Preparing for the Journal
Read and annotate the Style & Symbolism stories and watch the Style & Symbolism PowerPoint before beginning this response.
Completing the Journal
Write 1 developed paragraph (at least 5-7 sentences) on each of this week’s stories (3 paragraphs total). Use the following questions to help you develop the paragraphs. You may write more about each story if you wish.
In “Hills Like White Elephants,” it becomes clear that the man and the girl are discussing the possibility of her having an abortion. But Hemingway gives little information about the characters or how they got to this point, and since the story is written in objective viewpoint, we never hear their thoughts or know their true feelings. Even at the end, the characters are not honest with the reader or with each other, as the girl’s final comment is “I feel fine” (Hemingway 4), when it’s clear that she’s anything but fine. The reader can only pay attention to subtle clues in the story and speculate about the characters’ history, feelings, and personalities. Do you think Hemingway’s style of writing–objective viewpoint and very little description–negatively affected your ability to understand the story and relate to its characters? Or, did you enjoy putting together the clues for yourself?
At the end of “The Lottery,” Tessie Hutchinson screams that “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (Jackson), but her friends and relatives ignore her pleas and stone her to death anyway. The villagers have been performing this ritualized stoning for decades or possibly even centuries. They don’t remember how the tradition began and don’t really understand why they do it every year, but the lottery continues. How do symbols in the story like the black box or Tessie Hutchinson (remember that characters can be symbols!) embody these ideas of groupthink and unquestioned tradition? Look carefully at the descriptions of the box and the way that Tessie’s behavior changes during the story for clues.
“Young Goodman Brown” is a challenging story until you realize it’s all symbolism: Faith literally stands for faith in God or faith in humanity, the Devil symbolizes evil and temptation, and the journey into the woods represents Goodman Brown’s spiritual journey into darkness, a journey from which he never truly recovers. In the end, he feels disappointed and angry at everyone he trusted (the minister, the deacon, his old catechism teacher, and even his wife) and resolves never to trust anyone again. Do you sympathize with Young Goodman Brown, or do you think he’s being overly harsh with his loved ones? What point do you think Hawthorne is making when he tells us that the paranoid Goodman Brown’s “dying hour was gloom”? (Hawthorne 10).
Expectations for the Journal
In this journal, you will not be graded on grammar, punctuation, format, or structure. Its purpose is to help you to think about the stories in a low-stress format.
You will receive full credit as long as you make an honest attempt to answer the prompts and meet the stated length requirement.
If there is anything else you want to write in addition to the given questions, feel free to do so!