The Oyster and the Pearl

In William Saroyan\'s play The Oyster and the Pearl there is
a lot of symbolism. The theme of the play is to take it easy
and relax and life will be much happier. Harry Van Dusen is
a barber that has a philosophy of "Take it easy." He tries to
spread his philosophy by talking to people when he is cutting
their hair. It was almost as if the haircuts were just a way of
getting people in the barbershop to talk. The hats that Harry
wore symbolized the attitude that he was in. The sea
symbolizes life. The name of the small town that the story
takes place in is called O.K.-by-the-Sea. That name
symbolizes that life isn\'t perfect but by taking it easy it can be
more fun. Vivian McCutcheon is a new school teacher that
does everything "by the book." She just tries to fit in. This is
symbolized by her wanting a poodle haircut. She didn\'t really
want one but she was trying to be like everyone else. Harry
knew this and that is why he would not give her the haircut.
Harry\'s philosophy is superior to Vivian\'s philosophy of
fitting in. This is shown by how much happier Harry and
everyone else that lives by his philosophy is than Vivian. All
the little things in the story have symbolism too. The bottle of
sea water stands for the details of life that have to be looked
for. Clay and Clark Larrabee symbolize the problems and
difficulties that occur in life. Two of the most important
symbols in the story are the oyster and the pearl. The oyster
symbolizes obstacles that must be overcome to get to
hope(the pearl). Beach combing represents looking for the
obstacles to get to hope. The pearl is hope. When Clay
found the oyster he thought there was a pearl inside.
Everyone except Harry told him there was nothing inside of
the oyster. Harry probably knew there wasn\'t anything inside
of the oyster but he wanted to make Clay happy. The
Oyster and the Pearl is filled with symbolism. Much of it I
did not recognize. Taking it easy and relaxing is a great
philosophy to have because life will be a lot easier not
worrying about material things. Happiness is all a person
needs.

Category: Book Reports