Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

The Roles of Symbols in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit College

Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit explores the themes of homosexuality and relationships affected by difference. Throughout this novel, it is clear that there are symbols present that carry the overall meaning in this piece. Jeanette, the protagonist, discovers that she is a lesbian, which is complicated by the fact that she comes from a strict religious background. The symbol of the orange is regularly brought up in the novel, from the beginning all the way to the end. The readers can easily see what the orange represents: the dogma and the structure of which she should, ideally, lead her life. It is seen again and again that the symbol of an orange surfaces only when Jeanette reaches a difficult period in her life, showing that oranges represent the life she is supposed to lead, but ends up taking on another direction. Jeanette also refers to fairy tales in this novel, which also represent Jeanette's journey from escaping her mother's views. Ultimately, the symbols present in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit effectively represent Jeanette's exploration for a life of liberation rather than a life bounded by religion.


Oranges are first introduced to the novel when Jeanette's mother, who holds Christian values...

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