Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Joe's first novel.

Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby ashleemonster on Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:49 pm

Hi
I'm doing a 1500 word report on HSB for my english 2 honors class. I have choosen this book because it was one of my personal favorites

But i am having some trouble finding things for symbolism, I understand it and all but I just can't pin point the correct symbolism for some objects in the novel. Also i read the post that Joe posted on the theme of the book
I was wondering since i am only a sophomore in highschool if someone could you know make it a little bit more easier for me to understand

:] thanks so much for people that reply :]
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby This_Girl on Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:52 pm

Hi There,
I am sure there are some nice people around here willing to help and give you some ideas....Me, personally, I would need more information from you to help. Based on the above, I am not sure what it is you need ideas/help with.
:)
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby ashleemonster on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:17 am

okay thanks for you guys that are willing to help me :]

i already new and thought about the symbolism for heart shaped box well i mean the box. but is there any other things
like i was thinking about how the ghost is always holding the razor blade with him and maybe there is a symbolic reason for that
if that makes sence :]
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby Betsy_Boo on Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:23 am

I think for me I'd have to re-read the book looking for specific examples of symbolism...when I read it before it was purely for enjoyment. I'll try to browse through it again and see what I can come up with...obviously the heart shaped box itself is a symbol with a deeper meaning. It shows up more than once and if I had to guess I'd say it has something to do with the father/child relationship. I'm showing my age here, but I know from what others have said that there is a song by the same name by Nirvana? I don't know the lyrics but I think I would look those up and see if there is a connection there. In fact, I should have done that already. Anyway, I'll take another look and see what else I can come up with. Good luck on your paper! :)
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby This_Girl on Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:48 am

Betsy_Boo wrote:I think for me I'd have to re-read the book looking for specific examples of symbolism...when I read it before it was purely for enjoyment. I'll try to browse through it again and see what I can come up with...obviously the heart shaped box itself is a symbol with a deeper meaning. It shows up more than once and if I had to guess I'd say it has something to do with the father/child relationship. I'm showing my age here, but I know from what others have said that there is a song by the same name by Nirvana? I don't know the lyrics but I think I would look those up and see if there is a connection there. In fact, I should have done that already. Anyway, I'll take another look and see what else I can come up with. Good luck on your paper! :)


Only b/c I am huge Nirvana fan do I feel the need to add this. I saw on youtube Joe saying the novel was going to be Private Collection and as he was writing Nirvana's Heart Shaped Box came on and he found that fitting since...and I forgot! Goodness, I think when the suit was arriving...so he put it in a heart shaped box :)
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby Shane on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:39 pm

ashleemonster wrote:okay thanks for you guys that are willing to help me :]

i already new and thought about the symbolism for heart shaped box well i mean the box. but is there any other things
like i was thinking about how the ghost is always holding the razor blade with him and maybe there is a symbolic reason for that
if that makes sence :]


Ashlee,

Just a bit of a side thought here: instead of trying to work out a specific meaning for something like the razor (which, by itself is a little easy when not associated with a specific character), try mulling over something like what vehicles mean to the characters, the story, and to ourselves away from both of them. Are they used to take us towards things, or away from them? Can they be used for both at the same time, and if so... how? What symbolism of driving down a long road, trying to escape the ghosts of our past (or from our mistakes), attempting to put as much mileage (distance = symbolism) between them and our current selves can you take away from the story and apply it to how people try to cope with their normal lives? I think instead of trying to break down the specifics, tackling something that overarches the whole story would serve you best.

But, if you're really looking for the razor, try thinking about the things we do to protect ourselves, and those we love. What do the characters do to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their past? Jude, for example, it could be said used his music as a buffer or shield to protect himself in certain ways...

-Shane
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby ashleemonster on Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:07 pm

Wow shane
thanks so much for helping me , i think i understand so much better. I only pointed out the razor because the ghost always had it with him and i thought there would be a symbolic reason to it. But you pointed out many elements that i did not even cross my mind.

thanks so much for helping me :]
i can finish my paper now :]

thank sooo muchhh
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby This_Girl on Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:17 pm

Good Job, Shane. - You're good!
Good Luck, Ashlee :)
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby Shane on Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:56 am

Ashlee- that was just the tip of the Thought-iceberg, so it's good it got you thinking.

TG - thanks. Chalk it up to the many perils and pitfalls of being an English major, I guess.
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby Betsy_Boo on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:52 am

Wow Shane...I'm so impressed! That was great! You know, I had thought about the car as symbolic but I couldn't take it any further. The idea that it is helping Jude flee from the ghost of the box and yet it is taking him toward the ghosts of his own past...truly inspired. And thinking about what we use to protect ourselves...Jude using his music...etc...that was great too. I actually thought that Jude was using the porn tape for the same thing...he never really knew why he kept it, but look at the result: his wife leaves him. From then on all his relationships are shallow and lacking true intimacy. Keeping people at arm's length is a way of protecting yourself. You've really got me thinking about all this now and I'm gonna have to re-read HSB and see what else I missed. I was an English major too, but I missed out...I guess it has been so long since I read a book other than to just enjoy the story, I'd forgotten how analysis can make it a richer and even more satisfying story. You would be an excellent teacher. And I hope you'll jump in more often when we talk about books and stories. I really love your insight!
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby ashleemonster on Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:58 am

I wanted to tell you guys i got a goood grade on my paper :]

thanks for the help <3
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby This_Girl on Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:10 pm

LOL, Good Job! I wasn't help, but I am glad to hear you did well :)
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby Betsy_Boo on Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:21 pm

Congratulations ashlee! :)
"We'll always have Paris."

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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby Melissa on Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:47 am

Geez, just found this thread. Good Job Ashlee - glad you thought to reach out and get some other opinions or ways of thinking on the subject.

I need to re-read it now, too!!
The devil's voice is sweet to hear.
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Re: Heart-Shaped Box question :]

Postby demorganakamark on Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:51 am

Keep up the good work..and dont stop reading.
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