Everything I Never Told You

Water Symbolism: Death & Rebirth in Everything I Never Told You College

Water, in its many forms, is a force to be reckoned with. It can give life, or it can take it; it is the foundation of our planet, and a meaningful factor in human existence. Of all the naturally occurring entities in the world, water – embracing the earth with oceans, rivers and lakes crossing and dotting the land, the atmosphere emptying itself upon all from above in the form of precipitation – presents as the most mysterious, the most unpredictable, and the most paradoxical. Therefore, it is not surprising that this simple substance is rich with symbolism in both real life and literature. Water symbolism consists of two opposing images. First, there is the concept of water as a catalyst of life; it is the fuel of organic survival, and it renews and revives the damaged and dirty. Baptism and the use of water as an instrument of cleansing, physically and spiritually, coincide with this viewpoint. However, the contrasting perspective cannot be ignored. Water also has a dangerous energy with the ability to drown life in its excesses faster than it can create it, swallowing up into its depths what cannot stay afloat and wiping away all traces of what lay in its path on occasions of complete annihilation.

In Celeste Ng’s harrowing...

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