The Lottery Symbolism

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Symbols in the Lottery Many renowned authors incorporate symbols into their writing to help their audience better understand the theme or message of the story. Shirley Jackson incorporates many symbols into one of her most famous works, The Lottery. The Lottery is a story about the annual ceremony where a random villager is sacrificed in order for prospure of crops and agriculture. Jackson uses symbols in The Lottery to develop and communicate the theme of tradition. A few of the of the most prominent symbols in The Lottery are the black wooden box, the stones, and the character, Tessie Hutchinson. The first symbol mentioned, the black box, represents unchanging tradition. The black box used to draw papers out of during the lottery is the only physical connection to the beginning of this tradition. For instance, the text says, “There was a story that the present box had been made 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” (Jackson 2). This shows the audience that since there is still a physical object from the very beginning of the lottery, the villagers see no need to change the tradition. If the tradition has lasted that long, then there should be no need to question it. Another example is that no one questions the tradition even though there is not much left of it. “but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the old black box” (Jackson 2). This

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