The Thing In The Forest

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The Explanation of the Story: “The Thing in the Forest” by A.S. Byatt In A.S. Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest”, the author uses the elements of a short story to craft a dark, fairy tale. The title of the story, “The Thing in the Forest”, in the sense that it foreshadows the main idea of the story. The audience expects more than just a "thing", as listed in the title. Byatt emphasizes that the main characters are the two-main protagonist who were girls dealing with more than just a “thing” in the forest that affected them for the rest of their lives. this is the use of symbols that expresses a meaning to focus on the story. A.S. Byatt emphasizes more on the plot and setting, characters, theme and symbols. The setting of the story is important…show more content…
“Penny was thin and dark and taller, possibly older than Primrose, who was plump and blonde and curly.” (352) Penny later becomes a child psychologist “Penny was a good student and in due course went to university, where she chose to study developmental Psychology.” (357) Primrose later became a storyteller and took care of children “Primrose had little education. She was always being kept off school to look after the others.” (357) Both Primrose and Penny lost their fathers at a young age during the World War II, later lost their mothers within a week of each other, and they were not married. Both were affected by the "thing" they saw in the forest in different ways throughout their lives. There was one more character in the story and her name was Alys, “There was a very small child –one of the smallest—whose name, she told everyone, was Alys. With a “y,” she told those who could spell, and those who couldn’t, which surely included herself. She was barely out of nappies. She was quite extraordinarily pretty, pink and white, with large pale-blue eyes, and sparse little golden curls all over her head and neck, through which her pink skin could be seen.” (354). After knowing what the characters look like, this leads to the theme and symbols in the…show more content…
Loss of innocence, meaning It is often seen as a basic part of coming of age. It is usually thought of as an experience in a person 's life that leads to a greater awareness of pain or suffering in the world around them. Byatt emphasizes the similar characteristics between Penny and Primrose to prove a connection between the "thing" and World War II. The impact of seeing the "thing" at a young age seems to traumatize both girls in the same manner, as the entire Europe was scared or traumatized by World War II. The horror of “The Thing in the Forest” forces them to grow up and have a negative outlook on their life. Penny and Primrose were never married and the experiences they faced as children were never seemed to overcome. The three largest symbols that appear in the story are Alys the young girl, penny and primrose, the forest, and of course, the thing in the forest. Byatt uses Alys as the symbol of innocence as a young child. For Penny and Primrose, she was a symbol of guilt for the rest of their lives. The forest itself is representative of a war as a powerful, and destructive force in the lives of those surrounding it, “Penny looked into the thick of the forest. There was undergrowth—a mat of brambles and bracken. There were no obvious paths. Dark and light came and went, inviting and mysterious, as the wind pushed clouds across the face of the sun.” (355) The "thing" in the story was symbolized as the terror
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