The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

by William Saroyan

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Justify the title "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse".

Quick answer:

The title "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse" aptly captures the essence of the story, which is set during summer, a period symbolizing maturity and growth. Central to the narrative is a stunning white horse that represents the dreams and aspirations of two poor Armenian boys. This horse not only symbolizes their desires but also facilitates their learning of important life values such as compassion and trust. The story culminates with the boys returning the horse, having gained a deeper understanding of themselves and their values.

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The title seems quite appropriate for the timbre of the story.  Initially, one can suggest that it is set in a summer- like time period.  The boys can focus on the horse, and are not necessarily burdened with school work.  Additionally, the ideas presented in the story lend themselves with the fruition and full bloom of summer.  These ideas relate to maturation, experiences, and collegiality.  The story revolves around this beautiful white horse.  If we can envision for a moment, why this is so important to the boys, we can see why it would be important enough to include in the title.  Initially, we know that the boys are poor.  They are of an immigrant Armenian family that is not wealthy.  We know this because it is inconceivable that either of the boys would own a white horse.  The fact that Aram is awakened one morning by Mourad sitting atop a white horse prompts Aram to question if it was stolen.  From abject or dirt poverty to a stunningly white horse, one sees that the horse is a symbol, a representation of the boys' wishes.  Throughout their summer experiences with the horse, they learn essential values such as compassion for the animal and trust amongst themselves.  These come about as a result of the beautiful horse.  The story reaches its climax when the horse is returned, in better shape and temperament than before, and the boys have a renewed sense of faith in both themselves and their love of the horse.  The short story is aptly titled for each part of it relates to an experience within the story.

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