Symbolism In The Country Husband

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Cheever uses allegory and symbolism in "The Country Husband" to help emphasise several main themes through providing visually concrete features connected to these themes; he uses a plane crash for the theme of identity crisis of the main character, angelic and biblical references for the theme of Christianity and weaponry for the theme of war. The first example of an allegory Cheever uses in his story to emphasise a main theme is directly at the beginning with the plane crash which introduces the story; this plane crash is an allegory for one of the main themes, namely the theme of an identity crisis. Identity crisis can been seen as one of the main themes because the main character is very confused with himself throughout the story. One…show more content…
Christianity is mentioned in the story multiple times, for example by people going to church: " the processional at Christ Church on Sunday"(569), but also in morals such as "[H]e knew that the moral card house would come down on them all ... if he got caught taking advantage a the baby-sitter" (574) or "Things seemed arranged with more propriety even than in the Kingdom of Heaven"(574). In the case of this main theme, however, the symbolism of the story constructs the theme of Christianity. Because of the extensive use of Christian and biblical imagery, Christianity now becomes a theme in the story. The first mention of Christianity is immediately a visual image "All but the children saw in their minds the spreading wings of the Angel of Death" (566). This quotation not only references Christian mythology but also indicates and assumes a certain consciousness of not only everyone in the story but also the reader about these myths; another example of a visual image "She ... lights the six candles in the vale of years" (567) is a biblical phrase and a symbol for earthly life. These quotations are only two of the excessive biblical reference in the story, creating the theme of Christianity
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