Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Everything is not Always as it Seems :: essays papers

Everything is not Always as it Seems In the novel, Bel-Ami, Guy de Maupassant uses symbolism quite frequently. Many of the smallest details are completely enthralled with symbolism. Maupassant uses people, inanimate objects, and situations to portray some aspects of his life or simply of French society in general. On the surface, Bel-Ami is a great book, but deeper into the pages lies a whole different world. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines symbolism as the representation of things by use of symbols, especially in art or literature. This definition strikes me as a very vague description. Symbolism to me is a sort of art form. It is not a very difficult task to tell someone information in a straight forward manner, but it takes a lot of imagination and cleverness to utilize the art of symbolism. That is why I enjoyed Bel-Ami. Maupassant really has a great understanding of his views and how he wants to portray them. Take the fish on page 260, for an example (Maupassant 260). The fish represented society. When the wad of bread was thrown into them, the fish would do just about anything to get a piece of it. They fought amongst each other and then they moved away from DuRoy and Suzanne to the other end of the pond, much like Suzanne’s parents and society. This example was just to show the constant and effortless use of symbolism throughout the novel. The mirror is used quite often in Bel-Ami. It appears to us first on page 17 (Maupassant 17). DuRoy, in his ascend up the stairs at the Forestiers’, notices a strikingly handsome gentleman staring back at him. He is taken aback when he realizes the man is himself. DuRoy continues to stand in front of the mirror and admire himself for quite sometime before actually entering the Forestiers’ home. It is here in front of this shiny, beautiful, glimmering object, that we truly see ourselves. DuRoy tries out just about every gesture he might use at the party, just to see the effect of his appearance. According to the symbolism dictionary (http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/M/mirror.html), the mirror is the absolute truth and a reflection of ones soul. It does not lie to anyone. The mirror is also considered a distraction when looked upon for glamour reasons. People don’t have to deal with real life issues or problems in the mirror. Y ou can just simply admire yourself to take away all other thoughts that might be troubling at the time.

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