Eng 125 Introduction to Literature

Topics: Short story, Fiction, Symbolism Pages: 8 (3319 words) Published: May 29, 2013
Amy Whitaker
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature

Symbolism to Convey Meaning
The way a reader analyzes a story is a direct result of the experiences that he or she has had, as well as, his or her environment (Clugston, 2010). That is important to remember because each reader will see any given story in a different way. Even though views are differing it does not make one view right and the other wrong. It is just based upon where the reader is at this point in his or her life. In the short story “Used to Live Here Once” by Jean Rhys and the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost there are many ways in which the reader may interpret what he or she has read. If the reader chooses to learn more about the author; the true meaning that the author is intending to convey may be revealed. Learning about the reader allows for the reader to get a sense of the writing style of the author. Furthermore, if the Author has had similar experiences in his or her life, it may show the inspiration behind the piece. The form the author has chosen may also reflect what is attempting to be portrayed in the story. “The Road Not Taken” and “Used to Live Here Once” are both stories of a journey. However, the stories actually go deeper then what the reader may originally see. Both Robert Frost and Jean Rhys use symbolism in order to convey a deeper meaning into the story. In “The Road Not Taken” the deeper meaning is the importance of choosing the right path. “Used to Live Here Once” on the other hand, has a deeper meaning of looking back on life after death. The symbolisms used in these stories gives clues into the meaning behind the journey and clues of the author’s life as well.

Jean Rhys writes “Used to Live Here Once” in the form of a short story. A short story is generally in the form of several different paragraphs. It is structured using proper punctuation and grammar. The short story “usually consists of between 500 and 10,000 words which typically set up and resolve a single narrative point or depicts a mood or atmosphere (Anonymous, 2010) Additionally, the author is allowed to go into great detail about the setting. In this short story, the reader is demonstrated this form throughout the story. At the beginning of “Used to Live Here Once”, Rhys shows this in the statement; “There was a round unsteady one, the pointed one, the flat one in the middle-the safe stone where she could stand and look around (Clugston, 2010).” This description of the stones across the river allows the reader to picture what the author was seeing. Additionally, as the story progresses, the use of detail is shown once again when Rhys writes; “Very fair children, as Europeans in the West Indies so often are; as if the white blood is asserting itself against all odds (Clugston, 2010).” Is another great example of how Rhys paints a picture in the reader’s mind from the details of the scene she has described. All of the details throughout the story allow for the reader to be drawn in and see what the writer is trying to portray. On the other hand, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is written in poem form. When writing in a poem form, the author must follow a certain restrictions, patterns, and rules. For instance; the sonnet which restricts the writer to 14 lines in which specific lines must rhyme. Another example of the strict rules of poetry is Limerick. The Limerick “structure consist of five lines: The first two lines and the third and fourth lines have rhyming end words, and the first and last lines often end with the same word (Clugston,2010).” This shows how much thought the author really has to put into the poem. However, poems do not require the author to write use perfect spelling and grammar. “The Road Not Taken” is an example of an ode. An ode is “a form of lyric poetry in which a single subject or purpose is exalted in a serious, dignified way (Clugston, 2010).” This shows in the verse “long I stood and looked down one as far as I could...
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