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The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Theme Essay

Decent Essays
The modern world appears utopic compared to that of the world created by author Shirley Jackson. However, the use of a dystopian setting emphasizes the theme of of social and moral decay in her short story, The Lottery. The elements of the black box, the villagers lost innocence, and how one archetypal character behaves towards the victim of the lottery, creates the perfect setting for the lessons contained in the narrative.
The dystopian element of the far away government, symbolized by the black box, shows the serious social decay. “The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box resting on the stool had been put into use even before the oldest man in town was born” (Jackson 5). The black paint is faded or stained, and there is a large splinter of broken wood, making the box an allusion of the state of the government being remote and damaged. Therefore, as authority from above is eroded, some villages opt to end the lottery entirely. However, this particular village had not.
Consequently, all
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Delacroix character. At the introduction of the story, “The villagers pronounced the name Dellacroy” (no literal translation), instead of Delacroix (literally of the cross). This symbolizes how far away from the morals of the present day church the family had strayed. Just before the slips are drawn, she and Tessie Hutchinson talk and ‘laugh softly’ (Jackson, 8) but is also the person who picks up a heavy two-handed stone, and encourages another character, Mrs. Dunbar, to join in the violence.The archetypal character she represents is the Every Man, a normal person, in extraordinary circumstances, who feels no obligation to change, and is just trying to get through a difficult situation. Although Mrs. Delacroix is friendly with Tessie Hutchinson, she kills her friend with no remorse, showing once more the moral and social
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