Thursday, 28 February 2013

Symbolizing the Hammer

While reading The Rez Sisters I have noticed a consistent symbol that has been brought to my attention. You may remember from our previous reading that many of the characters are associated with inanimate objects, such as Philomena with a toilet, or Annie with country music. However for my blog post today I would like to focus on Pelajia and the hammer, more specifically the hammer itself. Throughout the play my perspective has allowed me to perceive the hammer as a symbol for power and control. 

''Control yourself or ill hit you over the head with my hammer'' (Highway, 40). 

''Banging her hammer on the counter...alright, alright. Its obvious we've got a problem here'' (Highway, 58).

''She bangs the hammer regularly throughout the meeting'' (Highway, 62).

The above quotations represent situations in the play where the hammer has been used as a way to gain control over a situation. The fact that the hammer is a threatening weapon allows individuals to use it as a way of scaring others into behaving or doing as they say. In the third quotation I posted the hammer is used regularly throughout a meeting, almost as if it were a court room and the characters are using it as a wooden mallet or gavel, in order to restore control. 

Therefore in this reading I see the hammer as a symbol of power, and I  feel it is used to control situations in the play that get out of hand. 

What is your perspective on the hammer in this play? 


  1. That's interesting. I never really saw Pelajia as a controlling person, so I wonder if it will develop later in the story.

  2. I didn't notice that before, but good point. It's almost a symbol of her character.

    1. Keith, I would say that the hammer is a symbol of her character. As the oldest sister, she is the one in charge (traditionally) and the hammer is a way of attempting to keep control.

  3. Madison, I'm glad that you noticed the important role the hammer plays throughout the story. You say that the hammer is way of gaining control. Does Pelajia actually gain control in any of the situations?

    1. There are two situations that I took note of Pelajia gaining control of the situation, examples include:

      ''Control yourself or ill hit you over the head with my hammer'' page 40

      ''Banging her hammer on the counter...alright, alright. Its obvious we've got a problem here'' Page 58

      Both of these situations provide insight as to how Pelajia used the hammer as a way to gain control.