Theme And Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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In the story “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, residents of a New England village gather in a square between the post office and the bank in the morning of June 27th for the annual lottery. The lottery is a ritual tradition that the villagers follow yearly consisting the same old rules that have only been changed. The year’s winner of the lottery is a lady named, Tessie Hutchinson, the prize she earns is unbelievable. Theme and symbolism are used in story to make the irony of the story more intense, by making the prize for the lottery unforeseen to the reader. The themes of this short story include the following, the danger of blindly following tradition and the randomness of persecution. How the theme “the danger of blindly following tradition,”…show more content…
The lottery has been a tradition for as long as anyone can remember. It is an annual ritual that no one has thought to question. In fact, it is even accompanied by an old motto:”Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” The villagers are fully loyal to it, or at least they think they are, despite the fact that many parts of the lottery have changed over the years. Nevertheless, the lottery continues, simply because there has always been a lottery. As mentioned in the story Old Man Warren remarks, “There’s always been a lottery”(Jackson4), interpreting that it should be kept that way just because it has for years, without seeing how cruel every person attending the lottery are being. The prize of the lottery is an example of situational irony. Situational irony is when the readers have an idea of what will happen, but instead it turns out to be the total opposite. The readers expected a positive outcome, but the prize ended up being unbelievable; The winner of the lottery dies. The idea that a small town would make such an event an annual tradition shows the depths to which superstition takes humanity. Usually a lottery is a drawing of a prize, but in this case, people are thrilled not to have
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