The Lottery Short Story Analysis

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Destructive Traditions Within "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", raises many questions in the back of a reader's mind towards the destructive yet blind rituals of mankind. "The Lottery" clearly expresses Jackson's feelings concerning mankind's evil nature hiding behind traditions and rituals. As her theme, she shows how coldness and lack of compassion in people can exhibit in situations regarding tradition and values. Jackson presents the theme of the short story with the use of symbols and setting. The setting of "The Lottery" supports the theme. Settings are constructed to help build the mood and foreshadow things to come. In the lottery, however, the setting ironically foreshadows exactly the opposite of what is to…show more content…
The introduction of the black box into the story changes the mood and atmosphere of the crowd of people. The reason being is the box is what holds the key between life and death for each and every one of them. The black box embodies all the evil acts executed in the past and the ones to come. Even the color of the box is a symbol for evil. The box is painted in black, which has always been a universal symbol for evil and death. Besides color, materials used to make the box reveal how long the tradition has been kept, "with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here" (79). The villagers refused Mr. Summers' request of making a new box but they were so stuck in the tradition that they did not want anything to upset it. Jackson shows in depth how callousness and cruelty can especially be revealed within old traditions. She explains through story how traditions aren't always a noble event. At the time the story was placed, I'm sure murder was a pretty big deal, and punishable by law. Of course, this is taking the moral of the story, and exploding it into the worse case scenario, losing a life. However, this theme shows true in many of the traditions we may partake in with our families. I have heard of some very weird traditions, such as drinking a cup of blood from the first deer a

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