Characterization And Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is an account of a tradition gone awry. In this short story the villagers of this town have a tradition where they have a “lottery” to see who gets stoned to death. The characterization and symbolism used in the story makes the reader feel as if society has crumbled with the inhumane tradition that ultimately lost its meaning. Throughout the story, Jackson uses characterization and symbolism to imply a message to society about the meaning of tradition. Through the use of characterization and symbolism Jackson establishes that blindly following traditions can be hazardous An example of characterization used by Jackson to help communicate the theme is when Mr. Summers is presenting the black box to the villagers. He suggests, “making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.” His claim of stating an obvious but well thought response shows how Jackson put Mr.Summers as an innocent man trying to convey his idea that the tradition should be gone. Since, the general populace did not want the tradition to change, it would explain the events that further led to a malicious murdering. The use of characterization is next appears when Old Man Warner was talking about how giving up the lottery is crazy. Warner contested the saying how “Lottery in June, …show more content…

He is shown near the end of the story where he takes a paper and is given pebbles to throw at his mother. As the story unravels, “someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.” This moment shows how blindly following tradition can affect the youth of our society. Jackson’s claim to this detail is to show how the youth of different societies is affected by corrupt societies, and clearly wants to demonstrate the use of symbolism to exaggerate this point. (Antithesis or

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