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Garden Imagery in Being There

In the Jerzy Kosinski novella, Being There, the use of garden imagery is a very strong theme throughout the entirety of the work. In literary works, imagery is an often used theme that helps readers connect to the theme of the work. Imagery allows the reader to connect to a literary piece through any of the five senses. By using a word or bunch of words in a work, an author can evoke the reader’s memory of any of the five senses. In the story, Kosinski uses garden imagery numerous times.

One example of this is when he describes a gardener as, “A person who makes a flinty soil productive with the labor of his own hands, who waters it with the sweat of his own brow, and who creates a place of value for his family and for the community” (Kosinski). This evokes the sense of touch, as it uses creative language to allow readers to feel the act of gardening, instead of making them just simple imagine it. In the story, the term garden is used in a number of different ways.

It is used to describe the space of the old man, as well as being the home to some of the important stories within the book. The use of garden imagery is not only an important part of the story for giving the reader understanding, but it also adds a measure of interesting depth to the story. In the story, Chance is a character that has a complicated situation to deal with. With his limited interpersonal skills, he does not understand how to articulate himself. In addition, he is only really comfortable in the old man’s garden.

That is how the garden imagery is used the best in the story. It is used to explain Chance’s affiliation with the old man’s garden, so that readers can understand how important the actual garden is to the character. Not only is the idea of the place of the garden important, but the actual physical aspects of the garden are equally important to Chance’s survival. There lots of different ways that garden imagery is used in the story. Though the idea of touch is obviously important as indicated previously, there are other senses that are also used.

The important thing about flowers is that they invoke the sense of smell for most people. The author understood that this would be the case for his readers, as well. During the novella, there are aspects of descriptive language that evoke the memory of smell for readers. Readers get a real idea of the effect that the smell of flowers had on Chance and the old man both. In addition, the beauty of the flowers was important to Chance and the other characters. Descriptions of their colors and their beautiful shapes helped the reader to understand this aspect of the flowers.

These creative uses of imagery combined with the aspect of touch to bring the flowers to life for readers. Without imagery, they would have simply been words on a page. With the creative, descriptive language, these things are brought into the light. The novella, Being There, is an interesting take on the life and struggle of a given character is a highly garden driven world. In order to make this work and not be a boring tale, the flowers and the idea of the garden had to come to life. Through the delicate use of these literary devices, the author makes the story much more interesting for the reader.

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