The Symbolism Of Tradition In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

994 Words4 Pages
“The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson, is a short story about how villagers from a small town partake in a cruel tradition. They believe that they will have a bountiful harvest if they sacrifice one of their own. Throughout this story there is symbolism that shows how the tradition is kept, their fear of change, and things to come. This is shown through objects, dialogue, and even names. The villagers’ fear of the unknown stops them from changing this tradition, so it becomes a norm in their society. Even though they know it is a cruel thing to do, they aimlessly continue this tradition without questioning it because they are not sure what might happen if they stop. This short story shows how senseless people can be when it comes to following fatal traditions.…show more content…
In the story it is says “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.”, and “… Mr. Summers began talking again about a new box, but every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything’s being done.” (Jackson 1). It is quite clear that the villagers are purposely putting off the subject of making a new box for this occasion because they don’t want to change the tradition in any way, shape, or form. This black box has been around since the oldest man in town, Mr. Warner, was born. The box is described as “…shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintering badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained.” (Jackson 2). This description can also serve as symbolism of the tradition throughout the rest of the towns. In other towns they are either modifying the execution of the lottery or they are getting rid of it all together. So the tradition, much like the box, is no longer completely what it was and in some places
Open Document