Lottery Symbolism Essay

Symbolism in "The Lottery" Essay

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To a first time reader, Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery” seems simply as a curious tale with a shocking ending. After repetitive reading of Jackson's tale, it is clear that each sentence is written with a unique purpose often using symbolism. Her use of symbols not only foreshadow its surprise and disturbing ending but allows the reader to evaluate the community's pervert traditional rituals. She may be commenting on the season of the year and the grass being “richly green” or the toying with the meanings of the character's names but each statement applies to the meaning and lesson behind her story. As far as symbolism in objects, the most prominent and often mentioned is the “black box” from which the names are drawn from (Jackson 573).…show more content…

Graves for permitted direction (Jackson 573). Ultimately there are only two views the townspeople have on the lottery; one is either for or against the ritual, but there are many reasons why one may form their opinion. Originally, winning of the lottery is meant to be of great honor, the sacrificial “lamb” offered to a Higher Power in hopes of receiving a plentiful season of crops for the overall community (Nebeker 8). ”Life brings death, and death recycles life” (Griffen 5). Over time much of the accustomed songs and original ways of conducting the ceremony were lost becoming more of a nuisance (Griffen 5), and enabling the new generation to dream of a life without the lottery. Often it is the families who have experienced the lottery's winnings on a personal level that hold the strongest opinions. The Dunbar family lost their son to the lottery as well as young Jack Watson losing his father. Both families represent the pain of the personal loss caused by the lottery (Jackson 574-75). Jackson uses Old Man Warner as the town's consistent reminder of the origins and sanctity of the lottery and strongly blockading the community of change. His name refers to his constant warnings of what could come of losing the lottery and not respecting the tradition. After participating in

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In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, once a year a person from town as to be sacrifice for a good harvest. Kids gather stones and put them in their pockets and they head towards the center of the town with the other villagers. As they gather around Mr. Summers brings a black box, in this box it is filled with many papers. Only one paper has a black dot. This dot will determine the family that would be chosen to be sacrifice. Wait I am not quite done, if a family is chosen they would have to draw again between each other to see who in the family would be stoned to death. As families went up there was only one family that was chosen and it was the Hutchinson Family, Mrs. Hutchinson was furious by shouting “It wasn’t fare”. As…show more content…

The lottery does happen to be in the summer because it is the season of growing and they need to sacrifice people in order to have a great harvest, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” Mr. Summer is the one in charge of the lottery which explains why he has the name of the season. Another character that had a symbolic meaning to their name is Old Man Warner. Mr. Warner has been playing the lottery for many years, and he is just one lucky man. All the years he’s been playing he has never been chosen to be sacrifice. Looking at other information such as in a paper called “Names in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’” the author says “He is repeatedly shown warning.” His name does have the warning part in it. Which I can see the reason for this is because since he has been playing for quite a while he is there to warn the younger parents and generation what they are getting themselves into once they start to play the lottery. Old Man Warner’s name also means Tradition. His oldness shows that the lottery has been around for a very long time. This is why he knows everything about the lottery and I guessing he is hoping to be chosen because he seems to be tried of the lottery. The way he’s angry at everyone and the lottery shows that he thinks everyone is rude because it doesn’t understand why people would want to do away with the lottery. In the story Old Man Warner says “nothing but trouble in that,” and

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