbol (the Golden Arches), which the kids trace in the air as they sing their song, and which rivals perhaps the American flag as the Western symbol most united to prosperity. In this light, Spurlock casts his subversive film, highlighting the Founder’s values which are rooted in common sense (of course if you take care of the customer, the business will take care of itself), and connecting it to innocence and to the foundations of the country. Somewhere along the way, Spurlock suggests… Continue Reading...

Dreams the Unconscious Mind and Defense Mechanisms

the uniqueness of dreams among an older age cohort. The Jungian perspective offers fresh insight into dream analysis and symbolism, allowing the researcher and therapist to blend elements from mythology, symbolism, metaphysics, and transpersonal psychology. As the symbols of the subconscious mind during the waking state blend with the unconscious mind’s dream lexicon, the therapist can easily aid the older client to find meaning and resolve existential crises. The process of psychotherapy can be used to trigger improved dream recall, which then allows the client to reflect on the surfacing material. Manifest material in dreams can offer clues to… Continue Reading...

My Papa’s Waltz Poem Analysis

for the father’s behavior, adding to the dramatic tension in the poem. Music and dance symbolism also add a potent degree of irony to the poem, as a waltz is typically associated with fine art and not with domestic violence. The subtle cues in the poem related to gender and socioeconomic class do, however, show that Roethke deliberately chose the waltz specifically as a means of making social commentary. A formal dance, the waltz has a specific structure in which the male is supposed to lead the two-person partnership. The speaker of “My Papa’s Waltz” affirms this, especially by… Continue Reading...

The American Dream Essay

ones they left on the British shores. While the symbolism of the American Dream came from the settlers to what is now the United States, the actual phrase existed centuries later. The true origin of the phrase was first mentioned in 1931, by a middlebrow historian James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America. In this book, the phrase appears for the first time in the Preface, when Adams refers to the ‘American dream of a better, richer, and happier life,’ adding that ‘that dream or hope has been present from the start’ (Kochan, 2007, p. 210).… Continue Reading...

Bartleby the Scrivener Analysis Essay

nut cookies that the narrator later finds in Bartleby’s work area that may bear suggestive symbolism. Themes Work and Obligation One of the major themes of the short story revolves around ideas about work and obligation in connection with human existence. Notions of what the worker owes his boss and owes himself are alluded to as is the idea of a lowly worker expressing preference. Melville did not haphazardly give Bartleby the job of a copyist by accident: he selected a position that was purposely monotonous. This is a unifying theme as so many readers can relate to such… Continue Reading...

My Papa\'s Waltz Analysis Essay

often uncomplicated love that children have for their parents, at least when they are young. symbolism Roethke uses symbolism deftly throughout the poem to convey meaning and also to hide meaning. Obviously, the strongest use of symbolism occurs in the title and throughout the poem—the reference to waltzing. Throughout the poem the reader can never be completely sure what is going on between the father and son. Is it a lighthearted game? Is it a type of dancing? Is it a drunken scuffle? Is it a drunken reprimand? There are enough dark elements in the poem to suggest that there… Continue Reading...

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

is a significant note from the trustworthy narrator as it indicates symbolism of intense importance. Scout seeks clarification from Miss Maudie who agrees that Atticus is correct as “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (93).     This motif is the overarching nucleus of the novel. It suggests that there are certain people in life who just give to the world, via their… Continue Reading...

The Great Gatsby Essay

equate it with money or the proverbial green traffic light. Connect it with a new symbolism and discuss why the light must be green or shouldn’t be green. Abstract This essay examines one of the most memorable and important works of 20th century fiction: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though tepidly received by critics at the time, the novel has gone on to secure a permanent place as one of the greatest books ever written about the Jazz Age. This paper discusses a summary of the novel, a brief analysis, a character rundown and some of the… Continue Reading...

Catcher in the Rye Essay

Pick one object that Holden mentions or encounters and discuss the symbolism it suggests. Money and class are a strong influence on Holden and in the novel, often influencing some of his actions. Discuss. While the Catcher in the Rye has some dated elements to it, the core of the novel is still unquestionably relevant today. Agree or disagree. What is “the core of the novel”? Holden’s use of sarcasm is often hilarious, though he often uses it as a strategic tool: sometimes to mollify his reality, other times to dismiss things he doesn’t understand, other times as a… Continue Reading...

