“The Lottery,” is a horrifying, yet thought-provoking story. Author Shirley Jackson gives readers an unexpected twist while reading about a small village. Jennifer Hicks also discusses the view of this town in the article “Overview of The Lottery.” “Jackson portrays the average citizens of an average village taking part in an annual sacrifice of one of their own residents,” (Hicks). At the beginning of this story, no one would think the ending would consist of a deadly stoning. There is a great deal of symbolism, irony, and a deranged theme is unrolled throughout this gruesome story.
The black box in a sense represents tradition. The box is used year after year no matter what the circumstances are they always use that same box. “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box”, (Jackson pg.2). Nobody knows why they use the same box, or how they started using that particular box in the first place.” The black box grew shabbier each year”, so even though the box is in horrible condition the people still make no changes and just stick in little bits of paper to just cover up the blemishes and basically
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” describes a quaint town with perfect, homely citizens that nonchalantly participate in an annual, gruesome tradition. The short story deceives the reader through ironic descriptions of the characters, the character names, and the setting in order to heighten the dramatic effect of the horrific conclusion. The nature of tradition also occurs in the short story by focusing on the superstitious nature of people and the fear of changing the customs. Through the use of ironic descriptions and the overlying nature of tradition, Shirley Jackson creates an engaging story with relatable characters and personal beliefs to maintain culture only to shock the reader once the grim reality of the lottery. Shirley Jackson utilizes irony in her descriptions of people and the village in order to
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and David Herbert Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” are two fascinating and powerful short stories. Although both of them are fiction stories, they depict an unfortunate reality of our society. Jackson’s “The Lottery” speaks about a yearly event, which consists in randomly killing a person in the village and Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” speaks about the relationship between a mother and her son, based on a one-sided form of love. Both short stories show many similarities in terms use of situational irony, foreshadowing and symbolism, and the many themes the stories revolve around. To begin with, it is essential to note the use of irony in both short stories.
and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there” (Jackson 389). Jackson gives an impression that the shabby, black box is a personal and constant reminder to the people so that they must remain faithful to the tradition of their forefathers and never ponder on the notion that those customs might be wrong or immoral. In addition, the villagers’ behavior towards the box embodies their assessment on the entire system of the lottery. They seem to be frightened by the lottery and the box, but they are even more petrified to alter or doubt one or the other. Pressures, traditions and longstanding beliefs may potentially guide that society to an extensive ignorance and sanctioned malevolence that is directly strengthened by
The reader is not told of any scientific or just reasoning as to how this tradition will improve the society’s economy and thus, the reader would consider whether or not this is just a tradition, which is uplifted by mob psychology, in a progressive society. "Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones." This is a quote which gives the reader an assumption as to how the villagers pick and choose the aspects of the lottery which they do every year. that they do. This proves that the citizens are doing the tradition for traditions sake and not for the right reasons.
“The Lottery” Short Story Essay In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, Jackson displays many cases of symbolism over an interesting theme. He also shows some irony throughout his short story. His story takes place in a fictional small town around an annual lottery. However, this isn’t a regular lottery. This lottery is based on the idea of “survival of the fittest” and is put in place to keep order in society.
Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.” (Jackson 444). This quote from the story essentially displays the beat up and worn-down condition of the box. The villagers who were partaking in the tradition refused to replace the box even though it was hardly staying together. The black box represents their faithfulness and loyalty to the tradition. However, other items have been replaced such as using papers instead of chips of wood.
Shirley Jackson’s famous story, “The Lottery” is a brutally descriptive story about how a small village participates in the annual lottery. All throughout the story, Jackson uses several literary devices to convey the meaning behind this town’s tradition. Normally when individuals think about a tradition, they visualize something positive. However, in “The Lottery”, tradition is illustrated as something unfortunate and deadly. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson shows the theme of the violence within a small village through symbolism to show that even the most ordinary people can commit violence, which can eventually lead to killing innocent individuals.
People handle things differently and not many people could look at me and guess that this has been going on my entire life. That makes me think about all the other people that experience this too. My heart aches for them and I want to meet them and be there for them like Alex was for me. In some ways, he pulled me out of a hole I dug myself and climbed in. I was not the girl my mom wanted me to be and I didn't do much to change it because positive behavior was never rewarded.