Essay On Symbolism In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

746 Words3 Pages

Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery: Symbolism There are many points in The Lottery where symbolism occurs. The Lottery is one of the main symbols in the story. It’s in the title! The Lottery is a way of upsetting reader’s expectations. Communities across America practice different annual traditions – Easter egg hunts, Christmas tree decorating, or fourth of July fireworks. It’s often unknown how these traditions began.
We associate lotteries with good things, (such as, winning cash prizes), Like the blooming, cheerful village itself, nothing indicates that something is wrong with the set up. The lottery is, in fact, operating as an allegory of village life itself: at first, it seems harmless, but then we start to wonder what's going on with all …show more content…

Kids are being taught by their society that killing is okay.
Another example of symbolism in The Lottery is the black box. It represents the villagers’ connection to tradition. “No one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box” (1). They believe that the box may be made up of parts of the other boxes. Like the lottery as a whole, the box has no other functionality except during these two hours every June. "It had spent one year in Mr. Graves's barn and another year underfoot in the post office and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there". The purpose of the box has become obscure with the passage of time.
The last example of symbolism is the stones. Not only is being stoned a horrific way to die, but it’s also a crowd generated death. Stones allow everyone to participate freely, from the youngest children to Old Man Warner. Stones are also significant as murder weapons. Stoning isn’t just an early form of murder; it has a strong religious association with community punishment of abomination. Stoning is the classic means for expelling an outsider to reinforce group

Open Document