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What is the symbolism and significance of the pumpkin seeds in Valley Song?

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lorindasmith | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:58 PM via web

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What is the symbolism and significance of the pumpkin seeds in Valley Song?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The pumpkin seeds symbolize dreams.  Like seeds, the dreams have a chance to grow into reality, but it is a long and difficult process.

Just as pumpkin seeds need the richness of the land to grow into pumpkins, dreams need the right conditions to grow.  Anyone can have seeds, but they won’t necessarily be able to grow pumpkins. 

The pumpkins are also unique to the region in South Africa where the play takes place.  Just as the author wrote the play, he grew the pumpkin.  The seeds of the play come from him.  He recognizes that “a girl can’t make adventure and romance out of pumpkin seeds.”

In my little village in the Sneeuberg Mountains spring is now well underway and everyone has already planted their pumpkin seeds. (p. 1)

This is significant because as the play is starting, the dreams have already been cultivated.  The play does not start as the seeds are planted.  Ultimately, when the play starts events have already started and there is no way to alter them from their course.


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