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Symbolism in The Lottery


Importance in The Lotto

“The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson is a short story that has redefined the significance of a real lotto, which is understood to be something individuals look forward to winning. This brand-new significance appears when all the villagers stone Tessie, the winner of the lottery game, to death. Four different symbols that are evident in the story is the setting of the story, incorporation of stones to finish the lottery, the black box, and the characters. In Jackson’s narrative “The Lottery”, the symbolism utilized improves the style of the story.

The theme is how the lack of compassion and feeling can be derived from old customs and/or culture. Shirley Jackson begins her narrative stressing the location of the lottery game. “The morning of June 27th was clear and bright, with the fresh heat of a full summertime day; the flowers were blooming a lot and the turf was richly green”. (133 ). This description of the environment provides the connotation that the lotto is something wonderful, similar to the luminous day. The atmosphere of the town, including its little size, represents Americans’ perspective about what is right and good about this country.

Shirley enhances this brilliant description by consisting of the other activates that occurred in the town square, such as square dances, teenage clubs, and the Halloween program. This also signifies how people are oblivious to the negativeness, if any element of positivity exists. Throughout the author’s description of the environment where the lotto took place, she also provided repeating hints towards the stone, which puzzled the reader. In the end of the story, it is found that the stones were actually utilized to kill Tessie Hutchinson.

Throughout the story, Shirley Jackson makes multiple connections to religion, which supports the authors foreshadowing of stoning. Together with being utilized as a form of murder, it was also a method of getting rid of an outsider that hinders group beliefs. The emphasis on religious beliefs is also apparent in the Black box. The Black Box is another allegory provided and talked about throughout the story.

This box is the physical item that shows the villagers’ connection to the lottery. Shirley Jackson stressed how important this box was to the villagers’ in the community. No one liked to disturb even as much custom as was represented by the black box” (134 ). The black boxes’ connection to religious views is in the collection of old antiques in Christianity. The villagers use this black box as an excuse to offer a reason for their violence and inhumane custom. Comparable to the lotto, the black box, no matter how old or broken the black box has ended up being, people hesitate to letting it go. Old Guy Warner, along with numerous other characters supplies symbolism through their actions.

Old Man Warner, for example, teaches customs and is resistant to change. The reader can identify this through his dialogue. “Load of crazy folks. Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you understand, they’ll be wishing to go back to reside in caves, nobody work any longer, live that way for a while.” Through his speech readers are able to indicate that Old Man Warner holds on to old tradition and criticize all new ideas that go against his. Mrs. Hutchinson represents how there is evil in everybody.

She argues about including her daughter in the lottery game, to decrease the possibilities that her name would be picked. Last But Not Least, Mrs. Delacroix representation of meaning was conveyed through the meaning of her name. Delacroix indicates “cross”, offering a favorable undertone to the reader. Comparable to the irony of the story, the name contrasts her personality and actions in the story. When her friend, Tessie Hutchinson, name was picked, Mrs. Delacroix gets the biggest rock and encourages others to begin the death of Tessie.

The symbolism in “The Lotto” demonstrates how lack of empathy and feeling can be stemmed from old traditions and/or culture. Jackson uses spiritual recommendations in addition to the names of the characters to stress the negativeness and bad values in the society. In order to retrieve and comprehend the message of this story, the reader needs to look past the surface area and comprehend the depth of the several significances of the story. The message of “The Lottery” can change an individual’s viewpoint on their values that was instilled from birth and lead them to question preconceived traditions.

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