Symbolism And Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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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.
The imagery of the black box in “The Lottery” provides readers a descriptive explanation of one of the most important objects in the story; making it clear to see that the Black box is an asset to the tradition. As the author is describing the black box , it is clear to see that it is old and worn out. One out of the numerous descriptions that were provided about the black box was that it was “splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained.” This simply states that the black box has been around for many generations since the beginning of the lottery. It also shows how the original tradition has over the years; lost its original meaning, and the participants still do not question the idea of stoning individuals in their community. The word “stained” simply means that not

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