Explain the symbolism and significance of the pumpkin seeds in Valley Song.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Valley Song , the pumpkin seeds are meant to represent dreams and tie in to the play’s themes of cycles of change and miracles. Just as seeds can grow into something tangible such as a plant, tree, or fruit, a dream can also grow into something tangible if enough...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Valley Song, the pumpkin seeds are meant to represent dreams and tie in to the play’s themes of cycles of change and miracles. Just as seeds can grow into something tangible such as a plant, tree, or fruit, a dream can also grow into something tangible if enough time and hard work are dedicated to that dream.

The pumpkin seeds grow from the land, just as the “Author” and Buks have grown from the same land; however, one of the men has turned out to be an author, someone who takes stories and turns them into plays, while the other is a farmer who takes seeds and turns them in to pumpkins. And, just as not everyone can meld words into literature, not everyone can take seeds and grow them into pumpkins. Either fate could be construed as miraculous.

For the people of the Karoo Valley, the pumpkins provide hope for a better future, and the cycle of their growth is similar to the cycle of growth (or lack thereof) of the characters. Veronica has dreams that she wants to nurture into reality, just as Buks has pumpkin seeds that he grows into actual pumpkins. But, Veronica’s dream is to leave home and go out into the greater world beyond the valley. Buks is opposed to this and feels like people always leave him, since Veronica’s mother also left home. He is in a cycle of abandonment, just as Veronica is following a similar cycle of her mother, wanting to leave home and grow beyond the valley.

Works Cited

Fugard, Athol. Valley Song. Theatre Communications Group, 1998.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team