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Symbolism in Literature

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by

Rosemarie Burkhart

on 20 March 2015

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Transcript of Symbolism in Literature

The mockingjay represents defiance in the novel. The bird's symbolism derives from its origins—it originated from a failed project by the Capitol to spy on the rebellious districts—and serves as a reminder of the Capitol's failure and the districts’ rebellion. Katniss describes the bird as “something of a slap in the face to the Capitol.”
Symbolism is the use of an object, person, situation, or word to represent something else (an idea) in literature.

What is symbolism?
The Lottery
Now, it's your turn!
With a partner, find other symbols in "The Lottery." What do these things represent? Why do you think Jackson specifically chose those things to represent something in her story?
Some examples of symbolism in the real world...
Meaning Beyond the Obvious
Symbolism in Literature
Every factions' clothing tells us how they see the world—and how they want the world to treat them.
Think about an image that you really like or connect to. What do you think it represents?
What are they shorthand for? Why do people use them instead of a longer description? Why are they effective?
Universal sign for wealth, banking
Edison, ideas
Christianity
Knights of the Round Table
Crusades
What do these symbols represent?
1) Evil

2) Mystery

3) Death
1) An allegory of the
community
2) Unquestioned rituals and traditions which drive our society
Stoning is one of the oldest and most common forms of execution.
Many of the first Christian martyrs were stoned to death and serve as a symbol for the innocent being executed.
The reason it is important in this story is
that there is no single executioner.
crowd-generated death
Stoning has a strong religious association with community punishment of abomination.
Stoning is the classic means for expelling an outsider to reinforce group beliefs.
The three aspects of the Christian Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit)
The three-legged stool holds the black box of death, which is ironic because the Christian Trinity represents purity and holiness, but the black box represents sin and evilness.
This is significant because they manipulate the religion to support the violence that will be done, thinking that it’s “okay” to stone someone to death because of religious reasons, and that God would have wanted the townspeople to sacrifice innocent people.
Scripture, Reason, Tradition
(Is the tradition they uphold in the name of religion reasonable?)
*Nothing in writing is an accident.
Symbolism magnifies an idea. It allows people to understand something that they might otherwise not. It shows us the relation between things that we may not see until we take a second look.
American flag=Freedom, Unity
"May the odds be ever in your favor!"
Full transcript