Arcadia Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

The Apple (Symbol)

The apple, handed to Hannah by Gus and mentioned by Valentine in his conversation with Chloe, symbolizes sex and the chaos and randomness of the world.

The Hermit (Symbol)

Hannah says the hermit is the perfect symbol of the breakdown of the Enlightenment, of the move from thinking to feeling.

Gus (Symbol)

Gus is a symbol of the fluidity of past and present, of how time is not linear but can be folded back on itself.

Translation (Motif)

There is a motif of translation, interpretation, and the desire for truth. Thomasina tries to translate a piece of Byron, Lady Croom mistranslates "Et in Arcadia ego," and Bernard "mistranslates" the clues about Byron and Chater. More often than naught, characters struggle to get at the truth, and much is lost in translation.

The Rabbit (Symbol)

The rabbits symbolize life, sex, and vitality, and their death thus symbolizes the loss of heat and the overall cooling down of the universe.