Symbolism In The Lottery

Decent Essays
Ashley Yarbro
Daniel Crocker
12 October 2017
Close Reading Paper— “The Lottery” The lottery is an iconic horror story, written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. Although the story is short, there is great meaning packed into Jackson’s words including symbolism, irony, and foreshadowing. She incorporated these components of literature to strengthen the story’s overall message: following traditions blindly leads to unnecessary violence and general inhumanity in life, thus they should be looked at in a new light. One of the literary devices that Jackson used is symbolism, and almost every object in the story is symbolic. Symbolism can be found in the four main items of the story, which are the black box, the three-legged stool, the stones, and the lottery itself. The black box is the item in which names are drawn out of for the lottery every year. Even though the box was beaten down and shabby, the townspeople did not want a new box. This represents the tradition of the lottery and the villager’s irrational sentimental attachment to the old black box. In fact, the author wrote, “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new black box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box” (Jackson 586) which tells us that the villagers realize that tradition is the only reason to keep the black box—they are attached to it and are afraid to give it up. It is a ritual to use the same black box every year, thus making it a
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