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.
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