Symbolism In Short Story

921 WordsOct 6, 20174 Pages
Symbolism is a type of literary device which is used by most authors in many different literary genres, such as poems, short stories, and novels. It is the practice of using symbols to convey a more profound thought and idea to the readers, which can be displayed in various ways, such as objects, places, events, and facts. Symbols play a significant role in written works, as it helps the readers to understand the intended meanings and words that are associated with the events in the story. In the three short stories selected, symbolism is used to reveal the underlying message of the story. In this case, symbolism signifies social issues that are rampant in our society. The three short stories, “The Lesson”, “Indian Education”, and…show more content…
Furthermore, there is a climactic scene in the story where Sylvia and Sugar interrupted a ceremony in the Catholic Church. Their unethical behaviour shows their unfamiliarity in a formal setting. Bambara demonstrates the significant gap between two different social classes in her story that were evident in the style of dressing, wealth, language, behaviour, and quality of education. Moving onto the next short story, Alexie’s “Indian Education” tackles social issues of racial discrimination and stereotyping, which stems from his personal experiences. As he was growing up, Victor faces discrimination from white people which made his childhood full of sorrow, fear, and misery. Victor explains how Indians are often perceived as outsiders and failures. Victor lives in a community where there is a gap between people from different cultures. Alexie uses different symbols to emphasize racial discrimination. Cutting one’s hair is one of these symbols which expresses Native Indian’s culture and identity. Victor states “She sent a letter home with me that told my parents to either cut my 14 braids or keep me home from class” (Alexie 321). The ultimatum Victor received affirms the boundaries that were set in place. It’s either Victor succumbs to their will or defend his culture. Many Native Americans perceive their hair as a memento of their identity and culture. Moreover, he was tormented by his peers verbally and
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