Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow

Start Your Free Trial

Is there any symbolic significance at the end of Humboldt's Giftregarding the flower growing next to Humboldt's grave? It is a crocus. Do you think that is a sly pun (croak/crocus/ we all "croak" in...

Is there any symbolic significance at the end of Humboldt's Gift regarding the flower growing next to Humboldt's grave? It is a crocus. Do you think that is a sly pun (croak/crocus/ we all "croak" in the end)?

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write988 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

When asked about the flowers around Humboldt's grave, Charlie Citrine replies that he doesn't know: "I'm a city boy myself. They must be crocuses."

The crocus is generally regarded as a symbol of youth, rebirth, and cheerfulness. The Ancient Greeks wove them into wedding garlands. On the other hand, such a pun as crocus/we all croak is entirely...

(The entire section contains 174 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial