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The Lottery Literary Analysis

Decent Essays
Figurative language is a strategy that authors have used over the years to give the reader different perspectives on the piece that they are reading about. In her short Story, “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson writes about a small town that has a tradition known as the lottery. The way that the lottery works, is that there is black box with pieces of paper in it. The pieces of paper have the family names of every family in town. The last name standing then has to go into an elimination round with the people within the family. Each family member draws out of the black box, and the family member that pulls the slip of paper with the black dot gets stoned to death. In her short story, Jackson utilizes symbolism in the form of Old Man Warren, the black box and the pile of stones to demonstrate how tradition can be blinding without even knowing it. Old Man Warren is the oldest man in town, and he is a constant reminder of the lottery is a tradition. For example Mrs. Adams mentions how some towns have discontinued the lottery. Old Man Warrens response to this is that it is “Nothing but trouble” and the other towns are packs of “young fools” (Jackson 4).This quote from the story shows how Old man Warren is a firm believer in tradition. He wants to make sure that the tradition keeps on moving forward. In addition it is important to remember that Old Man Warren is the oldest man in the town. This is his “77th time” participating in the ritual (Wagner-Martin). One can understand why he
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