Symbolism In The Lottery

Decent Essays

One of the most horrific stories in modern American literature, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, seems to attract great attention from readers of that era. The story begins with a picture of a small village that holds a ritualistic lottery each year in the summer. Tessie Hutchinson is the person who was picked by the “lottery”, then stoned to death. As a sacrifice for the sake of a good harvest, the villagers stone her to death despite her protests about the unfairness of the drawing. Through characters, symbolism, and setting of the story, “The Lottery” exposes a strong statement regarding human sacrificing in America in the 1900s.
Mr. Summers, Old Man Warner, and Tessie Hutchinson all play different roles yet support the same agenda, which is a successful harvest through human sacrificing. Mr. Summers is one of the most important people in the village, but he too must partake in the ritual. Despite him being seen as one of the leaders of the village possibly due to the fact that he manages the village’s coal company, his position is overpowered by the town’s old ritual in which they deem necessary for the survival of the village. He also happens to oversee the villages day to day duties as well as the process of the lottery. Mr. Summers is not as dedicated to the rituals of the lottery as the other villagers, “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box,” due to the old box being quite weathered, but none of the villagers showed much interest for

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