Discussion Board Piece

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  • O. Henry uses the symbolism of Christmas gifts to denote what the true meaning of love could be. A classic tale written in 1905, The “Gift of the Magi” is an excellent way to look at symbolism in a short story.
  • On the opposite side of the spectrum, W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw” holds a symbol of terrifying meaning. But is the power of the paw supernatural or psychological? You will need to decide.

Henry, and Jacobs provide stories that surround symbols that are life-changing for the protagonist. In a well-constructed response that is at least two paragraphs, please answer the following prompt:

  • Choose two of the stories and write a comparison of the symbols in the stories:
    • What do each of the symbols represent?
    • Is the symbolism directly or indirectly conveyed to the reader?
    • How do each of the symbols affect the tone/theme of the story?
    • Use cited text examples to support your analysis
    • Introduce an explanation of a symbol that would be present in your life story. You can attach a picture of your symbol (an example of this might be a baby blanket from your childhood, or a baseball from your first game). Explain how this symbol represents you.

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