The Palace Of the Emperor Titus

and Fall of Roman Empire, Little Brown & Company, 1854, 323.] Titus used myth and symbolism to control his subjects by communicating stories that had moral elements that his subjects could apply to their own lives. For example, the Palace of Titus housed the Laocoon statue which depicts the story of Laocoon, a priest from Troy, who was killed along with his sons when they tried to show that the Greeks’ Trojan Horse was a trick by piercing the horse with a spear. They were attacked by snakes, and that is what is depicted in the statue. Throughout history, snakes… Continue Reading...

Ironic Humor in Trifles by Susan Glaspell

in cages. This paper will show how Glaspell uses symbolism in Trifles to illustrate the oppression of womanhood prior to their sociopolitical emancipation in the 20th century—and the ill effects that could follow that oppression when the jars of sanity began to break. Symbols abound in Trifles—and all of them serve as an indication of how Mrs. Wright was pushed the brink. First, there is the symbol of the rocking chair—a chair that is never still or firmly planted on the ground but always moving back and forth, front to back. It is a symbol of nervousness and unsteadiness.… Continue Reading...

Dolci and the Counter Reformation

of the painting, to enhance it dramatically, and to help express a sociopolitical and religious symbolism. The finely and richly dressed Salome, clad in a 16th century gown, represents the contemporary slayer of and antagonist towards the Church, itself represented by St. John the Baptist, whose head is on a platter. Works Cited Barr, Beth Allison. The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England. Boydell Press, 2008. Elton, G. R. Reform and Reformation: England, 1509-1558. MA: Harvard University Press, 1977. Galardi, Giusti and Maria Sframeli. Artists’ Self-Portraits from the Uffizi. Skira, 2007. (Illus. 1). Carlo Dolci, Salome with… Continue Reading...

Mount Rushmore

Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln—some of whom were slave owners makes the monument’s symbolism troubling. Q3. What is your purpose for writing? (What do you hope to accomplish? Why are you writing?) The purpose of writing is to problematize an iconic mountain which has been taken for granted. Analyzing Your Readers Many readers view iconic symbols like Mount Rushmore as good in an uncomplicated fashion. On the other hand, there is also an increasing urge to question the Manifest Destiny narrative of American history, which suggests that America has always been the greatest nation on earth and had… Continue Reading...

Muslim Women in Eastern and Western Literature

Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, 2017, p. 101. Ujayli, Zaina. "The Empty Harem: Negotiating Muslim Women’s symbolism through Literature." The Knowledge Bank at The Ohio State University, Nov. 2017, kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/81624/Ujayli_Empty_Harem.pdf?sequence=1. Updike, John. Terrorist: A Novel. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2012.   Continue Reading...

Literary Analysis on Novel Invention Of Wings Sue Monk Kidd

law in order to make the world a better place. symbolism also helps tie together the disparate worlds in which Hetty and Sarah live. Thick with symbolism related to the theme of flying and the freedom flight implies, The Invention of Wings also shows how gender and race intersect in oppressive, patriarchal societies. Setting is integral and indispensible in The Invention of Wings, a quintessentially Southern novel. Whereas the shift in point of view between the two main characters demonstrates their differences, symbols and setting illuminate the similarities between Hetty and Sarah. Kidd capitalizes on the motif of slavery… Continue Reading...

Sue Monk Kidd\\\'s Invention Of Wings Literary Analysis

the feather that rushes upward on the sea winds early in the novel. This use of symbolism works together with the theme of power: the slaves have the yearning for freedom, which they hold in their hearts and minds, but they lack the power to make freedom possible. That is where Sarah and her sister come into play. Sarah loses the power of speech because of her stutter—the result of her trauma at seeing the brutality of slavery. She also lacks power as a child. However, she gains power from her father’s library and all its books. Kidd conveys this… Continue Reading...

Compare and Contrast the Lottery and the Rocking Horse Winner

harmful social norms. B. Both Lawrence and Jackson use literary devices like symbolism, irony, and characterization to convey the theme of conformity. II. Characterization is central to both of these short stories, helping to show how weakness and lack of self-awareness lead to blind conformity, causing suffering and even death. A. The mother in “The Rocking Horse Winner” is like Bill Hutchinson in “The Lottery,” even though the latter could have prevented his wife’s death. B. Tessie and Paul are both sacrificial lambs, although Tessie does realize the stupidity of the social rules governing the community. III. The authors use… Continue Reading...

