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Symbolisim in john steinbecks flight

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This was so while there were clues leading to the ending, the conclusion would not be glaring.

This can be seen In his symbol of direction as it represented positive and negative effects. This could come from a shadow on a barn or the rising of the sun, each play a part in Steinbeck symbolic circus. The same is seen in his use of nature in the story. While they may be hard to pick up on, each is important to the story and in conveying Steinbeck individual writing style. The symbol seen most often throughout Flight is the color black.

In most cases in iterate, the color black is often associated with death and, as the readers would find out later, is true in this story. The first ‘ black token’ comes as Pep’s knife. A theme seen repeatedly in Steinbeck stories is the presence of a past influence that his characters cannot escape; this is particularly true in Flight. Pep’s father is killed before the story begins by falling In the fields on a snake.

He passed down his black knife to Peep. Which becomes one of his most prized possessions of his as well as a key aspect to the action of the story.

Peep is constantly playing with the knife, a sign of his childish characteristics, and has it with him at all times. The knife is first of many black symbols to be seen as the story progresses. Another example is when Peep puts on his father’s black coat, yet another past possession, which represents death.

When he puts It on, he Is literally killing himself, or covering himself in death. Later In the tale, Peep runs away In the mountains to escape the men chasing him. The path that he travels on Is described as a “ well-worn black pig. 8).

By taking this road, he is figuratively taking the road of death. Steinbeck uses direction cleverly in the short story to, literally, point the reader in the direction of the conclusion.

It begins with the notion that north and east are ‘ good’ or positive directions, often associated with good luck or fair tidings, while west and south directions are seen as bad or misfortune. An example of this Is when Peep Is seen watching the sunset in the west. This symbolizes his bleak future to come, or the setting of his life. Height, or the direction up and down, is also seen throughout he short story.

For example, Steinbeck describes the tops of the trees in the mountains where Peep is running as “ wind bitten and dead”. This symbolizes that the higher up Peep climbs, the closer to death he becomes.

In the story, there are “ dark watchers” who wonder through the mountains. They are mysterious creatures believed to be “ angels of death” and are seen in the mountains with Peep. “ Peep looked up to the top of the next dry withered ridge. He saw a dark form against the sky, a man’s figure standing on top of a rock, and he glanced away quickly not to appear curious.

When a moment later he looked up again, the figure was gone”(Steinbeck pig. 9) Steinbeck uses the dark watchers not to advance the plot, but rather as symbols of everyone’s eventual death, and Pep’s approaching. He places the watchers on the top of the hill, as height is associated with death in this story. Peep spends a majority of the story in the mountains and nature plays a huge role in the plot. In Flight, Steinbeck uses water as a symbol for life.

This is seen by Pep’s water bag, which hung over his horses shoulder during the trip.

While the water leaked away, so did his life. As proof of this theory, later in the story his horse is shot in the same shoulder that the bag previously rested on. Another example of this is seen as Peep travels further into the mountains. In the beginning, Peep stays near the river.

But, as time goes on he starts to drift farther and farther away from it. This is symbolism for the life being drained away from him and is seen on page nine as Steinbeck writes, “ His throat was almost closed with thirst. At first he tried to run, but immediately he fell and rolled. ” (Steinbeck pig.

) As he moves up the mountain, he is boning closer to his foreseeable death and becoming weaker as well. At one point, after being shot and can no longer stand, he begins to crawl up the mountain face. Here, Steinbeck compares Peep to a snake. While connecting Peep to a creature of nature, he is also subtlety continuing with the pattern of past influences as the snake is what also what killed his father. In order to prepare the reader for the tragic yet thought provoking end to the tale, Steinbeck includes a number of symbols in Flight.

His symbols can be obvious or hardly noticeable, both are seen in the story.

The more common symbols seen were of color, direction, and nature. He uses color; specifically black, to convey to the reader how near Pep’s death is and how the escape of his fate is inevitable. Direction is used frequently also to symbolize the direction that Peep is heading, towards good or evil.

Steinbeck uses nature, especially water, in Flight to not only symbolize Pep’s death approaching but also to represent Peep himself and the struggles that he was facing. As Peep becomes weaker and begins to deteriorate, the landscape does as well, mirroring him.

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