How Do Memory, Symbol, And Pattern Affect The Reading Of Literature? Discuss A Time When Your Appreciation Of A Literary Work Was Enhanced By Understanding Symbol Or Pattern. Can Anyone Offer Similar Symbols In Books? Please Be Specific.


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Abi Ainscough Profile
Abi Ainscough answered
I will try my best to impart my knowledge of specific symbols to you, and to explain how a reading experience of certain novels can be enriched by a good understanding of symbolism.

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - the green light

There are a number of very important symbols in this book. One of the first symbols that the reader is introduced to in the novel is the green light, which sits across the water from Gatsby's house. The reader witnesses Gatsby stood at the end of his garden with arms outstretched, desperately trying to reach the green light.

To someone who does not understand the symbolism here, this may seem like a very unusual act. However, to the educated reader, and to the character Gatsby, the green light symbolizes Daisy, Gatsby's lover who was snatched up by another man. Gatsby's desperate attempt to reach out to the green light symbolizes how desperately Gatsby wants Daisy back in his life - however, his failure to reach the green light demonstrates how Daisy is ultimately gone from his life forever.

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - the Kite

The kite is mentioned in the title, and the reader is introduced to the kite from the very beginning of the novel. At one point of the novel, quite near to the beginning, a kite competition takes place, in which children of all ages fly kites and attempt to cut the strings of other kites - the last kite in the air is considered the winner. To the reader who does not understand the symbolism, this may simply represent a time of fun, competition and excitement.

However, to the educated reader, the kite represents freedom and innocence. This is demonstrated when the main character of the novel, Amir, returns to his hometown as an adult. The kite competition has been banned, and children can no longer fly kites like they used to - this represents a loss of the freedom and innocence that characterized Amir's childhood.

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