Symbol Analysis

In this novel, Monkey Beach, the author Eden Robinson, bases most of the mystery and substance of the novel in the symbols of her book. The main symbols were The Little Red Man, the crows that Jimmy fed, and the Sasquatch.

The little Red Man was a symbol of death and the horrible fact of knowing when death will happen. This Red Man appears only in Lisa’s sleep. With his appearance, she soon figures out, something horrible happens. It usually is the death of a loved one. He symbolizes death for this reason. He also symbolizes the horrible fact of knowing the future, because whenever he appears, she gets frightened with not knowing who, and not being able to stop it. Such as when she knew it was Jimmy, and she did everything in her power to stop it from happening, but it still happened and made her life miserable in the process. For this he symbolizes the curse of knowing.

The crows that Jimmy fed symbolize the superstitions that they have in this certain culture. They were thought to give you good luck if you fed them. They also seemed to warn Lisa when they came in her dreams along with the Red Man. They also were there when she thought the spirits were with her. They seemed to be in the story as part of the foreshadowing with what was to come.

The Sasquatch, or the B’gwus, I think symbolized Jimmy’s and Lisa’s childhood. When Jimmy was little he wanted to take a picture of the Sasquatch then sell it to make his fortune. When he set off he got lost and so did Lisa soon after while searching for Jimmy. While Lisa was lost she thought she sighted the Sasquatch. To them, it seemed like a memory to look back on, when all they worried about was the old folk stories, before everything got all complicated with loss of loved ones, and the disappearance of Jimmy.

By Melissa