The Pine Islands Symbols & Objects

Marion Poschmann
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Gilbert's dream

Gilbert's initial dream about his wife having an affair is a symbol of his dissatisfaction with his life and his need to transform himself. He believed his subconscious mind was warning him about his wife being unfaithful, but in fact, it was alerting him to his own unhappiness. This is the first of many dreams throughout the novel that provide some commentary on Gilbert's mental and emotional state.

Tea

Gilbert's professed dislike of tea and tea-drinking cultures is a symbolic acknowledgment of the fact that he is entirely unprepared for the journey that lays ahead, and that he has truly chosen his destination at random. Gilbert declares that, "In tea countries everything is played out under a shroud of mysticism," whereas "In coffee countries one is able to buy things, revel in in selective luxury" (9-10). This is essentially an East vs. West dichotomy, and...

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This section contains 1,118 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pine Islands Study Guide
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