Symbolism In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

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SS Essay
What makes a story? Is it the plot, the characters, or maybe the theme? A story needs these; however, to become a good story, it needs symbols. Symbols give deeper meaning, reinforce concepts, and ultimately give the reader something to think about and remember. In good literature, symbols are used to aid the reader and to help the author get her point across. This is exemplified in the short story "The Lottery", by Shirley Jackson. In "The Lottery", Jackson uses the old black box, Mr. Graves' name, and rocks as symbols to aid the development of the story and to enrich the meaning and theme of "The Lottery". Using these symbols, Jackson develops the theme that society should not blindly follow tradition without knowledge of its legitimacy.
One of the many symbols used in the lottery is a black box. The black box symbolizes how old the lottery is, how it has slowly changed over time, and finally how the villagers refuse even to consider changing the box from which the "winner's" name is drawn. Jackson writes:
The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. Mr. Summers frequently spoke to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one
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