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Symbolism in Frank Sargesons Short stories

            In the short story cow pats the children's "boots weren't any too good", the children warmed their feet in newly dropped cow pats, and the man on the city streets warmed his hands in a cleaners bucket of suds. Together they symbolise the pain between them, the children and oldman symbolise poverty. At the beginning of the story the children "didn't know any other sort of life", but when the youngest children returns from the city "his brothers reckoned he come back a bit to flash for a trick like that", the youngest child had seen the old mans trick to keeping warm and realized that he was like the old man, poor. This symbolic feature helps to show the development of the plot and convey the key theme of poverty and that children and old people are the weakest in society.
             In the short story a piece of yellow soap, the washer woman's hands are "bloodless and shrunken", her hands and the piece of yellow soap that she holds symbolise poverty. In this story the effectiveness of the yellow piece of soap is shown in the plot, the milkman was expected to collect a sum of money from the woman, to pay for the weeks milk, but he never did, because he always felt guilty and "everytime he looked at that piece of yellow soap he felt ashamed of himself", because he knew how hard she much work for her hands to become "bloodless and shrunken". These symbolic features also help to portray the characters personalities and the key theme of poverty and how society fails to look after the poor and vulnerable people.
             Another of frank sargesons short stories is sale day. This story shows the increasing sexual tension between two people, victor the farmers son and elsie the kitchen maid. This story leads to the shocking symbolic event of victor dropped the cat into the hot pan, with which the situation is resolved. The cat is described in a sexual way "randy" like victor, and elsie treats the cat how victor wants to be treated, victor get angry and rejected as he wants to be like the tom cat (slutty), victors alternative course of action instead of rape is to hurt the cat.

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