Symbolism in The Paring Knife. Literary Essay Example.

Published: 2019-10-10
Symbolism in The Paring Knife. Literary Essay Example.
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Relationship Symbolism
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 903 words
8 min read

The Paring Knife is a story that is told by an apparent lover who is cleaning with the soul. It is during this time that they come across a knife under the refrigerator. After the incidence, they start recalling the event that had caused this knife to end up being under the refrigerator. This is an event that he would have much liked not to remember. Generally, this couple breaks up in a fight and one of the two members became very distraught and wiped out everything that was in the kitchen as a result of frustration. This is what caused the knife to go under the refrigerator.

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On remembering this incidence, the woman starts walking back to the room, just as her husband is about to ask her whether she can remember this incidence, she takes this paring knife and puts is back under the refrigerator. This is symbolism of the fact that she strongly believes that whatever happened in her relationship is past and that it is what has led her marriages to be the way it is today. This means that they should not forget their destiny as well as the experiences they have come across. She also strongly believes that by putting the knife under the refrigerator would tell her husband that she has been able to move on and that she strongly believes that the arguments they ever had in their relationship only made it stronger. This was also supposed to help her husband clearly know that they are not supposed to forget what they have undergone on their way to where they are today (Michael et al 2014).

This story is an indication of marital problems that the two characters in the story have experienced in their relationship. This can be clearly shown when he says that he shown the woman he truly loves and she answered asking where he found it. After having explained where he had found the lost knife, she just put the knife on table and proceeded to the next room to do some cleaning. This shows that the wife of the author is very shy to speak anything about the argument they had and that they are again together trying all they can to avoid the issue again between just like they did on the night when the incidence took place.

When the wife of the author enters the kitchen again, she grabs the knife immediately and places it back to where it was. This shows that the wife want to leave all the problems that they had in their relationship in the past. The wife of the speaker strongly believes that they should not at all bring the events they had in their relationship today since they have already done away with them. She however does not throw the knife away. This is meant to show us that despite the fact that this experience is remembered for from a perspective of bad experience, she does not want to completely forget the experience that they have been able to overcome as a family. She therefore keeps it as a symbol of their past as well as a token of what contributed to making their relationship even stronger. This knife is also meant to symbolize an old wound that their relationship has been able to heal. Through placing this knife back under the refrigerator is a clear indication of the fact that the knife will not be able to reopen the wound which is being represented by the argument they ever had. It is therefore meant to remain under the fridge so that it does not make them remember the pain that the wound caused in their relationship.

The author has extensively utilized symbolism in the whole story. By using a common object like the knife helps the readers to be able to easily connect more with the story unless in a situation where a more unfamiliar objects are used. The knife is meant to represent small incidences that may happen but we cannot be able to throw them either under the table or under the refrigerators. Even though the two seem to have had a conflict in their relationship, they can still be mature enough and realize that it is of no benefit to fight in a relationship. That there are better ways of resolving conflicts that may arise in a marriage

The meal scene is another symbolism used in the story. They had taken large dinner and had some wines in this incidence. A meal is always a representation of something else. By drinking and eating together is an indication of communion and it is used here to show the bond that the couple had with each other. This is also shown by the fact that the couple is now sharing peace (Michael et al 2014).


The story is a symbolism of the challenges that are faced in any relationship as well as how we should solve these issues. The paring knife under a fridge is a symbolism of the need to forget challenges we ever encountered in our relationship.

Work cited

Schakel, Peter J, and Jack Ridl. Approaching Literature: Reading + Thinking + Writing. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2012. Print.

Thomas, James, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka. Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories. New York: Norton, 1992. Print

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. Print.

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