I am reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker. There is a part of the book where one of the main characters named Molly explains the meaning behind her charm necklace.
Molly Ayer has a necklace from her birth family that holds deep sentimental value. Molly’s charm necklace was a birthday gift from her father (Mr. Ayer) for her eighth birthday, given to her just a couple weeks before his death. The necklace is made of three inexpensive pewter charms. As explained by Molly’s father, each charm is an important animal with symbolic power in Penobscot culture. The teddy bear represents the Maine black bear and imparts courage. The bird represents the raven, which has the power to protect from “bad spells.” The fish imparts the power to resist bad influences and forces. The necklace is precious to Molly, and as a child growing up in the foster care system, she puts she necklace on every time she has to move to a new home. For Molly, the necklace represents the strength and comfort she finds in the memory of her family. It also represents her connection to her past and her cultural identity as a Penobscot Indian.
I used the idea of the fish’s ability to impart the power to resist bad influences and forces. Continuing to play with surrealism, I thought, why not create an image that plays on this notion.