In Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery,” the author demonstrates the loss of the original significance of a tradition that results from people blindly following it. For example, the author makes it blatantly clear in the beginning of the story that The Lottery, the village’s annual ritual, which involves a human sacrifice is beginning to have lesser and lesser symbolic value to the villagers as opposed to when it began due to a lack of understanding in regard to the tradition’s significance. Secondly, Jackson describes how the Lottery has a completely different atmosphere, purpose, and practice due to the fact that it was passed along several generations and had been through several decades of transition, all the while being mindlessly adhered to by every single member of the village. Lastly, the author demonstrates the process in which the village’s annual tradition has been stripped bare, and is merely used to cater to the desires of the villagers. Overall, Shirley Jackson does a wonderful job demonstrating the general process of the results of blindly following popular tradition and celebration in the modern world by characterizing a specific village’s tradition with interesting dialogue and a noteworthy plot.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, is a suspenseful story that begins on a pleasant morning in June, but it quickly shifts into a morbid display of tradition. The characters display a sudden change in loyalty to each other once one of the town member’s names is drawn from the “black box”. Through this action, along with several other vivid examples from the text, Jackson cultivates an underlying theme of hypocrisy and the evil of human nature.
Shirley Jackson exploits a true form of human nature in this story. The lottery, a deadly tradition, is a draw for death. The selfish need to survive is shown by all the townspeople, who stone the chosen one to death, be it their friend or family, with only the thought that they themselves survived. Every lottery, the people look at the black box, and desperately hope that they aren’t chosen. It is a gruesome reminder of what they have witnessed and taken part of; the murders of innocent
The author of “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson decided it was important to write this short story in order to inform the readers about another dimension, where a certain common tradition gets prized with something obscure. Some readers can be shocked when reading this story, because they might be surprised and even shocked with the themes that play along in the storyline. This short story “The Lottery” was so controversial at the time, because in the date it was published in June 24, 1948 there were so many themes from the stories that could relate to past events or even event that were taking place at the time.
Symbolically the battered black box represents the death that it brings to the community as well as a worn out tradition. The box is mentioned repeatedly throughout the story, which is a sign of its importance, although we are kept in the dark about its ultimate function until the very end. It is described as "…no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places [is] faded or stained." (Jackson 75). This seems to also describe the lottery itself- old, faded, and stained with the blood of all those who have died in years past. Ironically, the black box used in the story was said not to be the original box and the papers that they used were substitutes for the old wood chips. This is a sign that the tradition is so old and meaningless that it can be constantly added to or taken away from. "Mr. Summers spoke frequently 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…[and] every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything being done" (Jackson 75). Perhaps Mr. Summers's idea symbolizes a need for a new tradition.
Tradition is a central theme in Shirley Jackon's short story The Lottery. Images such as the black box and characters such as Old Man Warner, Mrs. Adams, and Mrs. Hutchinson display to the reader not only the tenacity with which the townspeople cling to the tradition of the lottery, but also the wavering support of it by others. In just a few pages, Jackson manages to examine the sometimes long forgotten purpose of rituals, as well as the inevitable questioning of the necessity for such customs.
b. Background In the short story “The Lottery,” the inhabitants of a village participate in a lottery, which is essentially a tradition for them. However, the villagers are oblivious to the true consequences and destructiveness of their death ritual. One June day each year, the lottery is conducted and the “winner” is violently stoned to death. The very same day, the villagers return home and carry on with their normal day-to-day functions.
What is the difference between superstitions and traditions? «The lottery» by Shirley Jackson provides a good example how superstitions of people from a tiny town affect on those traditions. This story shows dark side of Humanity. Whole community entrusts their life with a small black box. The allegory can confuse you, because the main purpose of the «lottery» is kill one of the citizens for a strange false belief. To my mind, the author tried to explain why new generation sometimes shouldn’t continue the weird and cruel traditions.
