Symbolism: Unfolding a Story
There are many interesting ways a writer could use to create a marvelous story. Depending on the writer’s writing, they could choose what literary elements they would like in their story like imagery, symbolism, or figurative language. Of the three literary devices, symbolism can be the hardest because we have to use something that stands entirely different. Using symbolism can also create a better sense in a story. Symbolism if used carefully can make a story successful like the Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst, Marigolds by Eugenia Collier, and the Lottery by Shirley Jackson.
The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst showed good usage of symbolism in a story. Doodle was out of place in the society because he was different. When the author used the Scarlet Ibis to symbolize Doodle, it created better sense in the story. A clue the Scarlet Ibis is symbolizing Doodle was the father says, “It’s a Scarlet Ibis. It lives in the tropics--South America to Florida”. Doodle and the Scarlet Ibis die far away from home, bleeding in brilliant red in the end. If symbolism wasn’t used in this story, it could have been another story with no true meaning.
Another great story that utilized symbolism is Marigolds by Shirley Jackson. The symbol in this story was the marigolds which represented youth and innocence. The moment when Lizabeth’s womanhood began she says, “Miss Lottie. I scrambled to my feet and stood there and stared at her, and that was the moment when childhood faded and womanhood began”. At that moment readers could conclude the marigolds had a connection with womanhood in the story. The whole story is tied to the marigolds, so even symbolism can create a whole story.
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson does not uses just symbolism, but everything in the story has meaning. Instead of having a specific “thing” being symbolized, everything in the story including the characters, the objects, and actions are all symbolized in the story. The characters names like Mr. Summers means that he loves his money and spends his time leisurely. Also Mr. Graves name is suspicious in a way because graves means something bad is going to happen. All of the symbols in the story led up to the ending which the readers find out what the winner gets from the lottery which is being stoned to death.
Stories like the Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst, Marigolds by Eugenia Collier, and the Lottery by Shirley Jackson used symbolism carefully and correctly so the stories turned out successfully. There are plethora amount of ways to incorporate different types of literary elements in a story, but the one that stands out the most is symbolism. Even though it is the hardest to tie to a story, it can create the most vivid story and stands out from other stories. Although there are many interesting ways a writer can use to enhance their story, using symbolism is the road to making a story a success!