The Lottery

Essay by janizakills May 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0


"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is a story about a small town community that holds a lottery every year. The story is about how the villagers gather up for the lottery to make a sacrifice for the ritual. The way the story ends with one of the townspeople being stoned as a result of winning the lottery makes it a story a little horror. A greater expression of the story reveals that the story is about tradition. Jackson's views on tradition are clearly negative through this short story. The villagers allow an old-fashioned tradition to run their lives and control whether they live or die. Jackson uses symbolism to show that devotion to tradition can be dangerous. Although tradition is often considered to be positive, in "The Lottery," tradition is something unwanted and even deadly.

The black box, one of the most threatening of Jackson's symbols, exposes the villagers' attitude towards the tradition of the lottery.

The objects in the story also symbolize religious and symbolic significances to the lottery. "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones" this clearly shows that the kids were picking up stones and the reason they were picking up the smoothest stones is because rocks would most likely kill someone, but with smooth stones, it would be a slow death to someone because of the smoothness of the stones. The black box signifies an old tradition. The box is "splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained". She describes the box as "growing shabbier every year", presenting that a lot years has passed since the lottery's beginning. By describing the box, Jackson is...