The Use of Symbolism to Express a Theme

Pages: 2 (621 words) Published: October 12, 2008
Thematic Essay

The authors of both passages, Frank Conroy (passage I) and William Maxwell (passage II) use imagery and many forms of symbolism to express a similar theme; the simplicity of a boyhood friendship. Both Conroy and Maxwell write these passages with a similar point-of-view and neither includes a conflict. Also, the boys in both passages meet under similar circumstances. Passage I begins with the author explaining that he didn’t remember everything about meeting his friend, Tobey. He only remembered that they were “hesitating to speak, staring” (line two). Conroy also says he remembers that Tobey didn’t wear shoes. This fact is brought up again later in the passage (line twenty six). This repetition shows that the author felt it important enough to remind the reader how different he and Tobey were. The use of imagery is seen many times throughout the passage. In line thirty four and thirty five, the auth or says “above, the fat white clouds drifted in the blue. Great sedate clouds, rich and peaceful.” These lines give the reader a sense of what the boys are seeing themselves, allowing us, the reader, to get a better understanding of the mood of the scene. The author also shows the pride the boys have in creating a world of their own. Several times we are shown that the boys enjoy being the only two to know about the island that they would swim to (lines eighty four and eighty five), and the “caches of canned food and comic books” hidden in different places in the woods (lines forty two and forty three). Conroy also shows a very different side of the two boys relationship that normally would be different in a boy and boy friendship; their lack of competitiveness. In line eighty six, the author says “we never raced.” This statement helps to reinforce the author’s point of the simplicity in their friendship. The boys in passage II are quite different from the boys in passage I, yet the author, Maxwell, still depicts...
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