Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay examples

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Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

After reading Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” several times over the many years, this story has many meanings beyond simply the words on the pages. These are left up to the speculation of the reader for the most part, which lets each individual come up with his or her own opinions to fuel an argument. I feel that much of the symbolism revolves around religion, in particular Christianity. To take the story at face value would nearly be an exercise in futility, for then the reader would be missing the deeper meanings found in the delicate symbolism that Jackson places throughout the tale. Indeed, the symbolic meanings of many of the people and things placed throughout the narrative depict certain
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This “three legged stool” is a representation of God, the legs being the three forms, which God takes; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the Christian concept known as the trinity. Just as the Bible is held up and given credibility by the belief of a God, the stool holds up the box. Nearly the two become one, the stool and the box, just as in Christian beliefs God and the bible are all but inseparable, much to the chagrin of others. Slips of paper, as insignificant as they may seem on the surface, take on meaning of great magnitude in the story. As each individual participant in the lottery finds that there paper is not the one marked, the paper is released and drifts away. The slips of paper come to represent the participant’s souls, here representing the untainted soul, drifting away and remaining free, as if going to heaven. In contrast Mrs. Hutchison’s slip of paper, which has a dark spot, shows that marred souls receive punishment after judgment, a common Christian belief.
I believe the symbolism here is trying to show us that only certain people can be lucky enough to fit within
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