Argument Essay on the Lottery by Shirley Jackson with Works Cited Page

1615 Words Nov 4th, 2012 7 Pages
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is about Symbolism

"The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about an inhumane

and horrific tradition that a community celebrates every year between 10 a.m. and noon

on June 27, a sunny day, in a New England village (“Cummings Study Guide”). Not only

is this story about tradition but it also hides the meaning of symbolism as well. The

setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred people. On June

twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village

wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate. A black box holds hundreds of

pieces of paper that each member of the community
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The villagers in

the story lack of the value of human being. “Well, now,” Mr. Summers said,” guess we

better get started , get this over with, so’s we can go back to work .Anybody ain’t here?”

(Video documentary). What Mr. Summers said means that the people in the village

consider the terrible “crime” of tradition as normal thing. The villagers would get used to

the fact that the value of human life is not so important. Even the children consider

killing somebody as if to kill an animal. The village obviously lacks the value of a human

being throughout the story as we do in the world that we live in today.

Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and

their annual practice. Not until the end does the reader realize to know what the lottery

is about. Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an

overwhelming sense that something terrible is about to happen due to the Jackson’s

use of foreshadowing through the depiction of characters and setting.

The period of time that the villagers were living is completely different from our culture

today. The tradition means a lot to the villagers because it has occurred since the

village was first established. It was a normal thing to villagers to keep that tradition from

generation to generation. You can see that even though the villagers
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