Symbolism In The Ceiling Theme

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As a man’s marriage begins to deteriorate, an overhanging object in the sky slowly starts to descend onto the their town. In Kevin Brockmeier’s The Ceiling, this black ceiling in the sky is symbolic of the protagonist’s failing marriage with his wife. A prevalent theme that surrounds the text is the idea of love, or lack of it, which leads to separation or feelings of detachment. This struggle evokes the feeling of loneliness and a total neglect towards the narrator’s surrounding world. The conflict arises when the wife, Melissa, begins to become distant and notes differences between her and her spouse. Her actions signify remorse or a change of attitudes towards her past decisions. However, their son, Joshua, acts as the glue of the family, …show more content…
An important theme surrounding The Ceiling, is the evolution of love as two people grow apart. As a result, an individual becomes so fixated on the conflict that he is distracted away from the things that matter around him. To illustrate, the story begins at the narrator son’s birthday party. It is on that day that the story’s main theme starts to develop, first, there is an odd, small opening in the sky and second there is something wrong with his wife. Both of these ideas develop throughout the story and appear to become interconnected and more serious as time goes on. The ceiling gradually descends as the narrator’s relationship with his wife worsens. For instance, after he finds out about Melissa’s infidelity, “It was not long after- early the next morning, before [they woke]- that the town water tower collapsed, blasting a river of fresh water down [their] empty streets” (Brockmeier 14-15). From this, it is s evident that the ceiling’s activity is correlated with the struggles in his marriage. This supports the idea that his agony is manifested in the form of a dark ceiling. After discovering that his wife is cheating on him, his pain, further suffocates him, slowing falling to inevitably crush him. It …show more content…
The text is trying to show the repercussions that come with letting things drag you down, in the narrator’s case, his failing marriage. In the end, the weight of their marriage was too overbearing for him and it ended up crushing him both emotionally and physically with the ceiling. This is shown at the end of the story when he squeezes his wife’s hand, “[he] was waiting to feel her return [his] touch, and [he] felt at that moment, felt with all [his] heart, that [he] could wait the whole life of the world for such a thing, until the earth and the sky met and locked and the distance between them closed forever” (16). Here he yearns for a sign of affection from his wife, but is not receiving anything in return. The longer he waits, the closer the ceiling gets to his face, and this constant rejection is just enough to make the ceiling

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