My assignment was to find symbols in this book and to illustrate what they are doing to illuminate the theme of this book.
First of all I think that interpretation of symbols can varies because it depends on the observers’ attitude as well as their cultural acknowledgement that symbols might have through their experiences in their life. In another words Symbols are creation of culture or may also be expressions of nature. Seeing symbolism in English literature is really difficult for me particularly because I am from a different culture and English isn’t my first language. And also, the author has brought in Latin America Literature and culture in the book and her use of mixture of Spanish words and English confused me.
Anyhow, here is my view of the theme of this story.
Tree of the Stars is a story, which provides a fascination social record and a unique insight into the turbulent times that Uruguay faced leading to its military takeover by a dictatorship. At one level, the story can be seen as a love story between Magdalena and Marco. On the other more grave level is Magdalena’s political awakening to the simmering events around her and her participation in the revolutionary activities of her native country.
Some symbolisms that I picked up as a reader from the book:
The story recreates imaginatively the chief protagonist Magdalena’s carefree childhood days in Uruguay. The Symbolic use of setting and characters is the clever method of engaging the reader’s mind to the subconscious message of the book.
I propose to design a book for children 7 to 8 years old. In this modern world of technology, books are set aside in favor of computers and other highly technical gadgets. The innovation of computers has pushed man into heights of advancement but the need for leisure stays untouched in his heart. A good book read at leisure brings this kind of comfort and relaxation and the best time to inspire ...
In the beginning of the book, one of the quotes that has symbolic meaning that I found describes, “In summer, the pale green leaves cast refreshing shadows on my skin; in winter, the brilliant red flowers nodded in the wind, like a hundred small fires holding the cold at bay”
The tree referred to the title probably looks at the authority – the government. The pale green leaves refer to the dying government and the shadows point to a serious outcome, the revolt.
The brilliant red flowers like hundred small fires represent the seeds of revolution that have been spread around the unsatisfied people who have kept their oppressors at bay. Just like the students in this story who set out to redress the wrongs of the government and to overthrow it and replace it with a better system.
Magdalena’s childhood memories of her individualist horseback riding grandmother, the amusingly argumentative aunts taking afternoon tea while the pet parrot Caramba zooms around, the bright of the vast symbolizes the spirit of freedom taken for granted, Magdalena’s mom is so confined to a circle where girls are not allowed to know much or be given freedom where they could have been free. The pet parrots stands for disappointment that has slowly crept in the people and which has become the talk of the nation. The way the parrot zooms around sort of represents Magdalena and the sisters doing things that they are not suppose to do.
Bridal has nicely used symbolism to reveal the theme of her book.