Motif Definition: a recurring or prominent idea, image, symbol, character, or situation throughout a work that points to a larger theme or message
Holden Caulfield’s name, the Museum of Natural History, and the red hunting hat in The Catcher in the Rye all give support to the overarching themes of alienation and fear of the loss of innocence.
The contrasts of light and dark in Romeo and Juliet highlight Juliet’s unrivaled beauty and innocence.
The women talking and the signs of age give support to the theme of time passing in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.
The twins, or doubles, of the cities, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, and Lucie Manette and Therese Defarge are examples of motifs in A Tale of Two Cities.
The repetition of the mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird highlights the racism Maycomb holds against Tom Robinson, which results in his death, and the dangers of revealing Boo’s heroism to the town.
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