B. Wordsworth

by

V. S. Naipaul

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The Stars and the Pin Symbol Analysis

The Stars and the Pin Symbol Icon

The stars at night, which fill the boy with wonder, and an incident with a small pin both symbolize a sense of the world’s deep mystery. Whether one looks up into the night sky or down into rushing water, the world is a constant source of curiosity and wonder for B. Wordsworth and the boy. A crucial moment in the story occurs when the boy and B. Wordsworth lie down on their backs and look up at the stars. The boy notes, “I had never felt so big and so great in all my life.” The stars reveal to him the grandeur of the universe and the grandeur of his own being, even if they at the same time paradoxically make him feel like he is “nothing.” After this, while walking with B. Wordsworth, the boy, as if inspired by B. Wordsworth’s endless wonder about the world and its mysteries, wonders whether a pin that he is holding will float if he drops it in the water. “This is a strange world,” says B. Wordsworth. “Drop your pin, and let us see what happens.” The pin sinks, and neither say anything more about it. Although the pin sinking into the water is a small reality compared with the more majestic reality of the stars, it reflects how the friendship between the two, itself a strange union of outwardly different characteristics, is shot through with an all-encompassing sense of wonder at the world.

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The Stars and the Pin Symbol Timeline in B. Wordsworth

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Stars and the Pin appears in B. Wordsworth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
B. Wordsworth
Identity Construction Theme Icon
Art and the Artist’s Life Theme Icon
Unconventional Friendship Theme Icon
The Wonder of Nature Theme Icon
...grows dark, B. Wordsworth suggests they lie on the ground and look up at the stars. The narrator is overwhelmed with a sense of his own smallness and the greatness of... (full context)
Art and the Artist’s Life Theme Icon
Unconventional Friendship Theme Icon
The Wonder of Nature Theme Icon
...along the water one day, the narrator asks B. Wordsworth if he should drop a pin into the water to see what will happen. B. Wordsworth encourages him to do so,... (full context)