Symbolism And Allusion Of The Fig Tree Essay

Symbolism And Allusion Of The Fig Tree Essay

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Furthermore, another form of symbolism and allusion that Plath includes in the novel to emphasize the struggles in which a woman withstands as she grows is the fig tree. Within the story of the fig tree, it is actually a based on the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden where the tree symbolizes conflict between genders. The story details a doomed relationship between a Jewish man and a nun. Interestingly enough, she infers that her relationship with Buddy is also hopeless when she states, “It seemed Buddy and I were like that Jewish man and that nun” (Plath 55). She figures that even though Buddy and her attend the same church, they may as well be following different religions due to their extreme differing perspectives regarding gender roles. In regards to symbolism, the tree implies the decisions Esther must face in her life because she can only pick one fig, yet she wants them all. Thus, she becomes indecisive and confused while the figs rot and fall from the tree. She explains:
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story… One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor... I couldn 't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet. (Plath 77)
It is likely that Plath alluded to the fig tree story to portray how society prohibits you from doing what you desire. But, in consideration to society, if you allow them to control your outlook on life, it will be t...


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...o shed light upon the complications of trying to transform and grow in a restrictive society, she used pervasive imagery, allusions, metaphors, symbolism, and other literary devices to further her theme and idea of the novel. Plath created Esther in her image to show how one was forced by society to define themselves by the culturally entrenched stereotypes and expectations of women. In doing so, it detailed the hazardous effects of culturally committing to the conventional model of women. But, it also outlined the transformation of Esther Greenwood from a society-abiding woman to someone who dared to question the conventional model of women. Through the precise detailing of her struggles and complications, Plath was able to utilize several effective literary to enhance the theme of women who undergo the struggle of growth and transition within a restrictive society.

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