While writing stories, authors areconstantly looking for different types of methods to engage their readers.
Thiscould vary from the tone they use, their writing style, or their choice ofliterary devices. In the two stories being analyzed, “A Rose for Emily” byWilliam Faulkner and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, both authors useliterary devices to engage their readers and provoke them to continue reading.Literary devices are techniques and tools authors use to get their messageacross and bring clarity to the text. It is evident, authors William Faulknerof “A Rose for Emily” and Shirley Jackson of “The Lottery”, build tension intheir stories leading to the shocking revelation through the use of setting,irony, and symbolism. After analyzing both short stories, itis explicit that Faulkner and Jackson both use the setting to create tension,which leads to the unexpected endings. “A Rose for Emily” is a story wherethe overall setting plays a pivotal role in the tension build up. From the beginningof the story, it is noticeable that there was something odd about Emily’shouse. When the house was first introduced, it was described as old anddifferent, “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white.
..styleof the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street…
only MissEmily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay” (Faulkner1). From the description of the house, the reader can pick up Emily’s house isfairly big and the Dunn 2 statement that it “had once been white”, describes the dirty look of thehouse. Furthermore, this explains that because the house is outdated, it isbeginning to decay and rot. In addition, the house glorifies the decay of thetown and emphasized Emily’s resistance to change, as it is the same house shehad grew up in. As story progresses, it is visible Emily’s house is almost likea place where she secludes herself from society and what is going on aroundher. By Emily doing this, it bring suspense and tension to the story, as nowall of the reader’s thoughts are based on the assumptions of thetownspeople. Apart from Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily”, ShirleyJackson’s story “The Lottery” also uses the setting as a method of creatingtension and provides essence to the ending. Throughout “The Lottery” it is notlong before you pick up the big role the setting plays.
The story takes placesin a village with a small population, as mentioned in the story, “but in thisvillage, where there were only about three hundred people” (Jackson 1). The population of the village explains why conformity occurs within thestory and why it would be so common. This simply due to the fact, people do notwant to be deemed as outcast.
As the story unfolds, the theme of conformity inresult of the setting is portrayed when the lottery takes place. This isbecause instead of people standing up and refusing to partake in an old villagetradition, they remain in silence allowing these cruel acts to take place.Furthermore, this develops suspense throughout the story, creating the dramaticending. This is a result of the conformity which takes place throughout thevillage.In both stories, irony is used todevelop many aspects that contribute to the astonishing ending. In “A Rose forEmily” there are two main types of irony, dramatic and verbal. Dramatic Dunn 3 irony is seen, when Emily begins to go out with Homer Barron.
This isthe exact opposite of the kind of man her father would approve of, as he is aNortherner and is not a man of high status. As the town is fairly traditional,Emily and many in the town see marriage as a value, but Homer Barron”liked men,and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks’ Club – that hewas not a marrying man.” (Faulkner 4). Moreover, this is ironic becausemarriage being something valued by Emily, would be impossible to fulfil if shewas having hopes of marrying a man who likes men. Another type of irony evidentin Faulkner’s story is verbal irony. This can be observed when the mayorattempts to collect taxes from Emily and she responds, “See Colonel Sartoris. Ihave no taxes in Jefferson.” (Faulkner 1).
This is an example of verbal ironybecause Emily is saying something opposite of its literal meaning. Furthermore,by her saying “See Colonel Sartoris” (Faulkner 1), which has been dead for tenyears, she is indirectly implying she is not paying taxes because the mayorcannot speak to the dead. In addition, to “A Rose for Emily”, Jackson’s “TheLottery” exhibits irony. The whole story and the events that take place withinare prime examples of irony. In the story, the lottery is an old tradition,villagers take part in that involves a form of a draw, and the person who picksout the slip with the black dot on it is stoned to death. Firstly, the titleitself, “The Lottery” is ironic because when people think of lottery, it isusually something good in which people want to win, but in this situation it isthe complete opposite.
Another situation in the story where irony is presentis, when Tessie began to protest the lottery was not fair, “It wasn’tfair!” (Jackson 9) This is ironic because, she does not question thelottery’s fairness when she first arrives at the event. In fact, it appears shedoes not have a problem with it until, she and her family are put in danger.This build the Dunn 4 storyline of the story, as well as teaches a lesson. The lesson beingnot to conform to things which are not acceptable before it is too late. Thisis most likely the reason Jackson ended the story in the manner she did.Symbolism is a literary device used byauthors to represents ideas or bigger meanings.
In the two stories, bothauthors used symbolism to help develop the events that take place throughoutthe story and the surprising ending. Symbols are constantly used in Faulkner’sstory. Faulkner has a very distinctive way of using symbols; this is becausesome of his symbols have various meanings behind them. One of the majorsymbols used in this story was the house of Emily, which symbolized isolation.In the midst, of the story it highlights how Miss Emily uses her house toisolate herself from the town.
A great example of this is the death of herfather, “After her father’s death she went outvery little…
people hardly saw her at all” (Faulkner 2). This shows that whenEmily is faced with hardship, she isolates herself for society and make littleto no contact with the people around her. Furthermore, this teaches reader aimportant lesson. Which is, when faced with troubles in your life do notwithdraw from others, as solitude can change the way you may act. In relationto “A Rose for Emily”, “The Lottery” also uses symbolism.
Symbolism is usedthroughout “The Lottery”, as the town’s tradition symbolizes murder. Itis a an annual ritual, that no one has thought to question and is said to allowthe crop to grow, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” (Jackson 8). Thevillagers although, some believe the ritual is outdated and does not need totake place anymore, many are still loyal and believe it is necessary.Nevertheless, the lottery continues, simply because it has occurred in thevillage for as long as people could remember. As a result of this, everyonebecomes company to Dunn 5 murder annually.
In addition, the black box used in “The Lottery”symbolizes death. Within the black box are slips, with one of the slip having ablack dot meaning the person that draws that slip dies. Overall, the way inwhich both authors use symbolism develops the plot, perfecting the ending.All in all, in the stories “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner and “TheLottery” by Shirley Jackson, both of the authors create suspense throughout theplot, leading to the revealing ending through their great use of literarydevices. Such as, the use of setting, irony, and symbolism. For example,Jackson’s use of irony when Tessie’s family is endangered and she thendisagrees with the lottery process, although she took part in it. This showsirony because she was fine with the lottery, until her family was put at risk.
Furthermore, the use of these devices allows the authors to build tension andgive their stories dimension. The way both stories, highlight valuable aspectsand lessons in life, further develops the readers understanding of the contextand give them something to think about after reading. Additionally, the eventswithin these stories and the way the characters go about the situations, areprime representations of elements within a modern-day society.