American War Symbols & Objects

Omar El Akkad
This Study Guide consists of approximately 75 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of American War.
This section contains 1,130 words
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Water

While water is traditionally associated with fertility and life, it takes on a different meaning in American War, symbolizing destruction, power, and fear. Due to catastrophic climate change and rising sea levels, water has become an invasive and all-powerful force that American society has not only had to evade or adapt to, but that also sabotaged the “optimistic notion” (55) that humans could control it. It is described as something that “won” (55), symbolizing the unrelenting power that nature has over humans and perhaps hinting at the eschatological notions of floods from the biblical traditions. It also exerts this power on Sarat at Sugarloaf when it is used as an object of psychological manipulation that she comes to fear intensely for its threatening association to death. Nevertheless, water also represents the perpetual cycle of life, especially when Sarat explains to Benjamin that Dana’s ashes were thrown into...

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This section contains 1,130 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the American War Study Guide
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