The Lottery Symbolism

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“The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. The story begins on June 27th, the residents of a small New England village gather in the town square to conduct the lottery. Mr. Summers, the officiant of the lottery, brings the black box into the center of the square. Mr. Graves, the postmaster, brings a stool for the black box. Mr. Summers conducts a quick roll call, and the lottery begins. Each one of the three hundred or so residents of the village draws a piece of paper from the black box. Bill Hutchison, the head of his household, draws a paper with a black dot on it. A second lottery is held, this time with only five slips of paper, one each for the members of Bill 's family. Bill 's wife, Tessie, draws the black dot. She protests that the drawing wasn 't fair even as her neighbors begin stoning her to death (“The Lottery Summary” 1). In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson uses various symbols, themes, and irony to develop the well-known short story. A symbol is a person, place, or thing that represents something beyond itself, most often something concrete or tangible that represents an abstract idea (“A Glossary Of…” 2). An instance of symbolism in “The Lottery” is the lottery itself. The lottery is a tradition that the villagers follow willingly without questioning the morality of the event. As stated by Hannah Arendt, the lottery symbolizes “the banality of evil” (Enotes 1.) People have become accustomed to the barbaric custom and see it as just a routine

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