I often found it frustrating in my high school English classes when it was necessary to critique a piece of fiction that we were assigned as a class to read. What was the symbolism expressed by this character? What philosophy is being championed in this chapter? I, as a reader of the story, just wanted to read the story, follow the plot, and see what happened to the various people as the book progressed to its end. I suppose that is very simplistic, but that was how I viewed things.
I am sure that some authors out there really wanted to write a story that symbolized the struggle of the working class, or illustrated some other philosophy. But some authors just wanted to tell a story. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in the preface to a new reprint of The Lord Of The Rings in the early 1970s that his story was definitely not symbolic of the struggle of the west against the east in Europe during or after World War II; it was just a fantasy story.
In this post on the Revert To Saved blog, we have an interview with Rob Janoff about the origins of the famous logo used by Apple Computer. I myself have been sent emails over the years asking about the symbolism of the bitten apple logo, and was asked, “Wasn’t this the real story??”
Reading this story makes me happy that the source from which I originally got the Apple logo origin had gotten the info from Rob Janoff correctly.