Symbols In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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“The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson, a popular writer in the twentieth century who is widely acclaimed for her stories and novels of the supernatural. Jackson was born on December 14, 1919 in San Francisco, California. She wanted to be a writer from an early age and while she grew up, she kept a journal of her writings that revealed her curiosity in the supernatural and superstition. Later on in her life, her family moves from California to New York where in 1935 she starts her college life at the University of Rochester. She then decided to withdraw for a year to teach herself how to write. She dared herself to write at least a thousand words a day. She completed her school life with a Bachelor of Arts degree at Syracuse…show more content…
For example, the black box symbolizes tradition, culture and an annual ritual. According to the book, when they described the condition of the black box, the villagers stated that it was a traditional box that would not be replaced even though the box is no longer completely black but splintered badly on one side to show the original color, while in some other parts of the box is faded or stained. In Kathleen Wilson’s article, she states that although the black box is old and shabby, the village refuses to replace it just like they refuse to stop participating in the annual lottery pick. Another example is the use of name as symbols. For example, Mr. Summers’ name is said to represent joviality while Mr. Graves’s name represents tragedy. In French, Delacroix means “of the cross” which suggests sacrifice because of its reference to Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. The three-legged stool also has a meaning behind it. According to Helen Nebeker’s article, she said that the three-legged stool is as old as the tripod of the Delphic oracle, and as new as the Christian…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, things don’t seem as violent as it is later on but violence is a major factor in this story. When a villager gets picked for the lottery, the village surrounds the chosen one and begins to throw rocks and stones at the villager. The cruelty in this story is the stoning of an innocent villager. For example, in Kathleen Wilson’s book, she says, “ While the stoning is a cruel and brutal act, Jackson enhances is emotional impact by setting the story in a seemingly civilized and peaceful society.” This is true because when the reader first approaches the story, they think that it’s a good ending type of story but they end up getting an opposite reaction. This is also a reason why Shirley Jackson gets negative and threatening letters from
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