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What is the overriding symbol in The Light in the Forest?

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hairgirl | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 2, 2010 at 12:13 AM via web

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What is the overriding symbol in The Light in the Forest?

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pikub | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 30, 2012 at 8:22 AM (Answer #1)

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A very abundant symbol in the Light in the forest is the river. It symbolizes the separation between the Indians and the white settlers. It also helps True Son connect between these two different territories and serves as a boundary.

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

Posted January 27, 2013 at 2:44 AM (Answer #2)

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There are many important symbols in the book, but the most important one is the forest.  The title indicates this.  The forest symbolizes freedom to True Son.  He has been captured by the Delaware Indians from his White family, where he lived from age four to eleven.

The forest also contains a duality.  It is True Son’s struggle to decide which civilization he wants to be a part of.  Will he be an Indian, or return to the life of the White Man?

True Son had thought nothing could approach the joy of hunting in the forest.  But now he felt contentment in the deep summer days of the village. (p. 153)

In the end, True Son decides he is better off in the forest than among the Indians or the White Men.  He chooses his own path.

 

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