The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Decent Essays

In 1948 Shirley Jackson composed the controversial short story “The Lottery.” Generally speaking, a title such as “The Lottery” is usually affiliated with an optimistic outlook. However, Jackson’s approach is quite unorthodox and will surely leave readers contemplating the intent of her content. The story exposes a crude, senseless lottery system in which random villagers are murdered amongst their peers. Essentially, the lottery system counteracts as a form of population control, but negatives easily outweigh the positive effects such a system could hold. Surely Jackson’s intentions run deeper than just creating an indifferent short story. “The Lottery” incorporates a graphic demonstration to expose the prominent consequences of blindly adhering to tradition. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” uses an array of substantial symbols, diction and irony to present the dangers of tradition and random persecution.
The prevalence of symbolism throughout Jackson’s story coveys hidden meaning, and also creates a capturing story line. One of the more substantial symbols used in the story, the black box holds numerous hidden messages and expression created through symbolism. The black box from which the lottery is drawn represents the crumbling tradition that the townspeople still ignorantly follow. It is said that the box is comprised of pieces from the original box that preceded it, dating back to the original villager’s settlement. “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about

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