Short Story Symbolism

Topics: Fiction, Short story, Ernest Hemingway Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: May 28, 2012
Growing up, short stories were always a form of entertainment for me. As I got older, I began to realize that they really were entertaining to me no matter what age. I also learned that not all short stories were indeed "short", contrary to their name. A short story is most commonly known as a story that is written and/or told in narrative forms. Short stories always have at least one or more themes them to really help convey it's meaning. According to our book, theme is associated with the idea that lies behind the story. (Clugston, 2010) The theme of the story is usually best understood by looking beyond the plot. I feel that you have to do this because in short stories, the theme is not just simply spelled out to you.

One of the most common literary elements that contribute to the theme of a shorty story in my opinion is symbolism. "A symbol is something that has a literal identity but also stands for something else - something that is widely understood and has been developed over a long period of times or by common agreement." (Clugston, 2010) An example of a short story that uses symbolism is Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants". In this short story, the hills represent something else beside itself. They represent an escape, the hills look like "white elephants. According to Clugston, "the distant hills symbolize an exquisite place of escape—but these hills look like "white elephants" (an ironic detail). They remind her that consequences of the decision she faces might be costly." So for her to escape a costly fate, she looks to the hills. Another common literary element is tone. "Tone is the attitude reflected by the author in a literary work; it identifies the author's approach to the subject a story deals with." (Clugston, 2010) The tone will help to develop an understanding of what's happening in the story as well as what's to come. A very interesting tone is 'ironic tone'. With this type of tone, the author's create a contradiction or...
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