Imagery And Symbolism In Lee Maracle's Charlie

763 Words4 Pages

Mastery Assignment 2: Literary Analysis Essay Lee Maracle’s “Charlie” goes through multiple shifts in mood over the course of the story. These mood are ones of hope and excitement as Charlie and his classmates escape the residential school to fear of the unknown and melancholy as Charlie sets off alone for home ending with despair and insidiousness when Charlie finally succumbs to the elements . Lee highlights these shifts in mood with the use of imagery and symbolism in her descriptions of nature. Early in the story there is a mood of hope and excitement despite the boys “incarceration”. This is highlighted in the description of the moon illuminating the snow covering the ground outside the boys sleeping quarters. “The moon and the stars spread a thin blue light over the whitening ground below. …show more content…

“He trudged on, squinting at the sprays of sunlight that cast a reddish hue on the snow-clad pines in a final farewell to daylight.”(313) The “reddish hue” described is a sign of what is to come as the light that is Charlie’s life is bid a “final farewell”. “Darkness folded itself over the land with a cruel swiftness. It fell upon the landscape, swallowing Charlie and the thread of track connecting civilization to nature’s vastness, shutting away with maddening speed the last wisps of light from Charlie’s eyes.”(313) Charlie is totally despair in the darkness is a symbol of effects of hypothermia pulling the life from him despite his efforts to fight it. “Smiling he welcomed the Orion queen – not a star constellation but the great Wendigo – dressed in midnight blue, her dress alive with the glitter of a thousand stars.”(313) The serene imagery of the Wendigo gives the end of the story an insidious feeling by trying to imply that Charlie, a child who only wanted to escape to his home welcomed his own death with open arms, when in actuality it was not Charlies choice at

Open Document