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Alexander Williams – 4.04The use of literary elements in distinct types of literature allows us to dissect them, while simultaneously showing us parallels of both purpose and theme. A prime example of this is how Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Bean Trees” and Maya Angelou’s “Woman Work” both utilize symbolism, point of view,and characterization to dissect what it means to be a woman, along with the important burden of motherhood. These elements are utilized heavily in both works, creating a strong impact on the reader by using relatability and imagery. The inclusion of these elements manages to introduce a sense of realism through attention-to-detail and comparisons to the real world. Symbolism in “The Bean Trees” and “Woman Work” bring both works to life, while making them more understandable. In “The Bean Trees”, symbolism is used as a device to make parallels between the events happening in their lives, and the world around them. From the novel, the author shows us how Taylor learns Mattie lets Spanish-speaking families stay in her upper room. Mattie calls it a “sanctuary”. Taylor compares this “sanctuary” to a bird sanctuary, where birds cannot be shot and aren’t in danger (Kingsolver 6.10). Taylor, the protagonist, is using symbolism to compare the freedom of a bird sanctuary to her dream of the refugees finally being free. This shows compassion and a woman’s empathy. On the other hand, Maya Angelou’s poem “Woman Work”, goes on to say: “Sun, rain, curving sky, Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone, Star shine, moon glow, you’re all that I can call my own.” (Angelou 26-29). Maya uses symbolism differently than Kingsolver – deciding instead to talk about the loneliness and unappreciation of womanhood. This impacts the reader by allowing them to feel empathy for the protagonist of the poem. She uses symbolism to detail her endless struggle, and illustrating the often-overlooked downfalls of motherhood. Symbolism is malleable and can be portrayed both positively and