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Einstein's Dreams | Symbols

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Birds

Birds symbolize time in Einstein's final dream. Dream Figures chase after the birds to trap them and thus gain some time, even though they know the birds will die soon after being trapped. While the majority of Einstein's other dreams feature abstract concepts about time as played out by the Dream Figures, the birds are a concrete symbol of the fleeting nature of time; they also represent the danger of believing one can control and manipulate time.

Dream Figures

Although the Dream Figures live in recognizable cities and towns in Europe, the author deliberately leaves them nameless. The Dream Figures symbolize humanity as a whole, particularly the ways in which humans perceive and deal with the structure of time in their lives. Their hopes, fears, and anxieties are depicted as individual struggles, but their stories all have universal elements. Even though time is a scientific concept, humans relate to it through their own personal experiences and histories.

Questions for Symbols

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For each of the following items, indicate in the space to the left whether it is a fused sentence (“FS”) or a comma splice (“CS”). Then, correct the error by adding a period or a semicolon. Capitalize
What might the birds’ restlessness and large numbers foreshadow?
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