Symbolism In The Lottery And The Mirror

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Symbolism can be defined as “the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense” (“Symbolism”). Examples of symbols include hearts, which stand for love, and the triple moon that represents the Wiccan religion. Many significant examples of symbolism can be found in "The Lottery by Shirley Jackson", "We Wear The Mask" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson, and "The Mirror" by Sylvia Plath. Each author used very obvious symbolism to capture the reader's attention and represent an underlying meaning to the stories. To begin, "The Lottery by Shirley Jackson" uses various characters and objects to symbolize a deeper meaning to the story. Though…show more content…
In this poem, Plath uses the mirror itself as the most obvious symbol. It represents the introspectiveness of the woman, the way she analyzes herself throughout the poem. Plath writes, "Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me / Searching my reaches for what she really is" (lines 10-11). This quote further illustrates the representation of self-exploration, by using the lake as a metaphor for being able to not only see your reflection, but at the same time becoming conscious of what lies under the surface. "The Mirror" explains the story of a woman going through a period time that everyone goes through, a time where they're trying to really figure out who they are and where they're from, and really does a wonderful job of representing the people who begin to feel lost along the way through the use of symbolism. Another literary work that uses symbolism very well is "We Wear The Mask" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Like Plath, he uses the most obvious symbol for his poem, the mask. It represents how we, as people, hide our true selves from the world. As human beings, it's a natural instinct to hide our weakness or weaknesses from others; no one ever wants to seem vulnerable. To further explain this, he writes, "We wear the mask that grins and smiles" (line 1), and continues, "with torn and bleeding hearts we smile" (line 4). These two quotes are perfect examples of the meaning being…show more content…
Many significant examples of symbolism can be found in "The Lottery by Shirley Jackson", "We Wear The Mask" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson, and "The Mirror" by Sylvia Plath. The symbols in each of these stories are very relevant in today’s world, and are similarly applied in many other stories and poems throughout history. The mask especially, when pertaining to human nature, the mirror symbolizing introspectiveness and self-exploration, as well as Richard Cory representing the damaged and distraught one percent, the black box that represents fate and evil, along with Old Man Warner and his old world values that he can’t let go, and the mirror symbolizing introspectiveness and self-exploration. Each symbol is used in an intelligent and methodical way by the author in order to capture the reader and relate their stories to past and present-day

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