What are the symbols in " 'Tis" by Frank McCourt?  

Expert Answers
gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A major symbol is young Frank reading Dostoevski’s great novel "Crime and Punishment."  The act of reading foreshadows McCourt's eventual rise through the educational system; reading great literature foreshadows his specific topics. Raskolnikov symbolizes McCourt himself, and his anger and the way he lashes out at the world symbolizes how McCourt cannot, really. The landlady in the book symbolizes McCourt's landlady, which allows the connection to go the other way, and for McCourt to find some grandeur in his circumstances.

Another symbol is how McCourt sees the Statue of Liberty repeatedly as he commutes from Staten Island. This makes his regular ride a mini-repetition of the immigration experience.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question