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Family Ties Essay

“Lispector’s writing can often be interpreted as symbolic, yet it is at the same time highly sophisticated and original. Discuss a particular pattern in her imagery or symbolism and its effect on the reader.”

Often authors write with symbolism to communicate a deeper idea then what they what is presented. Symbolism opens doors for readers to have the freedom of going in to find meaning. Most of the time they use objects, actions and characters to offer the readers more meaning for the story. Symbolism helps each reader to connect in their on personal way. Clarice Lispector, author of Family Ties, has a very unique path for usage of symbolism and imagery. It can be proven that Lispector uses animals to show her emotion, however she indirectly places it for the readers to open the door and search for the meaning. In the some of the short stories it can be concluded that the use of animals are to show her emotion but also play the role of presenting the everyday life struggle lesson being taught. Symbols are used almost everyday, even when it is not known to all.

They can be used in to give readers a more enjoyable experience. Lispector takes her time to describe the setting and the animal presented, to create a visual picture in the readers mind. In the story The Chicken, it was simply only a chicken, without hopes or dreams, unaware of it’s destiny or capability and Sunday’s lunch main dish. In a rare instinctive spasm, it decides to escape flying over the fence. Now lunch-less the family starts to chase the direction-less bird. When the chicken gets caught there is still hope that it will live due do it laying an egg in the kitchen. Lispector takes such an simple story and turns it into a story with s significant symbol such as the chicken, to carry the emotion and keep it orignal. “Alone in the world, without father or mother, she ran, out of breath, concentrated, mute. Sometimes in her flight she would stand at bay on the edge of a roof, gasping; while the young man leaped over others with difficulty, she had a moment in which to collect herself. The she looked so free.” (Lispector, 50)

In the above quotation it proves to readers that the chicken is in a life of loneliness and sadness. “Alone in the world” phrase catches the readers attention to feel sympathic but quickly changes to “free” where they feel happy and joy for the chicken. Lispector does this to keep it interesting and effective for the reader to follow along. In the last sentence of The chicken, Lispector says; “ Until one day they killed her and ate her, and the years rolled on.” (52). The readers are then defeated in making an effort to solve a myth, because Lispector suggests that there is, after all, no meaning to this chicken’s life, and hence no meaning to our own.

The buffalo is appreiated for its main character and her complex feelings, an undistinguished women who is regretting her past because of a preivous break up. Lispector choses a springtime afternoon in a zoo to settle her resentment. Nowhere in the search at the zoo of life among the lions, giraffe, hippopotamus, monkeys, ape, elephant, camel, and coati could she find hatred or anger. In fact, she finds it easier to love and to be compassionate than to hate. This roller coster of emotions in the story starts with a women who has a struggle but overcomes it with the happy emotion of each animal. “I love you, she said, out of hatred then for the men whose great and unpunishable rime was not loving, “I hate you, she said imploring love from the buffalo.” (156) Lispector in this quotation shows the overcoming of hatred of men as she see’s that men can be innocent. The women soon becomes eye locked with the buffalo as she learns to love again. She has felt a lot of sentiments but never hatred of man until she meets the huge, black, hairy buffalo, whose eyes reflect back “mutual assassination.” How she responds to this recognition is quite interesting. The buffalo has the effect on the reader that emotions can be changed based on trust and that being jugdemental and grouping something together isnt going to help anything. Once again she proves a lesson with the use of animals and emotion.

In conclusion, Lispector does use the method of animal imagery and emotion to help build her stories with meaning and excitment. Rather than the author just clearly stating thoughts, it is much more effiecent and allows the
author to draw more attention by adding symbolic meaning, however Lispector’s stories are still orignal with complications. Each short story including the use of animals to convery thoughts has an effect on the reader.


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