Symbolism In Katharine Brush's The Birthday Party

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Birthday Party by Katharine Brush can be categorized as an ambiguous short story. According to Webster’s Dictionary ambiguous means, “able to be understood in more than one way,” shows that Brush’s narrative can be taken as many different ways. In Brush’s short story she uses symbolism, point-of-view, and characterization to make the narrative one that leaves the reader trying to find the underline meaning of the text. Symbolism in the passage is used by the cake “with one pink candle burning in the center” (Brush 7). Brush uses the small candle to make the reader go into deep thought about what the candle really symbolizes. A candle represent as a new life, for example the wife could be trying to tell the husband that she is having a baby girl. Also, a candle could mean the ending of something because all candles must go out, which foreshadows that the couple may…show more content…
With the wife being sensitive to the husband when she “was still crying” about the husband’s smart comment makes the reader think that she is easy to upset (Brush 19). With seeing this reaction the reader might conclude that the couple might have a past of predicaments. As for the husband, he comes across as a harsh man when he says the “punishing thing” to his wife (Brush 17). Just through this one statement the reader can feel a sense of dominance over the wife. The reader understands that the husband has more control in the family. Katherine Brush takes a simple story of two people sitting in a restaurant into a maze of confusing events by using symbolism, point-of-view, and characterization. Brush uses these literary devices to make the reader use their head and consider all the possible possibilities of what this simple story could mean. With the ambiguousness of the story helping the reader contemplates how Brush uses these devises and the underline meaning of the
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