Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

Alan's Silver Button

For most of Kidnapped, Alan serves as David's guide. But for a short period after the shipwreck, the two are separated. Fortunately, David has held on to the silver button that Alan gave him. This button is symbolic of Alan both in the plot itself, by showing the button to people, David is able to find out what Alan's instructions were, and in a broader sense, it is symbolic of the guidance that Alan gives David throughout the novel.

Faked Illness after Leaving Cluny's Home

At the house of Cluny Macpherson, Alan gambles away all of his money, as well as David's money. This means that David has to ask for the money back, which is embarrassing both to himself and Cluny. Cluny is mortified that they thought he would keep the money, David is angry that Alan gambled it away and he has to swallow his pride and ask for it back, and Alan feels guilty for having gambled it all away.

As they leave Cluny's home, David is so angry with Alan that he refuses to speak to him. Over the next few days, David nurses his anger, while Alan remains apologetic. Finally, Alan decides he has suffered enough, and starts taunting David as usual. David then explodes at Alan, saying such vicious things that he realizes he must fake his near-death in order to bring Alan to his side once more. This faking is not too difficult, since David's health has slowly deteriorated since they left Cluny's house. This growing sickness may be seen as paralleling David's growing anger; he is not only angry with Alan, but he becomes angry at himself. The double-anger manifests itself outwardly in his illness.