The Shack: A Discussion of Symbolism
The Shack, written by William P. Young, tackles one man’s quest for faith and reassurance in God through several metaphors, parables and symbols. These symbols are used to compare the story religion itself; and from this comparison it is easier to grasp a deeper understanding. However, with this underlying symbolism, it’s possible to over analyze and disregard the fictitious nature of the book. Despite this, there are many symbols within The Shack that are essential to the story and the deeper significance within it.
Symbols are used within The Shack to really enunciate the relationship transition that Mack experiences while visiting the shack and the new found relationship that he develops within the Trinity. Symbolism within The Shack is found almost everywhere, with symbolism it is possible to understand God through the analogies expressed. These analogies range from simple to complex and have many dimensions; the symbol itself and the reality it exposes.
There are many different symbols hidden within the shack, some are obvious and some are vaguer. One of the more obvious pieces of symbolism would be the story of the Indian Princess that Mack tells Missy. (Young, 30-31) The story is a clear representation of the death of Jesus Christ. Missy is unnerved by the death of the Indian Princess and Jesus and raises the essential question, as to why God is so mean? (31) Mack answers the question the best he can but it still unnerves him. He says that Jesus didn't have to die, he chose to. He then tells Missy that God will never ask us to do something like that, as Jesus already covered it. He's shaken though by the depth of his young daughter’s question. However, not quite as shaken as he will be in the days ahead as he wonders the same thing himself. In the coming days ahead When Missy is abducted, Mack will think back to this, thus, creating distrust in God for Mack.
Now that Mack has developed a type of...