First off, I would like to say I LOVED this movie. It had an incredibly compelling storyline and, from what I can tell, seems like a very original and creative work of film which is close to the best I've seen. One of the key points to my belief is that this film expertly applies motifs and symbols.
The most noteable symbol seems to be how Nobody keeps asking if William Blake has tobacco. The tobacco seems to be a parallel to William finally understanding his predicament and just going with the flow of what's going on around him.
Nobody is there to assist him in helping find his tobacco, or ultimate realization. At the end, when William is shoved off in the canoe, he has tobacco and is simultaneously not controlling the canoe and where it goes. William has surrendered to the forces of the world around him, almost like an existentialist would.
Another good motif are the glasses. The glasses represent a sort of layer or viewpoint-based protection from the world around him. The glasses are worn as sort of an intellectual status symbol and come with a less aware view of the way the world really is.
Once William takes off his glasses, he begins to see the situation he is really in as well as the kind of world that exists outside of Cleveland and, more generally, the work space. He sees all of the struggles and brutal parts of life that every else has to deal with and becomes a part of that.
Questions? Thoughts? Comments?