Defined Symbolism “is the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character. A symbol is an object, action, or idea that represents something other than itself, often of a more abstract nature.” (Wikipedia) Authors use symbolism to give their stories a deeper meaning. Symbols make you look beyond the obvious and see the deeper meaning.” Symbols have emotional and intellectual power beyond their literal importance, and writers often use them to compact large ideas into simple words or phrases.” (SPC Blackboard) Authors Shirley Jackson (The Lottery), Susan Glaspell (A Jury of Her Peers), and Katherine Ann Porte (The Jilting of Granny Weatherall) all effectively use symbolism is their stories to convey a deeper meaning, the symbolism in their stories help connect you on a different level.
In Jackson’s The Lottery, there are many instances where symbolism is used to represent something else. The first symbol which is probably the most obvious is the title of the story. When you think of the word lottery you think of a prize of some sort, “In this story the lottery serves as an ironic symbol--something which begins in a harmless and sociable way but ends in tragedy.” (Enotes) Another symbolic reference in this story is the black box that is used to draw from. The box is dilapidated and in need of some major repair, yet it is still used year after year. ‘They base their attachment on nothing more than a story that claims that this black box was made from pieces of another, older black box.” (SparkNotes) The black box symbolizes tradition; the people of the town are attached to the box just because it has been around so long they don’t know anything else. There is no reason the villagers should be so attached to the box, just as there is no reason they should continue to hold the Lottery but they do because of tradition. (SparkNotes) The third and most disturbing symbol from
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