Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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Authors use symbolism to create the theme of madness versus insanity so the reader can reflect on a deeper level about their own lives. In Shirley Jackson’s writing, she tackles the complex theme of the power of tradition and conformity using symbolism. The two most striking symbols I found in her writing were: in the video, it was filmed in black and white. Additionally, the black box appeared to be rather important also. In The Lottery, there is a tradition in their town, every July they all draw a sheet out of the black box. Whoever has a black dot gets killed by the other townspeople using stones. One of the reasons the black box proved so significant is the age of it, it shows intense wear, meaning that it has been in use for a very long …show more content…

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, 1) This particular quote from the writing really shows how much the tradition is valued, and how no one would dare do anything to infringe on that. This really adds some depth to tradition itself and how ingrained it is in the community. Continuing, the ominous tone of the story, and the video being filmed in black and white, helped to really prove the threatening tone set by the word choice and video coloring. ‘"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her” (Jackson, 7) This particular quote from the writing really shows how savage like the townspeople seemed at the end, drawing a line between Mrs. Hutchinson and everyone else. Mrs. Hutchinson represented the normal and objective way of thinking, whereas the townspeople really showed the group mentality and how madness took them over. The quotations above really help to embody the theme of normality versus madness. This is shown through Mrs. Hutchinson being defiant in the ending, the symbols presented through the tone and video coloring, and the black box and what it …show more content…

Continuing, The General states his rival beliefs, and why he thinks that way. He believes that war, and what he is doing are equal, and neither are bad. “The general laughed with entire good nature. He regarded Rainsford quizzically. "I refuse to believe that so modern and civilized a young man as you seem to be harbors romantic ideas about the value of human life. Surely your experiences in the war--” (Connell, 10) Through this quote, it is shown that they think opposing things. Zaroff truly believes that Rainsford is wrong, and Rainsford believes the opposite. This situation inevitably leads to tension throughout the rest of the story. The quotes above and the symbolism explained help to clarify and support the theme because Rainsford embodies the average and sane beliefs, while Zaroff is the opposite. The symbolism is supportive of the theme by signifying that Zaroff's island going unnoticed contributes to his games; while Rainsfords previous life explains his beliefs as

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