Symbols and Symbolism of Chaim Potok's Promise

674 Words3 Pages
"Promise" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar is filled with symbolism. The basic definition of the word "promise," the title of the poem, refers to something to be given, granted, or willingly kept for the future. Yet no promise is fulfilled. A study of the plot reveals there really was no promise or guarantee at all--only an assumption. The "gardener" in this poem symbolizes a lover who, only to satisfy his (or her) own selfish desires, nurtures and cares for another. The "rose" symbolizes a loved one, a loved one eventually lost because the lover tries to hold onto, earn, and force love.

Love is a feeling, emotion, or act which is freely given; it cannot be boxed or held as a possession. The first view of the lover (gardener) is that of someone very attentive and well qualified. But the lover seems to be excessively caring for (over watering) the loved one (the rose) since he is ". . . tending it with more than loving care, . . ." (2). His actions reflect a smothering love, one that will often cause love to wither and die.&nbs...

    More about Symbols and Symbolism of Chaim Potok's Promise

      Open Document