Big Two-Hearted River

Big Two-Hearted River Symbols

The burned town of Seney, Michigan is a symbol of the destructive aftermath of World War I. The town’s buildings and landscape are completely annihilated, with no sign of life. Nick likely witnessed similarly brutal…

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The river symbolizes hope, life, and the comforting permanence of nature that Nick turns to in order to soothe his restless mind. The town of Seney to which Nick returns has been completely devastated by…

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The black grasshoppers have adapted to their burned surroundings and symbolize the changes wrought by a destructive event. Nick notes that they are not a special variety of black grasshopper but are rather “just ordinary…

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The murky, tangled swamp is a reflection of Nick’s dark memories and unresolved emotions. While nature in the story is mostly a rejuvenating and hopeful force, the swamp, in contrast, comes across as uncontrollable…

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