"No symbols where none intended," the warning that Samuel Beckett issued near the end of his second novel, would drive American Studies professors out of business and push them into an occupation of greater social benefit.1 For it is the point of this essay to find some inadvertent symbols and to discern iconographic significance in the history of a state. Florida should make an especially promising subject because of its mythic status, tapping into the nation’s definition of itself. Its saga appears to be more than a combination of geographic constraints and political boundaries and economic developments and demographic patterns. Its history also incorporates a mystique, which no state in the union needs but which a few states have nevertheless transmitted. Florida might well be such a rarity because it has claimed to be a kind of hologram of Paradise, a place where the most ancient, Edenic memories of the race are somehow re-invented in the form of contemporary fantasies.
Whitfield, Stephen J.
"Florida's Fudged Identity,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 71:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol71/iss4/3