Half a Day

Topics: Symbolism, Naguib Mahfouz, Naguib Pasha Mahfouz Pages: 3 (881 words) Published: November 14, 2008
Melissa Rivera

English 1102

Mrs. Goodwin

Half a Day
Symbolism is defined as a specific word, idea, or objects that stand for ideas, values, persons or ways of life. On the story “Half a Day”, symbolism is used to help understand what is really happening in the story. The school day representing life itself, the teacher representing how life can be hard and easy, and the title “Half a Day”, representing how life itself passes quickly are a few symbols that help us understand what that the story is really about life, death and how life passes rapidly.

The school day represents life it self. It shows how life is about forming relationships, trying new things, and meeting different people. They eat, take a nap, and awake from the nap to continue their activities of love, friendship, playing, and learning. Also, the father encourages the boy to go through the gate by himself, to face the experience cheerfully, and to be a man. The father says that when the school day is over, he will be waiting at the gate to accompany the boy home. The boy going through the gate represents how he has go to through life facing everything that may come his way. It symbolizes how life is about making it on your own. It is shown on the story when the bell rings to announce the end of the school day, the children run toward the open schoolyard gate. The boy says goodbye to his friends and goes outside to look for his father. He does not find him waiting there as he had promised. This also shows that life can be hard sometimes and that as the day wears on, however, it is not always happy or sweet. There are unpleasant and unexpected accidents to experience.

The teacher symbolizes how life can be hard and easy. The woman who seemed so compassionate when she first spoke to the children at the beginning of the day also becomes angry and scolds them. She even resorts to physical punishment on a frequent basis as stated in the story “And while the lady would sometimes...
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