Isaac Bashevis Singer Writing Styles in Henne Fire

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The image of fire is used throughout the story: Henne's last name was Fire; fire seemed to follow her wherever she went; and finally, fire was responsible for her death. Fire is so prevalent and so closely linked to Henne that it can be interpreted as a symbol of her life.

Fire has two primary features: it both destroys and purifies whatever it touches. The fires surrounding Henne can be seen as a representation of evil, something that destroys people and societies. As well, it can be seen as a purifying force; Henne may be a scapegoat, carrying the sins of the villagers within her. Her destruction at the end of the story may be a representation of the town attempting to rid itself of sins or evil.

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This section contains 353 words
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Buy the Henne Fire Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Henne Fire from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.