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Symbolism of Love

By | December 2005
Page 1 of 2
Everyone has stories to tell about significant moments in their lives. It can be a story about a first date or the first day of school or even I first job. Most of these stories have a certain item to go with them. Whether it is a small trinket or a family heirloom, there is usually an item that plays a significant role in the story. In "Red Plaid Shirt", love is presented by various articles of clothing, their colours, and the memories attached to them.

Throughout the story, the central character is looking at various articles of clothing. These clothes represent significant events in her life because she happened to be wearing them at the time. For example, the red plaid shirt from her mother reminds her of the wonderful times they shared. However, her blue cotton sweater reminds her of a depressing event in her life. Her white blouse reminds her of a new love and a new relationship with Fernando, a soon-to-be plastic surgeon. The colours of the clothes provide most of the symbolism in the story. Every colour represents a different emotion in the story. For example, the colour red represents love, passion, and beauty. On the other hand, the colour blue represents sad, dark periods in her life. Although colours can have both positive and negative emotions connected to them, Schoemperlen mainly uses the negative meanings of the colours. For instance, yellow can represent happiness or optimism, but instead, it represents dishonesty and hazard. Likewise, brown can symbolize comfort or simplicity, but instead, it is just a faded red symbolizing the loss of passion in the relationship between the protagonist and Daniel.

It is not only the clothes or the colours that are significant, but the memories they carry too. Significant events in the central character's life are portrayed through the memories she has when she sees the articles of clothing. In fact, most of the story is memories of the protagonist's past relationships. The clothes are meaningless on their...
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