Symbolism in David Leavitts Gravity

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David Leavitt has masterfully used symbolism in his short story Gravity. This effective use of symbols to develop the plot and emphasize the theme as well as depict the characters makes this story a distinct and unique one.
The reader is moved by the intensity of the emotions and situations the characters undergo.


The eyes may symbolize truth and the human soul. It has been commonly said that the eyes are the windows to one's soul. Theo chooses to face the truth about his brief and dwindling life - which is a sign of courage. His mother supports his decision; she has been there for him from the beginning.
Offering him her own eyeglasses when he was twelve years old shows her deep concern and sacrifice for her son. "Sylvia had to squint through Fiddler on the Roof that day, but for Theo, his face masked by his mother's huge eyeglasses, everything was as bright and vivid as a comic book."
To while his time, he would watch I Love Lucy, considered the most popular TV show because of its unique presentation of life and humor. Watching the show may divert his attention from the grave reality of his life which is being pressed on him daily and unceasingly.
This is made more painful by the presence of the "hard piece of pipe" on his chest. It is a "constant reminder of how wide and unswimmable the gulf has become between him and the ever-receding shoreline of the well." It reminds him of the reality of his brief life, the well representing life.
On the other hand, the "lovely silver tray" that his mother gave Howard on his behalf can stand for something valuable, full of promi ...
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