Kate Chopin was one of the feminists of time; she grew up in a well-off family and got educated during her time. Her views as a woman were always distant ahead of her stint. She wrote many short stories and in most of her works, she about topics, which she considered important to her like woman’s right of being independent. It was in an era when women were expected to uphold a given code of conduct in the society. It was time when sexual desires were only associated with men, and women were not expected to have the sexual desires. Shirley Jackson is another woman having typical characters as Kate (Chopin, 17). She also wrote several short stories, and in her writings, she portrayed a range of ideas, and both of them employed different literary styles in their writings. This paper seeks to; argumentatively analyze symbolism as used by the two authors.
Kate employed the use of symbolism wherein the short story; the storm is a symbol of the chaos that experienced by Calixta as the storm rages. Alcee’s visit unexpectedly comes when the storm appeared. Calixta having significantly been occupied at the sewing machine, she is taught the moral of being a responsible wife right before Alcee’s visit. It is at this point when the old-fashioned feelings are aroused by the contact between their bodies (Chopin, 23). Comparatively, Shirley also portrays a sharp display of symbolism just from the name of the short story, The Lottery. Almost everything in her work is symbolic. The lottery is used to symbolize many things in this short story, but the primary symbol of the lottery in the whole story is the unquestioned traditions. The lottery is used to signify cultures and traditions ranging from important ones like the Christmas trees to more pragmatic ones like racism and sexism, which up to date are still problems (Gale, 5). Unlike Kate’s representation of storm by an act, Shirley represents her lottery with culture.
The next symbolism in Kate’s work is the adulterous act which is about to take place between Calixta and Alcee. At the window when Calixta and Alcee looked out, lightning strikes a chinaberry tree in Calixta’s yard. This event symbolizes the implication of sexual energy between them. Bolt lightning and Chinaberry tree unmistakably denote Alcee and Calixta’s merger sometimes back. On the hand, in Shirley’s book, the other symbolism is the method of execution. The lottery again symbolizes the society being protagonists and execution is through stoning. This symbolizes the execution culture referenced back to Jewish time.
The last symbolism in Kate’s book is Alcee Laballiere and Caxlixta’s modest families. In the book, Bobinot walks barefooted to Friedheimer while Alcee is horse riding. Bobinot’s barefoot is a clear representation of poor living style while Alcee’s horse shows how wealthy and powerful they were. On the other hand, Shirley uses the lottery box as a symbol of the members of the town. Many people cannot trace the real box, but most of them are certain that the new box is a makeup from the last one (Gale, 9). The box, therefore, is used to symbolize the members of the society those who have lived for ages with the new generations coming up to replace the old generations even though the culture continues. Symbolism, as we can see from analysis of the two authors, has been used to create a good understanding by the readers and as well to create an image of what is happening the context. Kate and Shirley exploit the use of symbolism to ensure their books are not only entertaining but also enticing to the readers. The analogy is significant in short stories as they bring soothing and eager sensation as you read a book. Literary elements like symbolism enable authors to express their feelings in the writing.
Chopin, Kate. Kate Chopin: The Complete Novels and Stories. Book House Publishing, 2016: Pp 17-25.
Gale, Cengage Learning. A Study Guide for Shirley Jackson’s” Charles”. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016: Pp 5-15.