Grapes, the symbol of sex and eroticism

It has been noticed from time immemorial that writers, being highly imaginative people use a number of symbols to give an object or their thinking a symbolic significance. You might notice that every object, possessing a unique attribute is given a symbolic significance. Every writer has a unique thinking dimension and they want to put forward this in writing. In literature, there is no limit to what one can think, thus offering the writer the freedom to give a form to his thinking. However, while someone's imagination gets prominence in the minds of the reader, somebody else's does not work. In order to impress the thoughts on the minds of the readers, the writer must make sure that their ideas are relevant, genuine and innovative.

Some objects, fruits and flowers are found to possess or are given particular attributes or and qualities considered to be symbolical of certain feelings and emotions. We often get to see that some emotions and feelings are being portrayed through these objects. Certain plants, flowers and fruits are found to reflect the sexual arousals in a person. And among these, the most popularly used symbol is the grape vine or grapes. We are all quite familiar with the grape vine of Bacchus and the association of that deity with grapes. According to R. P. Knight, this too, symbolises a sexual attribute. Speaking of Bacchus, he writes that the vine was a favourite symbol of the deity, which seems to have been generally employed to signify the generative or preserving attribute. Intoxicating liquors were stimulative, and therefore held to be aphrodisiac. The vase is often employed in its stead to express the same idea and is often accompanied by the same accessory symbol.

Hence over time, grapes came to be considered as a symbol of sex and sexual eroticism. In literature too different writings show the relevance of the grape as a symbol for sexual activities and as such it has been used for decorating the deities. Also, when we observe the drawings and carvings done by different people, we realize that grapes as a symbol of sex has been used time and again to make the output seem erotic.

Even in Indian cinema, it has been found that grapes are dominantly used to reveal the sexual attributes inherent in them. A woman in order to instigate the man is found to dance and sing and do anything in order to attract the man. She also uses the grapes in an artistic manner, intended to make her seem as the epitome of sexual beauty. Dressed very elegantly and scantily, and lying on the bed with a grape vine is quite sufficient to instigate a man. The red lips of a beautiful woman, biting the grapes with full elegance and style might seem extremely sexually tempting to a man.

Another understanding attached to grapes is the fact that a grape is also a source to wine, which is liquor to intoxicate you. Similarly, it is believed that the woman with the grape vine has the power to intoxicate and corrupt the mind of a person.

It can be thus concluded that the fruit grape has a significant symbolical effect to sex. Beginning from the past until today, grapes have been used to symbolise the sexual feelings and eroticism in the minds of men and women. The look of the brown and green juicy grapes is worth having the attributes. Perhaps that is why it has been noticed that people all over the world have accepted the relevance of the use of grape vine to portray some of the sexual feelings and emotions in both writings and cinema.

Story first published: Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 12:44 [IST]

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