In the short story, “The Fox and the Forest,” from the anthology The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury uses suspense and symbolism to support the theme of the story. In the story, a young couple, William and Susan Travis, are trying to escape their past, which would be our future. They want to escape the future because it is all industrial, with a bomb and biological war occurring and human’s lives having little value. They use time travel to go back in time to Pennsylvania as a vacation, but during their stay, they ran away to Mexico. That’s where they are hiding when the searchers find them and a high tension capture of the couple happens. The theme of the story is, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Symbolism and suspense are a key part of understanding why the couple so want to get away from the searchers and the future and why staying in the past is so important for them. Symbolism is a literary device that is defined as a greater meaning attached to a natural object or fact. The other main literary device used in this short story, foreshadowing, is defined as a warning or indication of a forthcoming event. These two elements support the theme because they give meaning to all the parts of the plot that show how the couple tried to jump out of one bad situation, but got themselves right into one much worse.
Symbolism is almost half of the story, in “The Fox and the Forest,” and is used extensively to express the meaning of escape and freedom. The story title itself is symbolism, because foxes hunt rabbits in the forest. The couple, Susan and William Travis, is like rabbits running through the trees, trying to hide and escape their hunters. The searchers from the future would be the foxes, slyly running down their prey. Another use of symbolism is what escaping their future to the past meant for the couple. They hated the future, and it represented a bad life, unhappiness, and pain for them. Staying in Mexico and evading the searchers permanently...
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