Symbolism of Names in Literature Comparison Essay by RightRiters

Symbolism of Names in Literature
An analysis of three literary works, illustrating the symbolism of the names chosen for the characters.
# 23217 | 1,700 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 20, 2003 in Literature (English) , English (Comparison)

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This paper examines the use and meaning of names in three novels: Thomas Hardy's "Tess D?Urbervilles", William M. Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", and "The Portrait of a Lady" by Henry James. The paper shows how names provide a deep symbolic language association that guides the reader to understand the character and the authors' purpose.

From the Paper:

"One of the most important elements of literature is the selection of character names. Thackeray, James, and Hardy, along with all of their contemporaries, employed character names to indicate very specific elements of their character, destiny, behavior, and mannerisms. The selection of names is often very deliberate and quite obvious, but they serve a direct literary purpose. In real life, it is the rare person whose name actually has a symbolic relationship (beyond coincidence) to who and what they are. In literature, however, names can be as important as plot and theme."

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