A comparison of the use of symbolism by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" and Anton Chekhov in "A Selection of Short Stories.".
Symbolism could be defined as the use of "indirect" expression; a situation where the reader comes to recognize that what the writer is presenting and describing is not after all what he is chiefly concerned with, but that there is a hidden or deeper meaning. Gabriel Garcia Marquez in "Chronicle of a Death foretold," employs a journalistic and factual style of writing. The novels main "purpose" is clarifying the events surrounding Santiago Nasar's death, and thus symbols in the novel are not recurrent and predominant. When used though, they are quite intense and effective. Chekhov's "A Selection of Short Stories" consist of stories with a simple plot, with a greater emphasis on vivid, descriptive writing Various stylistic devices are used to great effect, among them symbolism is quite prevalent. The stories I shall deal with are "Grief," "At Sea," "He Understood," and "Agafya". This essay attempts to show the symbolism employed by Garcia and Marquez, and to recognize their deeper, intended meaning.
A striking feature in Chekhov's Story "Grief" is his use of weather:.
" The air was full of whirling clouds of snowflakes, and it was impossible to say whether the snow came form the sky or from the ground during a particularly strong gust of wind could not see even his shaft bow".
The snowstorm Grigory finds himself in is evidently symbolic of his tumultuous life, as a result of his constant drunkenness. The whirling clouds show the confusion and disparity in his life, and the inability to tell whether the snow came from the sky or the ground shows his lack of direction in life. The fact that the snow blinded him shows that he had never thought about the future. As Grigory himself says:.
" So forty years had been wasted." His relationship with his wife is also expressed by the snowstorm:.