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03 October 2006 @ 08:53 pm
Rushing rushing rushing to finish an introduction to an essay about Ray Bradbury's "Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed." It's due tomorrow, and I am pulling. a. blank. So I'm tossing together random junk about how eyes are the window to the soul and through the changes of the eyes in the Bickering family we see, symbolically, the changes within the mind, beyond the physical, which drives their assimilation from Earthlings to Martians.
I feel like I am barking up the wrong tree.

I totally hate symbolism in writing. That is, I hate hunting for it. When I write (and goodness knows, it's been a long time since I have) I never put much thought into using subtle changes in the weather to represent character emotions or the driving of a shovel into the soil to represent sexual frustration. Seriously! I think symbolism is placed by critics into novels afterwards. If anything symbolic is going on, it's because humans are habitual and so logical conclusions can be drawn from actions and events.
For example. I remember reading a paper over the summer where the author theorizes that Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby) got his surname because Fitzgerald wanted to make a subtle reference to the Gatling gun. I've got to admit, that's very, very clever of the critic who caught that.
But honestly?
Maybe subconsciously. But really, would he?
Maybe I'm just cranky because I'm lousy at finding subtexts and subtle things like that in literature.
Moon-Mad Eyes - Eyebrows like flakes of sunlightmadnesspassing on October 6th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
god.. don't get me started on gatsby and symbolism.

i almost got in a fight with my favourite teacher in high school because he was badgering me "what's the symbolism of the clock falling off the shelf and breaking?"

i kept telling him there was no symbolism, time wasn't stopping, the dude was just nervous and clumsy and he knocked a clock off the shelf!

i never wrote symbolism into my stories and i can't imagine most writers do either!
Suzi: piranha - a wicked shade of pale.k00kaburra on October 6th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
Dude yes! The knocking of the clock is exactly the sort of thing I'm thinking about!
Man, that's annoying!