Symbolism In Jack London's The Heathen

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Symbolism, the representation of an object, mark, or word to signify a hidden meaning, has been incorporated in a multitude of occasions throughout Jack London’s The Heathen. This story demonstrated how two strangers, Charley and Otoo, overcame a series of life threatening events which resulted in the creation of a brother-like bond between the two. This relationship later led Otoo to willingly sacrifice himself to a shark so that Charley could make it to safety. When observing the minutiae within the text, London’s use of symbolism allowed him to incorporate messages that led to a deeper understanding of the text. While there were many important symbols throughout this story, none more important than the ship, the Petite Jeanne, and its occupants.…show more content…
The symbol of the amount of inventory serves two different purposes. First, he shows that he too was in awe that the crew could manage to navigate the ship even with the sheer volume of inventory they had on the boat. At the same time, it shows the resilience of the crew and how they were able to navigate the ship even though it became more difficult due to the excess load. This symbolizes that America can overcome many different obstacles, even if the task at hand is incredibly difficult.
The Petite Jeanne and its occupants were symbolic of America by showing America’s indulgent tendencies through foreign treasures while showing their ability to surmount difficult obstacles. Throughout the journey, London depicted many trials and tribulations faced by both the people aboard the Petite Jeanne and the ship itself. While most of the symbols, portrayed by London, were to show the greed that filled America, London was also able to include their determination to get overcome challenging obstacles as
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