How Symbolism Can Build and Develop Character in Short Storys

771 Words4 Pages
Harrison Gunderson
Jill Divine
English 102
March, 22, 2013
How Symbolism Builds Character in Short Stories Symbolism is when an author will use a person or anitem within the story to be represented as a symbol. For example; an author might use spring after winter as a symbol of life. In Shirley Jackson’s, The Lottery, she uses symbolism to help build up a characters background. This is an excellent writing strategy to use for short stories; since character development is not a large focus within short stories. For example, in Hunters in the snow, in class we were able to tell a lot about the characters by the symbolism in the story. The lottery was a story about how every year in June the village sacrificed someone within their village in order to have a good crop growing season. The way that the village chose their sacrifice was that they would choose a day to have the big event. Then all the villagers will line up and grab their little piece of paper from within the black box. Then they would all open them up together. If your little piece of paper had nothing on it, then you would live. Except if you had the black mark, then the rest of the villagers would stone you to death, even your friends and family would murder you. The story The Lottery is full of examples of symbolism. A large part of the symbolism was the development and building of the characters. Old Man Warner, he is the oldest man in the village. He has participated within seventy-seven lotteries. In addition, Old Man Warner was there for the first original lottery with all the original rules, so he knows all the true reasons of why the village started doing the lottery. He also is the greatest supporter of the lottery in the village. Old Man Warner shares a lot of similarities with a modern old man; he is set on the idea of passing his morals and up bringing from generation to generation.

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