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Mason Davis

Seat in the garden

  • The historical story A seat in the Garden is a short story by Thomas King that depicts the cultural clash between Native Americans, non-natives. Joe and Red are the story's main characters. The story focuses on the conflict between American and Indian culture. King attempts explain the commonality of the natives as well as the negative impact they have on other cultures. This paper will look at the symbolic components of the short story. How characters, images, or the setting of the text represent something in society.


    King has used some symbolic features in his fiction short tale A Seat at the Garden. As an example, the main characters in the story and the text are both symbolic. King uses Joe, a white man who is ignorant, and Red, a racist towards Indian culture. Joe realises that the Indian big man is standing on the farm and that he can't take it anymore. Therefore, he is willing to do whatever is necessary to get the Indian guy off his premises. King portrays Joe as arrogant, ignorant, and arrogant. He asks the Indian man for his property. "Get out of the corn!" (King 238). Joe is an American symbol for individualism. Everybody has their property and no other person can use it. King illustrates the arrogance that Americans have towards other cultures. Joe has a problem with Indians and hallucinates there is a man at the cornfields. Red isn't different from Joe. He too hates Indians. This is why he also hallucinates about the Indian guy standing in middle of his farm. The characters are envious of the Indians, believing that they are better than other people. Red and Joe decides to explain their findings to Red, who informs them that there is no Indian in the area. Red also confirms with the officer that there are Indians nearby. Joe, however, refers to the Indians as the old winos. King 1997: 240.


    Red and Joe do not understand two stereotypes. Red is also symbolically shown in the text as the giant Indian man stands in the middle. This symbolizes the differences and gaps between the cultures. Red and Joe cannot see the big Indian male moving his mouth, but can't understand what he is saying. They decide to seek the help of the people they do not like. "Maybe it is time to ask the Indians if they could translate" (King: 240). The stereotypical attitude they have towards Indians is what the two characters adopt. They fail to understand the truth of their thoughts about them when they get close to them. The characters are not willing to change their perceptions, especially of Indians, "They are older than Joe thought and didn't smell as bad as he expected." King 1997: 241. This illustrates how King presents the incorrect perception of Indians that the White has. They were both wrong when they went to visit the Indians. The Indians were actually drinking lemon water, which was quite different from Joe and Red's perceptions.


    The Indians symbolize the despised, discriminated individuals in the society. King shows his Indian characters to be despised as they are perceived by the two white men, who believe that Indians do not belong on their land. Red and Joe reach out to the despised to help them when they are in dire need. The Indians realize that these two white men are far more stupid than them and they decide to play the game. They claim that they can also see the big Indian guy. In the sense that they are desperate to help the big Indian guy, the act that the two white men turn to the Indians is symbolic. Red and Joe are desperate to send the big Indian boy out of Joe's cornfield. They have called the police and have not received any assistance. The Indians are forced to go to the people that they most hate. Realizing the two of them are foolhardy and hallucinating the Indians decide to take advantage and speak to the big Indian boy, kind of like a spirit. King, 1997: 242. Red and Joe are informed by the Indians that the Indian gentleman needed a bench made in the middle to allow him to sit down.


    The color white symbolizes purity, righteousness, and justice. Joe and Red believe they are righteous. They cannot be compared against the Indians who have become drunk and smelly. Red and Joe decide that it is impossible to drive the Indian man from their garden. So they call for police assistance. Red, as one of these characters, represents impurity to white men's righteousness. The color red is a stain that can be found in the color of white and it contradicts the righteousness.


    The author presents different symbolic situations in the text A Seat in Garden in conclusion to this essay on symbolism. The author uses symbols to illustrate the contradiction between Indian cultures and American cultures. King has created characters, images, settings and other elements that aid in the interpretation of the brief fiction.

    Source: https://proessays.net/essays/symbolism-in-a-seat-in-the-garden-by-thomas-king