Symbols In The Lottery

740 Words3 Pages

“The Lottery”: The Symbolism Within A literary symbol is defined as “an object representing another to give it an entirely different meaning that is much deeper and more significant” (“Symbolism”). The short story “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, has many examples of symbolism that can be found in various places throughout the story. Some specific examples of symbolism in “The Lottery” are the black box used to draw names, the names of the people within the story, and the pieces of paper inside the black box. The first piece of symbolism found in “The Lottery” is the black box. The black box is symbolic in two different ways: it represents tradition and death. “The black box holds the key between life or death for every single one of the townspeople, and embodies the evil acts that have been …show more content…

The name Joe Summers is symbolic in two different ways. The name Summers is symbolic of the setting; for example, “the story take place on June 27, near the summer solstice, [...] Many prehistoric rituals took place at this time, so by setting the lottery at this time, Jackson draws similarities to such ancient rituals” (Wilson 144). The name Joe is symbolic of the heavy crops. The name Joe is a derivative from the name Joseph and the biblical name Joseph means "he increases" (“3130. Yoseph”). In the story, Mr. Warner says, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson 344). Therefore, the name Joe is symbolic of the soon-to-be heavy crops brought by the lottery that is conducted by Joe Summers. The name Adams is symbolic of the beginning. “Adam was, according to Christian ideology, the first man” (“In The Lottery”). In the story Adams is often the first to do many things: he is the first name to be called to pick a piece of paper from the black box, he is first to question the lottery, and he is the first to grab a rock to stone

Open Document