Symbolism In Eugene Onegin

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Symbolism can be seen in everyday life. For example, the image of a caduceus will normally invoke the thoughts of medicine or a doctor’s office. But a caduceus does not mean medicine. In fact, it is seen in mythology as the staff of Hermes, who was the messenger for the gods, conductor of the dead, and protector of merchants and thieves. However, in modern days, the caduceus has become a symbol for medicine. In literature, authors typically use symbols to better engage their readers in the story, by making them reflect and think about the story rather than just reading it. Symbols can also often communicate more meaning than simply stating the idea itself. In Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, the moon is mentioned quite frequently. Upon first reading the novel, the reader may not notice any significance with this. However, with further investigation it is easy to see that the moon represents Tatyana and her mystical and mysterious ways. When the reader is first introduced to Tatyana at the party that Eugene Onegin (the “hero” of the story) and Vladimir Lensky (a young poet who is in love with Tatyana’s younger sister, Olga), the narrator goes into explaining how Tatyana was an odd sort of girl, who was not in to childish games: Upon her balcony appearing,
She loved to greet Aurora’s show,
When dancing stars are disappearing
Against the heavens’ pallid glow,
When earth’s horizon softly blushes,
And wind, the morning’s herald, rushes,
And slowly day begins it flight.

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