Remaining vigilant all night and counting the hours as he lay relaxed in sleep is a paradox. While sleeping, our brains are still working but in a different way than during the day. Our bodies and brains go into a different state and are not fully aware of everything that is going on around us. Remaining vigilant while sleeping is not possible because we are not fully alert. Although in the story the boy may have been quite aware compared to the average sleeping state, it was still not as vigilant as he would have been if he was awake.
The grass edge is a symbol. Edges often represent the end or beginning of something. A border, obstacle or difference is often related to an edge. When the boy crosses the grass edge it is like he is entering a new self. He changes and and becomes more in touch with the rest of the world, forgetting his life at home. It shows that his adventure is real and that he won’t turn back. He is not simply stepping over a grass edge, but entering a different mindset.
When the boy is not wearing shoes it shows that he is strong and can handle pain. The boy takes off his shoes while walking outside not because he has no other choice, but because he chooses to. He does this to become closer to nature and the earth. When there is nothing between his feet and the ground, he can really feel he is one with the earth. He also builds strength and endurance by doing this because he must overcome pain.
The dogs running free are an example of a paradox. Many years ago, before dogs became common pets, they truly were free. Now, dogs are taught to do what humans say and to follow directions given to them. When referring to the way the dogs run, free is not exactly the truth. The dogs are still controlled by others, therefore they are not completely free.
The sun painting is a personification. The sun cannot paint the way humans do. By giving the sun this human trait we are referring to the way the sun is able to light up the world. The sun’s way of painting is by filling the world with color. The sun sun is not able to literally paint, but this is the way it has been described.