In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” a small village is preparing for an annual drawing, a tradition carried out for generations. During this ritual, the head of each household draws a blank piece of paper out of a black box. One piece of paper is marked with a single black dot and if chosen, the outcome is having the winner’s entire household draw out of the box. Whoever chooses the black dot out of the household is stoned to death by the entire village. In this instance, a husband wins to which his wife protests, and then she is the ultimate victim who is sacrificed. This story includes many literary elements like foreshadowing, warning of a future event, symbolism, symbols used in the story to represent ideas,and irony, when the contrary to what is expected to happen, occurs. Jackson uses foreshadowing, symbolism, and irony to prove the theme that it is foolish and barbaric to blindly follow tradition.
On the surface, Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” reads as a work of horror. There is a village that holds an annual lottery where the winner is stoned to death so the village and its people could prosper. Some underlying themes include: the idea that faith and tradition are often followed blindly, and those who veer away from tradition are met with punishment, as well as the idea of a herd mentality and bystander apathy. What the author manages to do successfully is that she actually uses the names of historical figures to add to the underlying themes of the story. Some names include the Puritan spiritual advisor Anne Hutchinson, who is banished for speaking out against Christian beliefs and traditions, the founder of
The Black Box in the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson signifies the physical connection between the villagers and their unwillingness to give up their tradition. “The Lottery” is very unpredictable and quite misleading. The black box has no functionality, except every June 27th. Shirley Jackson depicts the black box as an important and traditional tool.
Jackson displays the topic of this short story with a noteworthy utilization of symbolism. Symbolism appears all through the black +box, the people activities and even the names of the fortunate candidates. The black box symbolizes the need to clutch thepaltriest trivial traditions of the community. The box is painted in dark black, which has dependably been a widespread image for malice and demise. The box likewise symbolizes a kind of riddle, yet as we read the read we understand that it is commensurate with fate. We don't generally like change, regardless of the possibility that it may demonstrate beneficial: The villagers follow blindly the traditions .the primary focuses that Jackson is attempting to express to us and that is the reason the black box which is typical symbolic of dislike of change. In spite of the fact that it is old and fragmented regardless they still utilize it. Jackson calls attention to this box was produced using the black box before it, which was from the beginnings of the village:This demonstrating we frantically cling to what is commonplace instead of progress. The characters names cannot escape from Jackson's spun in the
The Lottery, a ritual that no one has ever thought to question, which represents any action, behavior, or idea that is passed down from one generation to the next that’s accepted and followed unquestioningly, no matter how illogical, strange, or cruel. “The oldest denizen of the town, Old Man Warner, points out that this is his seventy-seventh year participating in the ritual, called simply the lottery.”(Dubose 1) The “Lottery” is so much a part of the town’s culture, that the townspeople does not truly know what the tradition means but rejoice at the it nonetheless. That is the force that drove the theme In Shirley Jackson’s the “Lottery” with her use of setting, symbolism, suspense, and characters as she exemplifies blindly following tradition with obedience can be dangerous. The lottery is an extreme example of what can happen when traditions are not questioned or addressed critically by new generations because of the infamous word tradition.
The black box represents the tradition of the lottery, a common ritual that cannot be changed. The concept of the lottery goes back further than anyone can recall. According to the villagers, the annual lottery will never be changed or forgotten, since they’ve grown accustomed to it. The black box symbolizes the old, junky, worn-out repetition of the lottery which they still do every year. Due to the old age of the black box, it deteriorates every day, just like the existence of the lottery, people have difficulty even determining the color of the box. Since the town has owned it for many years, they refuse to replace it because of the tradition and memories it holds, much
There are many important symbolic items in this story, but the major symbolic items are the black wooden box, white slips of paper and the stones. The black box represents the tradition of the lottery. As the lottery itself the black box is old and worn. Also, the color of the box is black which could represent death since black is considered color of death. The black box was always kept in public view to remind the villagers about the tradition “The postmaster, Mr. Graves, followed him, carrying a three-legged stool, and the stool was put in the centre of the square and Mr. Summers set the black box down on it” (Jackson 4). The three-legged stool on which the box was placed is also important since the stool itself was unstable and at one point almost got knocked down. The tradition as the three-legged stool is unstable and could get knocked down at any point. Next, the white slips of paper “He dropped all the papers but those onto the ground, where the breeze caught them and lifted them off.” (Jackson 60). The papers represent the lives of the villagers and how their lives can be taken away at any moment with a single