“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson tells the story of a small town and the fatal consequences of the community lottery. The author uses repetition of ideas and symbolism to convey this theme. Old Man Warner and the repeating idea of there always being a lottery have an important part in the theme of “The Lottery.” The reader has a different view than those in the story. One theme in “The Lottery” is the problem with society accepting traditions and refusing change because they want things to be done how they have always been.
Symbolism is defined as the identification of a noun such as a person, place or thing, but according to the story the symbols include the lottery itself, contraptions used in the lottery and even the people of the town. “The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago. ”(pg. 1 “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson) This text from the context emphasizes how the lottery has been a traditional behavior for these villagers that have been passed on with origins from the past.
This entire piece is a metaphor for different aspects of life. When the author says “[b]lock upon black, gradually, we are cancelling each other out…,” he is referring to both how he and his opponent play Monopoly and how people act in real life (McPhee 362). Each square on the board
For example, after Tessi is shown with the black dot, Mr. Summers says “All right folks,... Let's finish quickly.” This shows that Mr.Summers’ mind is crumbling after being the one who is controlling the black box, did not hesitate when telling others to stone Tessi. The others were not hesitant to go and stone her if anything they gave a rock to her own son. The black box and the tradition of the lottery have caused crumbling minds.
However, when it is brought up by younger members of the community that some villages have given up “The Lottery” elders such as Old Man Warner stress that “There’s always been a lottery”, he says, “Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves…” (246) Jackson’s use of irony in this part of the story is quite contradictive because she has an older gentleman from an earlier generation who has participated in the lottery for as long as he can remember and argues that seizing participation in the lottery would be comparable to going back in time, even though the lottery itself is an outdated
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is simply trying to understand what the symbols in the short story mean. In “The Lottery” there are amount of symbols that are included in the story such as the lottery itself, the black box, the stoning, the tools used in the lottery, and even the people of the town. The lottery itself is clearly symbolic, it symbolizes scapegoat. The idea of scapegoat is that it is a person who people get chosen at random to blame for their own problems. Throughout “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the town participates in a lottery, where the person chosen has stones thrown on them.
The violence of human nature constantly shows throughout literature. In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the stoning of young women resembles the witch trials of the 1700s. The town in the story seems to be normal, friendly place where everybody knows everybody. However, it is a place where a barbaric ritual of stoning takes place.
Hypocrisy Shirley Jackson, the author of “The Lottery,” shows hypocrisy Mrs. Hutchinson the protagonist. Ms. Jackson explains this hypocrisy as people in society are will be glad to support and follow laws blindlessly but when it the same law impacts them in a negative way they says it's unjust and should not be a law. In the story this relates to Mrs. Hutchinson who happily plays the lottery acting all joyful and calm about the entire situation not expecting to be picked. However the moment the lottery picking affects her she immediately says that the entire process is unfair is not the right thing to do.
They are some of the first people to get there, and most spots are still empty. Cassie asks Big Ma; “Why don’t we move our wagon up there with them other wagons Big Ma?”. This shows innocence in Cassie. She doesn’t understand how black people are mistreated. By asking Big Ma to move the wagon up, she also doesn’t understand the consequences that could take place.
Other villages have already stop the lottery. But not this one. Things that we can take away for the story is tradition. The people continue the lottery because it’s a ritual and maybe it leads to growing of better crops. Obviously Tessie Hutchinson is more likely to stone other people is somebody else would’ve gotten the black dot paper but now she argues that the lottery is unfair because she got the paper with the black dots.