The Black Box In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Good Essays
“‘It’s not fair,’ she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head… ‘It isn’t fair! It isn’t right!’” (Jackson 6) Not all traditions should be kept, and this is prominent in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. But why exactly must we keep these traditions? On a clear and sunny June day the members of a village gathered in the town square to participate in the lottery. However, unlike the lottery that partakes in our society, this one involves narrowing down the villagers until one remains who gets stoned to death by the other villagers. The one object that can be used to represent this cruel tradition is The Black Box, from which the villagers draw from to determine the victim. This mysterious black box represents how traditions have a hold on us. The Black Box symbolizes how traditions like the lottery attach themselves to us through the box’s appearance, history, and overall mysteriousness. The appearance of The Black Box helps symbolize the history of the lottery on the members of the village. The Black Box isn’t exactly a new edition it, “grew…show more content…
Most of the villagers are startled by the black box. When Mr. Summers first appeared with The Black Box they, “kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool and when Mr. Summers said, ‘Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?’ there was hesitation before two men, Mr. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, came forward…” (Jackson 1) Before Mr. Summers brings the box into the town square the atmosphere and happy vibrant, but once The Black Box is presented the atmosphere drastically changes as if the villagers then realize, one of is going to die today. This idea is further present when Mr. Summers asks if anyone could give him a hand. At first, no one volunteers but after some hesitation two men eventually
Get Access