The Effects of Symbols On “Say Yes” The author of the short story ‘Say Yes,’ Tobias Wolff, uses a number of symbols to express his different views on racism throughout the story. Wolff uses this literary device to express a message to his readers. Symbols, something representing something else by association resemblance or convention, are used efficiently in this short story. Wolff uses colors to symbolize a hatred for an alternative race in this short story. The husband more than once makes reference to dark colors which shows the reader that the husband sees this world in black and white. The husband sees the world as good vs.
evil, white vs. black society. Furthermore, the reference to color in the short story “Say Yes”, symbolizes the husbands strong dislike for African Americans. Wolff symbolize the husbands strong dislike for African Americans when the husband states, “The water had gone a flat gray” (Wolff 518).
To some this statement might not mean much. Wolff’s decision to make reference to dark colors symbolizes the characters dislike for an alternative race.
The choice of dark colors shows it is one of the African American race. The husband made reference to colors briefly after he and his wife started discussing differences over the idea of interracial relationships. The heated argument caused the wife to clean the dishes poorly resulting in dirty dishes. The husband threw the dishes back into the sink and the water seemed to turn a “flat gray” (Wolff 518).
“Bullet in the Brain” is a short story written by Tobias Wolff. The story is about a book critic named Anders, while waiting in a long line at the bank he is the victim of an armed robbery and gets shot and killed. The story is divided in to two parts, and this division allows the reader to see a contrast between two parts of main character’s personality. I want to argue in this essay that the ...
The husbands only description was of the dark water in the sink.
Wolff again indirectly shows the husbands feelings towards African-Americans through symbolism. This symbol contributes to Wolff’s message or theme showing the husband’s strong dislike for African Americans. After the author uses this symbolization of a “flat gray”, the wife “plunged her hands under the surface” (Wolff 518) and cut her finger on the silverware. She then cries out asher thumb bleeds from the cut. The husband immediately rushes to her need. He acted in concern for her and hoped she appreciated how quick he rushed to her aid.
The cut she had from the silverware symbolizes the hurt on the inside. The pain from inside was symbolizing the pain on the inside. Her husband’s inconsiderate feelings for alternate races made her feel like she didn’t know him as well as she thought she did. Wolff used symbolization very effectively by comparing the pain on the outside to the pain on the inside. Wolff’s decision to put in this description of dirty water was not because Wolff hates washing dishes. Wolff put that in there to show a deeper meaning to it.
Wolff is trying to show the husband’s views on the topic being discussed indirectly. Wolff shows a deeper meaning when the husband is continuing to wash the dishes. Heis spraying the silverware and “darkened to pale blue” (Wolff 518).
This shows again the husband’s reference to colors. This happened right after the wife asked if he would marry her if she were black. Wolff added this symbolism right after the question to indirectly show the husbands feelings toward the topic.
He shows his dislike for African-Americans when he refused to answer the question. Wolff uses colors to show his negative feelings towards interracial relationships. This symbolization helps contribute to his theme of the husband’s strong dislike for African Americans. Wolff uses excellent symbols to express his message or theme. Short stories form is compressed where each word is carefully selected, each incident and detail contributes to the meaning the writer is after and symbols are words and images that have multiple meanings. Symbols are very important to short stories.
I firmly believe that the point of visiting a museum is to educate one on how things once were in the past through its display of artifacts, exhibits, art, cultural objects, etc. Its purpose is to let you imagine what it was like during a time you were not apart of or, in some cases, allow you to look back at a time you were apart of when you were very young. The African-American Museum of Long ...
As a result, the reference to color in the short story “Say Yes”, symbolizes the husbands dislike for African American.