What are examples of symbols in Fever 1793? I am trying to help my 4th grader with his book report.  He has to find pictures to go along with the symbols and explain what each represents.

Expert Answers

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

Paris, the city of lights, is another important symbol in the story. For Mattie Paris represents a dream world full of glamor and excitement. It's a place where she can buy trinkets which she hopes to sell to her customers in the coffee shop. Mattie has grown up very quickly in the midst of this terrible epidemic, but she still has her dreams, and those dreams allow her to transcend her immediate surroundings, with all their death and suffering. However, they are not pipe dreams; as we've already said, Mattie has grown up considerably due to her experiences. Her visions of Paris and all they represent are still rooted in what is practical: they will help to expand her business.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A scrap of yellow cloth tied to the door of plague houses was a sign of illness within. The pushcarts moving through the city was symbolic of the dead victims that needed someone to bury them, for no one was left in the family that was willing to risk exposure. The grass growing over the mass graves was a symbol of life returning to the stricken city. The crushed bird cage was a sign that the parrot was probably dead. Grandfather's sword was a reminder of his past military triumphs and showed Mattie's strength and willingness to wield it in her grandfather's defense. The bag of coffee beans delivered to the coffeehouse at the end signalled a return of the business which Mattie would now reopen.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial