Symbolism is often used in stories to represent more of a truthful meaning. Mythical, conventional, and allegory are examples of the different types of symbolism. Symbols can be displayed in several ways. We can notice it in people, objects, and events in the stories. I will be discussing how symbolism played a critical role in two short stories: The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara and Hills like White Elephants by Earnest Hemingway. .
Throughout The Lesson, Bambara uses symbolism in a number of ways. The title itself is a symbol. The teacher, Miss Moore, always referred to money around her students. Throughout the story, she tried to teach them a lesson about money and how people spend their money in different ways. She took them to the world famous toy store, F.A.O Schwartz. The children were baffled when they saw how expensive the toys were and could not conceive how someone would actually spend so much money on a mere toy. A young girl Sylvia was the trouble maker of the group. The first lesson that Miss Moore tried to teach the students was about how much of a tip to leave, but instead Sylvia wanted to keep all the money and jump out of the cab. .
Another student, Sugar, asked if they were allowed to steal while they were at the store, so theft seemed to be a common characteristic amongst the children. Both of these examples point back to the lesson that Miss Moore was trying to teach the children. This lesson will be important to them all one day of their lives.
The language Bambara uses suggests the type of environment the children live in. Bambara does not tell the reader directly which kind of neighborhood they live in but you can envision it through the language. The students" language, especially Sylvia's, portrayed that of lower class individuals. Therefore, the language itself is a symbol of social class. Mainly suggest they are inner city African-Americans. .
Names used throughout the story were also utilized as symbols.