The Lottery Symbolism Analysis

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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is one short story that just about anyone could understand. It starts off as a simple village where everyone knows everyone, but once a year a person's life would be taken because of their dark tradition. However, the reader is unaware of the true depth of the horrible ritual until the end of the story. Instead, as they are reading, they have this continuous sense of foreboding. One of the key aspects of the story that helped to support the building dread the readers feel was the symbolism found throughout the story. Shirley Jackson, in her short story The Lottery, uses the following symbols to illustrate the violence people would uphold because of their traditions or beliefs: the villagers, black box, black dot, and stones. The villagers, or more specifically the village community itself, could symbolize the people of Germany during the time of the holocaust. The villagers were raised to believe in the lottery and were either ignorant of the consequences and inhumaneness of it all or sincerely thought that the practice bettered their lives. For example, one villager brought up that some other places had already given up the lottery, but Old Man Warner responded with, "nothing but trouble in that" (p 240). That statement meant that Old Man Warner did not want to stop the tradition and even truly believed in…show more content…
Either way, the short story used all its components to paint for the reader a deceptively innocent village with a cruel and inhumane custom. The tradition of the lottery had been upheld by the people for so long that they could no longer see how horrid it truly was. Instead, they mistakenly believed it was a good practice in their lives. A lesson to be learned from The Lottery is that unjust brutality, or any kind of cruelty, should not be condoned no matter
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