Blue Against White

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In the story “Blue against White”, the author, Jeannette C. Armstrong, writes about a native girl coming home to her reserve after spending time in the city. The topic of memories is very apparent throughout the story as the main character, Lena, is reminiscing through most of it. Whether we like it or not, life always goes on and sometimes, there are things we don’t really pay attention to until it’s too late. Memories can help to keep the past alive and get us through some pretty tough situations. In the story, Lena thinks about her time in the city and how she got through it with her memories of the place she grew up in. Armstrong represents her idea of memory of the past in her text with the use of the blue door as a symbol, comparing and contrasting the “blue against white” of the story, and enabling the reader to visualize the scenes that are happening in the story.

There are many symbols in the story “Blue against White”. The most noticeable one being the blue door since it is mentioned throughout the story repeatedly. I believe the blue door represents Lena’s home, the place she knows best and feels safe at. Lena thinks of the door when she’s unable to be at home, she keeps it in her mind almost as a lucky charm that protects her when she’s feeling scared or vulnerable. This is shown on page ninety-two paragraph three when Armstrong writes, “It had been there as always, a bright blue against the white. A blue barrier against the cold north wind. A cool blue shield against the summer heat.” The blue barrier and shield represents Lena’s home or at least, her memories of her home. Those memories, in turn, protect her when she’s alone in an unfamiliar place against anything ranging from the “cold north wind” to “the summer heat”.

As the title would suggest, the “blue” in the story is been contrasted by “white”. Since the blue represents Lena’s home, somewhere she’s very comfortable in, I believe white would represent the city, a place where Lena feels...
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