I was doing some research recently into symbols in Flannery O'Connor's story "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
Apparently, there are symbols all over the place in that story. Everything, they'll tell you, is a symbol. The sky, the trees, the characters, the dirt road, the barbeque shack...
I personally think they're reading into it too much. They're making stuff up and justifying things that Flannery never intended to put in there. And I think that sort of thing happens all the time. It is my opinion that English teachers and that whole community try to find things in the story that aren't there. What about you?
*couldn't agree more*
I hate the way people are like: "But what did <author> mean by that?" Meanwhile I'm thinking: "Maybe he didn't ACTUALLY mean anything at all! Gees!" If *I* ever write a moderatly well known book that's studied in schools I'm going to issue a public statement saying there is no symbolism, hidden meanings, or metaphores in my story WHATSOEVER.
That's part of deconstruction. Readers are allowed to deconstruct it so much to the point where they are extracting things the author originally didn't intend. There's really nothing wrong with that.
In school, it's not, or at least it shouldn't, be about getting it "right' or "wrong". It should be about displaying the mental ability to analyze deep enough that you can think up a symbol for everything, whether or not it's actually there.
Also, i'm not saying this is you, but in my experience the people who don't think there are any symbolisms or metaphors in a story are the people who aren't good at deconstruction.
Sure some films do have a deeper meaning and symbolism is obviously evident in poetry and shakespeare the like however I think it is ridiculous how deep these deconstructions have become. I am sure many of the authors never intended many of the readings and some texts have been analysed to the degree where they contain no meaning at all. What is Iago's true motive? What is Othello really about??!
At school they just brainwash you anyway, though english teachers do try and get you to look more into it because some writers to delibratly put different things into different context for example Animal Farm by George Orwell. Some writers that you read couldn't write about certain subjects because of constraints by the goverment that they would be killed etc. so they had to make a story which would reflect what was going on without being directly linked, although I do agree that in english they do try and look to deep into the words a writer just happens to use or happens to phrase something and seem to think it's something more, but then there are people like that in life who look to deep into the coincidences.
when it comes to books i dont really have a problem with it. people analyze books, its a fact.
when its about certain other stuff, i get annoyed by it ;/.
sometimes a cigar is just a cigar