Symbols In The Lottery

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In each of these three stories The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, Puertoricanness, by Aurora Levins Morales, and Roselily, by Alice Walker there are many strong examples of symbolism. Keeping in mind that all the authors are female yet come from very different backgrounds, they all use their own personal experiences to create these stories. In a story by Aurora Levins Morales titled Puertoricanness, the main character is a Puerto Rican woman that is no longer living in Puerto Rico. She has not been there since she was a young child and she wants to stop using excuses for her true feelings regarding the things that are familiar to her from that time in her life. Because of this she uses symbolism many times during her story, both figurative…show more content…
The story begins with the opening words of the traditional wedding ceremony, “Dearly Beloved”. (Gillespie, 2008) These two words are not part of any paragraph and there is no explanation as to why they are there. Throughout the story part of these vows are interjected between each paragraph. There are eleven of these sections spoken in third person by a narrator who seem to be able to see into Roselily’s mind. This is very symbolic and the symbols are both literal and figurative. Throughout the story, each section of the marriage vows brings Roselily’s mind to a place other than where she is. Her mother’s white robe and veil, the teachings of God, her new husband’s role as a leader in the church and in her new home are just a few of the symbolic references throughout. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery reflects traditions that are passed on from one generation to the next. The story is set in a village on a summer day and begins with several boys gathering stones for the lottery. In a short period of time the villagers gather in the square most of them in a hurry to “get this over with”. The fate of the people in this village lies in the contents of an old black box full of papers. These papers have the names of every family in the village. These papers determine the fate of someone in one of these families.
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