Symbolism

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All authors of famous short stories want their reader to be engaged in their readings. Most authors have their own unique and different ideas brought into their text. That’s what I think symbolism means in terms of English Literature. It is creating the background for us readers. The author wants us to connect the dots in the story. When the author makes the connection, we are more engaged and interested in what else he has to write. Most symbols used in literature are objects used to represent other things or ideas. There are several ways to recognize symbolism in literature. One of common ways is the frequency an object or character is mentioned in a piece of literature. If it is mentioned often, it is probably important. (Jones) Another way in finding symbolism is used in describing an object. These are two methods that give clues that the writer wants you to infer something about a particular object. Shirley Jackson is the author of “The Lottery” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman is the author of “The Yellow Wall-Paper”, both express vital symbols in their short stories. To better understand symbolism written in the text you want to familiarize yourself with the author’s work and style. Often times the author represents the important issue of the time in which the author lived, or has personal significance to the writer. Miss Jackson was widely known as the author of "The Lottery," a short story published in 1948 that became a classic horror tale. Shirley Jackson wrote in two styles. She could describe the delights and turmoil of ordinary domestic life; and she could, with symbolism, write a horror story in which abnormal behavior seemed ordinary. In either genre, she wrote with remarkable tautness and economy of style, and her choice of words and phrases was unerring in building a story's mood. Of all Miss Jackson's eerie and gruesome fantasies, "The Lottery," published in The New Yorker magazine, was the best known and most baffling to readers. The dark and sinister story, opening on a quiet note, describes with mounting suspense, an annual village lottery to select a ritual victim to be put to death by stoning. The excitement is all in the selection of the woman's name from slips of paper in a black box. The stoning itself is dispassionately cold-blooded. The symbols of “The Lottery” become a bit clearer when you understand that the author was a woman in 1948 America. She was probably a woman author who had a lot of reason to find the longstanding traditions to be just as vile as those traditions in “The Lottery”. It could’ve been segregations, the lack of voting rights or any of those other traditions which still existed. “The Lottery” helped illuminate the story to the reader. In addition, the author chose a woman to be stoned. This is a way the author is putting herself symbolically into the place of the victim. It shows tradition has subverted the natural instinct men have to protect women.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a writer, lecturer, social critic and feminist during the 1800s and 1900s. After a difficult childhood, she married and endured severe depression, undergoing some unusual treatments for it. She is best known for her semi-autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wall-Paper." Since its publication in 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wall-paper' has always been recognized as a powerful statement about the victimization of a woman whose neurasthenic condition is completely misdiagnosed, mistreated, and misunderstood, leaving her to face insanity alone, as a prisoner in her own bedroom. Never before, however, has the story itself been portrayed as victimized. Charlotte was raised by her mother of two children and moved a lot. Charlotte Perkins Gilman married artist Charles Stetson in 1884. The couple had a daughter named Katherine. Sometime during her decade-long marriage to Stetson, Gilman experienced a severe depression. She was first treated by a popular form of rehabilitation called the...
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