The usage of symbolism assists in enhancing this story’s central theme, and helps to convey its message. Most of the elements observed by Lena are not mere objects; rather, they hold double meanings and symbolic worth. The most copiously used symbol in the story, the blue door to Lena’s house represents quite a few concepts, the first of which being the protagonist herself. The unique qualities of the door allowed it to be the only conspicuous one in the entire community, a fact shown through the line “it was the only house with a door like that on the hill”. In a figurative sense, this same concept applies to Lena as well. She is the blue door, distinctive, unusual, and thus unique, that stands out so prominently against the “stark white of the house”, or the rest of society. Thanks to the special qualities of the door, it was able to be differentiated from all the other houses, an idea representing how Lena’s unique Native identity helped her stand out from the crowd. As a child, she had been too immature to realize how her diversity and individualism was not a negative thing. Instead, she had “hated the door and… wished it would just be white like the rest of the house”. Lena’s embarrassment for who she was arose as her understanding of social norms, and how her identity was not a part of it, grew. Her deep desire to assimilate into society led to her blindly accepting conformity, as she chose to forget the special nature of the blue door. However, as Lena eventually compares the blue door to a “barrier against the cold north wind”, the second symbol of the door, an emotional shield for her, is revealed. No matter how much she had hated it, the blue door, her unique identity, had been the one “constant clear image”, the one thing that kept her going. The door symbolized how innocent and protected her childhood was from the harsh truth of an unwelcoming society. It represented Lena’s childhood memories of home, ones she held close to her heart since they were what got her through the loneliness and unbelonging she felt in the city.


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