Thy Shall Be Named in Shirley Jackson´s The Lottery
751 WordsJun 24, 20184 Pages
“The lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (page 25). In Shirley Jackson’s short story, she alludes the events leading up to Tessie’s stoning to the Bible. In turn, proving that through the symbolism of their names, all the townspeople were in on the sacrificial beliefs of “The Lottery”.
Traditionally, a child with a name that is that of the bible is classic. In efforts to make the child that much closer with God, parents pull names from His Holy Word. So, it is not ironic but rather conventional that Shirley Jackson chooses to use Mr. Adams as the first of the town’s people to choose his fate from the black box. Representing the towns’ people as a whole, he was the first name called, just as Adam was the first man God created. Adams was…show more content…
The mysteries of death are unpredictable. In “The Lottery” your life is encompassed within the black box. Standing as the postmaster, Mr. Graves was the keeper of the death box. Graves Profoundly carried their lives, as if it were a game of chess, and the citizens, his pawns. Holding the box within his possession, in a sense, the citizens chanced their life in the pickings of their grave – of the winning slip of paper. Unlike all the other characters, Mr. Graves is not described, pops up in and out of the scene, and is without dialogue throughout the entire story. When Mrs. Graves says, “we’re next,” Jackson writes, “Mr. Graves came around from the side of the box, greeted Mr. Summers gravely, and selected a slip of paper from the box” (25). After pointing out Graves’s insipid reaction to drawing his luck, Jackson foreshadows the truth behind the lottery by explaining the responses of townspeople as nervous.
Coincidentally, as a “reward” for “winning” the lottery, Tess is sacrificed – just as they did humans and animals in the Biblical days. Meaning heart in German, Tessie’s heart was on the line due to her rebellion. As Mr. Warner says, “Lottery in June, crops be heavy soon,” (Page 25) he indicates that once Tessie has been sacrificed, God will send them better and richer crops for the season. This is why Old Man Warner vows to do the lottery every year. With the lottery being an annual event, held on the same day every year, it seems near