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Symbolism in The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat

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Length: 1223 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)
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Symbolism in The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat


      Edwidge Danticat's novel, The Farming of Bones is an epic portrayal of the relationship between Haitians and Dominicans under the rule of Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo leading up to the Slaughter of 1937. The novel revolves around a few main concepts, these being birth, death, identity, and place and displacement. Each of the aspects is represented by an inanimate object. Water, dreams, twins, and masks make up these representations. Symbolism is consistent throughout the novel and gives the clearly stated and unsophisticated language a deeper more complex meaning. While on the surface the novel is an easy read, the symbolism which is prominent throughout the novel complicates the audience's interpretation. The reader is left to look beyond the language and uncover the underlying themes of the novel. Through symbolism Danticat is able to use inanimate objects to represent each of her character's more deeply rooted problems. In order to prove this theory true, I will thoroughly examine the aforementioned symbolic devices and provide a clear interpretation of their significance in the novel.

     The first example of symbolism we encounter is in the first chapter and comes in the form of dreams. When Amabelle and Sebastian open up to one another it is through their shared experiences, which are most usually, their dreams. They are able to be the most themselves when they are not in real life experiences, though...

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