Petrified Man

Petrified Man Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Symbol: Lavender

Leota's booth in the beauty parlor is all lavender, which is a mixture of purple, the color of royalty, and pink, the color of youth. Therefore, lavender is a symbol of the highest level of femininity. It represents refinement, grace, and elegance, which Leota's customers strive for.

Motif: Powder

Powder is used as a mask by the women but also by the petrified man in the freak show. The women pretend to be beautiful creatures on the outside, trying to conceal their ugly personalities. Similarly, the wanted rapist uses powder to hide his true identity.

Symbol: Mirror

The mirror as a symbol of self-reflection serves as a reminder that the gossiping women should look at themselves first before they judge others, but even if it is right in front of them, it is completely disregarded. Instead, both Leota and Mrs. Fletcher happily bad-mouth others without feeling they needed to improve their own personality.