Animal Dreams

by: Barbara Kingsolver

Symbols

Peacocks

The Gracela sisters brought their peacocks with them from Spain when they first came to the valley that was eventually named after them. Like the Gracela sisters, the peacocks thrived in Grace. They stand as the symbolic reminders of the Gracela sisters, the uniqueness of Grace, and the connections between its inhabitants. Thanks to the peacocks, the Stitch and Bitch Club succeeds in publicizing the plight of Grace. The peacocks also symbolize the importance of making use of the past in order to preserve the future.

The Afghan

Codi and Hallie had one favorite afghan that they used to huddle up under together. The blanket stands for their connection. Codi uses it at the memorial ceremony for Hallie to gather the mementos that everyone brings. At that ceremony, Uda Dell reveals that she crocheted the afghan for the girls just after their mother dies, imbuing it with a new symbolism: the caring of the entire community for Codi and her family. Finally, Codi wraps everything in the afghan and heads off to bury it, just as she wrapped her child in her mother's sweater and went off to bury it. The parallel is emphasized by Doc Homer's mistaking of the one bundle for the other. As she plants Hallie's bundle in Doc Homer's garden plot, Codi symbolically perform a public burial of her unborn child as well. Using the afghan, which was her comfort as a young girl, she gives up her position as daughter to accept one as mother.


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