Never Let Me Go
2009: A symbol is an object, action, or event that represents something or that creates a range of associations beyond itself. In literary works a symbol can express an idea, clarify meaning, or enlarge literal meaning. Select a novel or play and, focusing on one symbol, write an essay analyzing how that symbol functions in the work and what it reveals about the characters or themes of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
Most children grow up thinking that one day they will reach maturity and go to college, get a job, start a life and family and so on. However, the children of Hailsham grow up only to get their organs taken from them one by one until they die. While growing up at Hailsham, their biggest fear seems to be the woods that surround their home. The woods are a symbol that represent the outside world and therefore their fate after Hailsham, but more importantly how this knowledge they have about their future is always wandering in the back of their mind.
Throughout the entire description of the woods, there’s imagery of things lurking over Hailsham. The woods are always “looming in the distance” up on the hill over Hailsham and the ghost of the girl who was never able to get back in is always “gazing over Hailsham” This idea of the woods being so scary, and the scary stories that have been created about them, is symbolic of how the fate of their futures also lingers over Hailsham and the children. It seems that the only thing the children can truly be sure of is that they will be fine as long as they stay in Hailsham. To them Hailsham represents security and safety, but outside, they don’t really know for sure. All they really know is that once they leave Hailsham, no matter how badly they’re pleading to be let back in, they will never be able to return. In the novel there is a part where the kids punish Marge K for embarrassing them by forcing her to look at the woods at night because...
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