Shoemaker: Fiction and Shoes

In the short story “The Shoemaker” written by Roch Carrier, there are significant symbols appear throughout the whole story. The three main symbols are the boy, his shoes, and the atomic bomb. The author represents a mint-sized world to us by using these symbols. The boy represents the innocent, naive and immature characteristics like many of us today. He believes in himself, he thinks that it’s the shoemaker who fixed his old shoes even though his mom’s statement is different. He knows “during the night [his] shoes had been repaired by the little shoemaker with the clubfoot. The boy lives in an imagination world that builds by him; he thinks he could fly with the magic shoes. He “knew though, [he] was flying. ” The narrator shows a boy that represents the child-like population around us which carries hopes and beliefs. The shoes emerge as an unimportant object with the boy, but it actually has two levels of symbolisms. It has the meaning of wonder, hope and confidence. Since the shoes are not common in the narrator’s childhood, having a pairs of shoes states how special the owner is.

With the shoes, the boy thinks he could fly; with the shoes, the boy elieves in the old ,kind shoemaker(magic)’s existence; with the shoes, the boy could do a little bit show off in front of his friends. The boy finds that his shoes’ “gleam was more dazzling than the September morning. ” The other meaning given by the author about the shoes is the external and internal appearance. In the outer face level of the shoes, it is fixed, newly recovered, and as beautiful as a new one. In the inner level the shoes is still the old one, nothing changes but the face.

The shoes are a very good symbol that can be explained as the dream and hope of the boy. The atomic bomb is the killer of those unrealistic, imaginary fantasies. It represents violence, cruel actions and destroys. It is an irony of what the people are doing right now; we are killing and destroying ourselves. The time the atomic bomb comes out; the time the end of our innocent and hopes. In the short story “The Shoemaker” written by Roch Carrier, the boy, the shoes and the bomb comes as three main symbolisms. Each of them show parts of our society or population. The more we understand them; the more we understand ourselves.

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