Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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The Lottery The short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson proposes an annual lottery drawing in a little village set in New England. However, unlike any usual lottery, the winner is stoned to death by their fellow townsmen, women and children included. The lottery seems to have been a custom around the area for over seventy years. While other towns are starting to go away from this method, this village continues the tradition. Although it may seem like a simple story, Shirley Jackson implemented various symbols incorporated into the names, objects, and scenario in the story to hide the meaning and intention behind the lottery. Firstly, the names alone conceal a lot of symbolism. The author utilizes symbolic names to indicate reason …show more content…

The main symbols displayed in the lottery are the rocks, the black box, as well as the stool. The rocks symbolize the method of death. Stoning was a common way of killing people who had to pay a price of some sort. However, they would want to make the experience painful and drawn-out. Round stones were being picked up and collected. Even the children followed suit as “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” (Walker 113). The smoothest and roundest stones were mainly being picked up for a reason. Instead of large, and pointy-edged stones, which would easily kill someone within seconds, round and smooth stones were chosen which would draw out death and make the stoning a much more painful experience. This indicates that the tradition has been going on for so long, the people that grow up with this find it normal to be done. The old man who criticized the other towns that grew tired of the Lottery has been used to seeing the Lottery around for so long and had actually supported the reason behind it. Next to the rocks in symbolism was the stool as well as the black box. The black box which was used to draw the pieces of paper symbolizes the key between life and death. The color black is a symbol for death and despair as well which can be connected to all of the terrible acts that have been committed with …show more content…

This story still remains relevant in comparison to today. Simple towns people who speak to each other on a daily basis and joke around with each other all of the sudden turn around and kill one of their one. This story symbolized the change of heart within people when events go on. With various symbols, Shirley Jackson created the short story, The Lottery, to show society and what it has been and what it could be. One might even say that Jackson wanted to keep it in the mind of a ‘modern’ society that such things could happen again. This particular short story I found quite disturbing and yet I found myself thinking about it afterwards for quite some time. I enjoy books that make you think and have you questioning your own beliefs. In fact, I found myself discussing the book with my wife. Whether one finds the theme disturbing or violent, it definitely provokes discussion and because of that I would definitely recommend it for others to

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