Symbolism In Winterdance By Gary Paulsen

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Do you believe that dogs are man's best friend? Winterdance by Gary Paulsen is a true story about himself, it starts when he moves with his wife to a small house in the woods of minnesota, driving them broke in the process. He starts to run a trapline with dogs and finds his passion, running dogs. Paulsen unconsciously decides to run the Iditarod and we follow him throughout his journey, training, traveling, and finally actually running the race. Gary Paulsen uses symbolism, motifs, and theme to further the reader's understanding and enjoyment of the book. Paulsen uses many symbols in winterdance, a symbol is “The use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.” One example of a symbol in Winterdance is the beaver that Paulsen comes across in the introduction while running his dogs. “The beaver was there, sitting up on his back legs, his two inch teeth exposed, making a low kind of chuttering sound in threat, ready for the attack.” This quote shows how the beaver represents courage, and independence. It highlights how the beaver was ready to attack eight dogs who were all at least twice the size of itself to defend its wilderness and home. A literary motif is a recurring event that is present somewhat universally in many works of art and…show more content…
One theme that is very prominent in Winterdance is the idea that hard work can bring great rewards. One time when this theme appears in the book is in the prelude when, after a night of luck and survival Paulsen takes in the gorgeous scenery all around him. “I let them run until they settled and immersed myself in the run and the beauty of the mountains.” This quote shows how after a night of barely surviving Paulsen is rewarded with great beauty and peace. All throughout the book this theme pops up when, after long hard journeys he is surprised and delighted in the rewards to be
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