Symbolism in the long shot

Symbolism is one of various methods in which to carry an emotion or attitude forward in a story. In my novel the long shot, Victoria’s swan barrette represents a symbol of love and encouragement for Nazaire Poulin as he moves forward in his incredible journey some four thousand miles from all that he knows: his children, his extended family, his village.

Four times Victoria’s swan barrette impacts Nazaire. Each of these events acts as a symbolic reinforcement that Victoria is with Nazaire throughout his journey.

TAKE VICTORIA AND EVERY TRACE OF HER

In the scene Home Viewing, Victoria’s sisters prepare her body in a rough-cut wooden coffin. They place the swan barrette in her hair.

NAZAIRE SEEKS APPROVAL

From the scene Seeking Advice, Nazaire steals a look into old man Connolly’s back room where he sees a swan dish that closely resembles Victoria’s barrette. From this one glance, he senses that he has Victoria’s blessing for this journey.

NAZAIRE MUST DECIDE

With the scene Discord, Nazaire walks to a nearby stream to clear his head and looks into the moving water. He sees a swirling mash of fine oxen hairs that separate into two long clumps, mimicking the open wings of Victoria’s swan barrette. Nazaire is so touched that he is ready to make a critical decision.

THE ARMADA OF BIRDS

From the scene Toronto, Nazaire looks to the sky as thousands of birds fly toward the nearby Oshawa Marshlands. A pair of swans take up the rear of this armada, the sight of them a welcome omen to Nazaire.

Joyce

Joyce Derenas is a historical fiction author who writes stories based on the real lives of her French-Canadian ancestors of the Beauce Valley in Quebec.