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Characterization And Symbolism In The Farmer's Children

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There are many people all over the world who don’t feel as loved as everyone else. Elizabeth Bishop's “The Farmer’s Children” is a great story that emphasizes this. In “The Farmer’s Children,” two boys have to sleep in the cold because of the ignorance of their stepmother and their father. Two very important techniques that Bishop uses are characterization and symbolism. Characterization is the way an author conveys information about their characters. Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities that are different from their literal sense. Elizabeth Bishop characterizes the parents to emphasize the lack of affection Emerson and Cato feel. She also uses symbolism to further highlight the boys’ feelings. In “The Farmer’s Children” Elizabeth Bishop uses the literary techniques of characterization and symbolism to convey the negligence that stepchildren feel from their parents which can lead to severe consequences.
Bishop portrays the idea of neglect that stepchildren feel from their parents in troubled families by characterizing the stepmother. In “The Farmer’s Children,” while the children are playing outside the stepmother shouts, “Put that child down! Didn’t I tell you the next time you made that child cry I’d beat you until you couldn’t holler? Didn’t I?” (Bishop 288). From
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After reading the story, the reader is left speechless by the horrible act of the stepmother and the ignorance of the father. The stepmother is characterized by malice acts while the father is ignorant and selfish. Bishop also uses symbols to show the boys’ feel by their parents. By using these literary elements, Bishop emphasizes the negligence of people in our society. Many people feel neglect or feel inferior to those around them, and can sometimes lead to horrible
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