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Symbolism In English literature–“Gravity”



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    Symbolism is a good tool to utilize when we come across hard abstract constructs such as life and death.For illustration, in her article entitled “Gravity” , David Leavitt tells us a narrative about how a ma named Sylvia encourages her HIV infected boy Theo to populate longer. When Theo started to hold bad oculus sight in his childhood Sylvia merely allow him have on her showy spectacless despite that people around them all think that Theo looks unusual. After Theo grew up, between a drug that could prolong his life and a drug that could salvage his sight, Theo chose the 2nd 1. Sylvia worried that Theo would give up the hope for life, so she tried to promote Theo to populate by a unusual manner which similar to the manner she help him with his sight when he was a kid. She threw a really heavy crystal bowl to Theo when they were shopping in a gift shop. Theo caught the bowl without believing. Theo realized that by throwing the bowl, on one side, Sylvia tended to turn out that he is still alive. On the other side, Sylvia wanted to promote him to populate longer. The crystal bowl in the narrative represents precisely what Theo was traveling through. It symbolizes both life and decease. It represents life because it was heavy and valuable “ ( The crystal bowl is ) Four hundred and twenty- five dollars” ( l. 88 ) This shows that the crystal bowl is really valuable merely like that human’s life is really cherished. In the same clip, crystal bowl represent decease because it could easy been shattered.

    Theo was surprised that he really did non shatter the bowl “Theo looked at the floor, still surprised non to see sherds of glass around his feet.” ( l. 96-97 ) If the crystal bowl were broken, it would hold non value or significance merely like it has lost its life. So, the Crystal bowl in the narrative represents decease. If the bowl shattered, it merely like a individual lost his/her life. The crystal bowl besides represents the character and hopes of Sylvia. The crystal in the narrative is really showing and pricy. “ ( The crystal bowl is ) a big ridges crystal bowl, a really fifties kind of bowl, hardy and square-jawed.” ( l. 84-86 ) It represents Sylvia’s royal poinciana and philistinism characters. The writer tells us that Sylvia has a showy character by depicting Sylvia’s bold and brassy glasses”… harlequins with bantam rhinestones in the corners…” ( l. 9 ) The writer besides implies that Sylvia is rather philistinism by demoing us that she care a batch about the monetary value of a graduation gift her sister given to her boy “Don’t you remember that inexpensive small nil Bibi gave you for your graduation? It was disgusting.” ( l.50-51 ) On the other manus, the crystal bowl represents the strength of Sylvia’s hope for Theo to populate because the crystal bowl is heavy “’That’s heavy, ’ Sylvia said, detecting with satisfaction how the bowl had weighted Theo’s weaponries down” ( l.93-94 ) The heavier the stronger, so the weightiness of the crystal bowl represent the strong will and trust of Sylvia.

    The writer shows us that Sylvia is a strong willed adult female who has done highly nerve-racking things in a function “The DHPG injections she ( Sylvia ) took in stride—she’s seen her ain female parent through her death, after all, Four times a twenty-four hours, with the composure of a nurse, she cleaned out the plastic tubing implanted in his thorax, inserted a sterilized hypodermic a Sylvia and easy dripped bag of sight-giving liquid into his vein…” ( l.17-20 ) It shows that Sylvia has enormous strength merely like the stamina the crystal bowl appeared to be. The writer besides shows us that Sylvia’s hope for Theo to populate is really strong. Even though Sylvia was stressed out ”Yet she ( Sylvia ) had besides, at about three o’clock one forenoon, woken him up to state him she was traveling to the twenty-four- hr supermarket, and was at that place anything her wanted” ( 1. 122-124 ) This shows that Sylvia was on the border of mental bedraggled. But Sylvia still keeps strong hope for Theo to populate “… it had occurred to him ( Theo ) that she ( Sylvia ) was swearing his two lame custodies, out of the whole universe, to maintain it from shattering.” This shows that after all, Sylvia strongly hoped that, demoing Theo that he was still strong by throwing the crystal bowl and allowing him catch it, Theo would non go on on giving up his life but choose to populate longer.

    The crystal besides symbolized the general message which the writer is seeking to convey to the readers: life should be to the full lived. The writer shows that Theo was deceasing and tended to giving up his life. He felt “…wide and unswimmable the gulf was going between him and the evereceding shoreline of the will …” ( l. 35-36 ) Even though he felt that manner, he still caught the heavy crystal bowl without believing. It shows the underlining deep and important significance of the narrative “There are certain things you’ve already done before you even think how to make them… the bowl, which Theo was keeping before he could even get down to cipher its brief trajectory…” ( l.131-133 ) This shows us that all homos have an inherent aptitude for life.

    By demoing us this, the narrative conveys a message to the readers that even though life is violable like the delicate crystal bowl ; it doesn’t average that we should give up. Alternatively, we should look at the positive side of life. Just like the crystal bowl besides heavy and strong side, human lives besides have a strong side because really one have instinct for life. Therefore, we should hold faith to ourselves and halt kicking our ain wretchedness but start to look at life in a positive manner, and recognize that our lives should be to the full lived.

    Symbolism In English literature–“Gravity”. (2017, Aug 16). Retrieved from

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