In literature, as in life, symbols play an important part. When used as a literary device, symbolism means to give common objects a different meaning or function. In Despicable Lies, a metal sculpture takes on this role.
We all use symbols in our everyday life, such as wearing wedding rings to symbolize our marriage commitment, or carrying a cross to represent our faith in Jesus or putting a mezuzah by the front door. Companies use symbols to brand their products and many sports teams name themselves after formidable animals, such as The Chicago Bears or The Carolina Panthers.
In Despicable Lies the metal stature of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, takes on the role of being an extra family member in Danielle’s household, and he symbolizes love. He becomes important to the story line and is usually found standing by the front door when she and Alex entertain, menu in hand, ready to welcome their guests. On special occasions, Alex or Danielle dress him up…put a hat on his head or drape a tie around his neck. Freddy, their 3-year-old son, considers him a friend and playmate. Hippes, as Freddy calls him, has important jobs in the household like presenting the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie for the holiday dinner and eventually displaying Danielle’s engagement ring on a sliver tray.
In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the last scene is where George Bailey is holding his daughter Zuzu while his family, friends and neighbors stand around the Christmas tree singing Auld Land Syne.
Zuzu …“Look Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”
George…“That’s right. Attaboy, Clarence.”
That scene had been loved for decades and the ringing of the bell symbolizes the moment when George Bailey’s guardian angel, Clarence, gets his wings.
In the “Polar Express”, the ringing of the reindeer’s bell symbolizes one’s belief in Santa Claus.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” the letter “A” symbolizes Hester’s adultery/sin.
In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night represents darkness, death and lack of faith.
In the Christian faith, wearing the cross around your neck symbolized your belief in Jesus.
In the Jewish religion, placing a mezuzah at a slight angle on the right-hand side of your front door symbolizes the presence and protection of God.
I could go on and on with more examples, but I think you get the point.
I live and write my books in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where my condominium apartment overlooks the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. I often stand at my kitchen window and gaze at magnificent, multicolored rainbows that form over the aqua waters. I never cease to wonder at their beauty. To me, the rainbows symbolizes hope and peace. I am always uplifted by their sight. In the sequel to "Despicable Lies", entitled "Second Chances", a rainbow has great significance and is an important sign for Danielle but I will not spoil the ending.
Until my next inspiration…ciao