State Attributes and Structures

State Attributes & Structures Extractive Performance symbolism Regulation and Transparency Distributive Performance Political Recruitment Cuba location – Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Key West, Florida Area- 110,860 sq km, rank - 107 Population – 11,147,407 rank - 80 Government— Communist state International – ACP, ALBA, WHO, WTO $132.9 billion, rank 80 Transparency CPI score - 47 GDP per capita - $11,900 Literacy - 99.8% Longevity – 78.8 FH Freedom rating – 6.5/7 Civil Liberties score – 6/7 FH Political Rights… Continue Reading...

The Palace Of the Emperor Titus

[7: Gibbon, Edward, Decline and Fall of Roman Empire, Little Brown & Company, 1854, 323.] Titus used myth and symbolism to control his subjects by communicating stories that had moral elements that his subjects could apply to their own lives. For example, the Palace of Titus housed the Laocoon statue which depicts the story of Laocoon, a priest from Troy, who was killed along with his sons when they tried to show that the Greeks’ Trojan Horse was a trick by piercing the horse with a spear. They were attacked by snakes, and that is what is depicted in the… Continue Reading...

Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston

compose fiction through the lenses of gender and ethnicity. Both authors use symbolism, imagery, and rhetorical strategies to provide unique insight into Asian American experiences and identity. Likewise, both Tan and Kingston show how gender impacts their self-concept and status within the overarching patriarchal society. Their work can and should be read concurrently to best appreciate the gamut, diversity, and breath of the Asian-American female experience. Although Tan and Kingston naturally have different perspectives based on their own personal experiences and also on their different social and political goals, these two authors share much in common in terms of… Continue Reading...

Bangladesh and Its Connection to the World

linked to the region’s floodplains. Ever since, Bangladeshi national identity has been increasingly associated with Islamic symbolism rather than the Hindu Bengali, reinforcing the differences between the Islamic Bangladesh and the Hindu Indian state of West Bengal. The famed Bengali poets, Kazi Nurul Islam and Rabindranath Tagore have enshrined Bengal’s sense of the region’s power and beauty (Harris 2010). References Bangladesh (2018). Retrieved 27 April from https://www.communicaid.com/country/bangladesh/ Harris M. (2010). Countries and their Cultures: Bangladesh. Retrieved April 27, 2018 from http://www.everyculture.com/A-Bo/Bangladesh.html#ixzz5DrR8CndV Hossain, A. A. (2012). Islamic resurgence in Bangladesh’s culture and politics: origins, dynamics and implications. Journal of Islamic… Continue Reading...

Paleo & Archaic Periods

of authority of the others in the community. The rock art indicates that whatever meaning and symbolism the Mural conveyed, it had immense significance based just on the size of the painting alone (scaffolding would have been needed to complete the painting as the Mural reaches up over 13 feet high) and the clustering of shapes and images as well as well as the variety of colors used in the painting.[footnoteRef:8] All this detail and differentiation indicates that something very significant was transpiring in this communicative text. Regardless of what it was, the progression over the centuries and millennia… Continue Reading...

American Poetry Robert Hayden Those Winter

poem is brief and to the point, its imagery straightforward rather than cloaked in symbolism. As such, the poem reveals itself to the reader and remains dedicated to revealing its main theme related to the generation gap between parents and their children. Deeper analyses and historical context also show that Hayden conveyed the intricacies of intersectionality: particularly between race, class, and gender. Imagery is central to Hayden’s delivery and to the conveyance of the main themes of “Those Winter Sundays.” The title of the poem immediately envelops the reader in the narrator’s landscape: the cold, brutal “blueback cold” of… Continue Reading...

American Literature Identity What It Means to Be

Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiographical novel. As such, the latter contains much more symbolism and metaphor than the former, which offers a more straightforward insight into what it means to be American. Like other seminal works of African-American literature from slave narratives onwards, Angelou’s text focuses on the theme of liberation: of knowing that freedom is possible and being willing to persist throughout oppression, trauma, ridicule, and all manner of demeaning circumstances in order to pave the way for a better America for future generations. Like Frederick Douglass, for instance, Angelou knew that the Constitution… Continue Reading...