A Black Box, Stones, And The Actions Of Mr. Summers Essays

A Black Box, Stones, And The Actions Of Mr. Summers Essays

Length: 891 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Tradition roams the street speaking of good intentions, but holds motives of evil. Many traditions, such as human sacrifice, were practiced by many civilizations to appease their god(s). The practice of human sacrifice has been extinct for centuries because people began to understand how morbid, barbaric, and unfair the old ways were. This could not be said about the town depicted in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” Darkness is revealed in many ways throughout the story. A black box, stones, and the actions of Mr. Summers symbolizes the macabre traditions of the town.
The black box presented in the story may represent death. Death has been personified and represented in many ways throughout history. Shirley Jackson uses a simple black box passed down from generation to generation in the town. The physical appearance of the box supports the idea of it being death. The box is said to be “no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained,” (Jackson 134). The box was worn down from years of use, mimicking the weathered and dead look of the grim reaper. The box also has no permanent storing place or home. It was moved to different locations every year and was treated as a meaningless object. The treatment of the box contradicts the importance placed upon it by the townspeople. Just like death, the box is important but forgotten until it appears in the lives of the townspeople again. The appearance of the box means death for another person. The contents of the box are responsible for the death of an individual. The townspeople receive slips from the black box that are all blank, except one. The non-blank paper has a black dot that means death. The black b...


... middle of paper ...


...th her tirade, but he did his best to explain things to Tessie to calm her and prevent outrage from the others. The townsfolk could have grown upset that she was bluntly going against their rules. A god does not always interfere unless deemed necessary and this was necessary. Mr. Summers was a symbol of a gentle god whom was given an unfortunate task.
Death, barbarianism, and a god are all represented in “The Lottery” with two simple objects and a person. The town shows its dark side in these few ways. Mr. Summers acted as a god when administering the lottery and used a black box to deliver death to the townspeople by stoning. People were once okay with performing rituals such as stoning because of superstitions that were passed down from generation to generation. Jackson not only uses the symbols to show the dark side of the town, but the dark side of humanity.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Community Mr. Summers Essay

- It’s July 27th and everybody from a small community of around 300 people have gathered for its annual lottery. The leader of the community Mr. Summers leads the lottery. After going over the rules he has each of the head of households come and select a small folded white card from the inside of a box. These heads of the households include the fathers of the families, except in two cases where the father is deceased which leads to the oldest son being the head of the household, and a wife being the lottery participant because of her husband’s broken leg....   [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Short story, Family]

Better Essays
800 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Tradition in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

- “The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson,was published in 1948. The story centers around a social gathering holding every resident in attendance. It is an annual tradition to have this gathering and all of the town’s people have to participate in a lottery in the belief that it will help bring a prosperous harvest. A slip of paper is made for everyone who lives in the town and one special slip is marked with a black spot. The one who draws the marked paper is proclaimed the winner of the lottery and receives the honor of getting stoned to death by the rest of the participants....   [tags: social gathering, the box]

Better Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay examples

- There is more meaning behind every object and the importance it holds is what focuses to make it more understandable to the readers. Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas by giving them symbolic meanings that are not the same as their literal sense. For example, violets can symbolize shyness. Even animals can be represented as symbols. Here in the United States the bald headed eagle represents freedom and independence. Also a cross represents religion and faith. Even now a days teens and kids use symbols while texting or on their social media sites....   [tags: hutchinson family, the stones]

Better Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Wireless: from Marconi's Black-box to the Audion

- Wireless: from Marconi's Black-box to the Audion Wireless is a methodical account of the early development of wireless telegraphy and the inventors who made it possible. Sungook Hong examines several early significant inventions, including Hertzian waves and optics, the galvanometer, transatlantic signaling, Marconi's secret-box, Fleming's air-blast key and double transformation system, Lodge's syntonic transmitter and receiver, the Edison effect, the thermionic valve, and the audion and continuous wave....   [tags: Wireless: from Marconi's Black-box to the Audion]

Free Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Airplanes: The Need for a Better Black Box

- The Need for a Better Black Box With the use of airplanes as a common method of travel, in-flight safety should be a top priority for both airplane manufacturers and the companies that operate them. There should be an emphasis on updating aircraft technology to enhance passenger safety and provide an understanding of failures during flight. Today, during a crash or major in-flight incident, important aircraft information is recorded to a flight data recorder commonly referred to as the black box....   [tags: cockpit voice recorder, in-flight data]

Better Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Behaviorism or Black Box Psychology Essay

- ... Watson a behaviorist lived from (1878-1958). Watson grew up in a broken family where is father cheated and eventually left his mother (John B. Watson). Watson modeled his behavior by cheating on his first wife and eventually marrying on of his students (John B. Watson). Watson turned his life back around with the help of one of his teachers named Gordon Moore (John B. Watson). He became interested in the field of psychology as well as animal behavior at the University of Chicago and his career although short lived took off from there (John B....   [tags: Pavlov, Skinner]

Better Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Winning is a Nightmare in Shirley Jackson's Short Story, The Lottery Essay

- ... This is the first use of foreshadowing, giving the reader expectations that nothing could go wrong on such a beautiful day. Right off the bat, Jackson leaves the reader to question the reasoning of why, " Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example"(242). The reasoning behind the little boys gathering rocks is left for the reader to later find out. The men " stood together, away from the pile of stones"(243) hinting towards the idea that the stones aren't something you would want to be near....   [tags: prize, lucky, black box]

Better Essays
546 words (1.6 pages)

The Scientific Method For The Black Box Experiment Essay

- The scientific method is not a new process in the classroom by any means. Most students were at least introduced to it at some point in elementary school. Every year it seems to get more and more complex, but the basic steps stay the same. Just like every other year of science, we started the year by discussing the scientific method. This method is so important because it forms a baseline for how all scientific discovery should be done and proved. We started using the scientific method by implementing it during the black box experiment....   [tags: Scientific method, Theory, Hypothesis]

Better Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Essay about Growing Up in McAuliffe's 'Black Box'

- Transition from childhood to adulthood is a major element in our lives and to many individuals this can be a daunting experience. The poem ‘Black Box’, by John McAuliffe, portrays this change from the perspective of an individual who is resistant to the development from childhood to maturity. This essay will critically examine the way this interpretation is formed by following the model established by I.A.Richards and critics of the New School. The aim of this model is to construct an understanding of a text “by isolating the text from history and context.” (Barry, 2009, p.15) In terms of poetry, the model focuses on the way literary techniques, structure and form contribute to the meaning o...   [tags: Literature]

Better Essays
1856 words (5.3 pages)

Stones from the River Essay

- Stones from the River 1. Synopsis of “Stones from the River” Trudi Montag was growing up during the World Wars in Burgdorf, Germany. She lived with her father, Leo, and helped him run their pay library. When she was young her mother, Gertrude, went insane, and died at the asylum. Trudi could remember how her mother used to run away, and after her father carried her home, he would lock her up in the attic, to try to prevent her from escaping again. She always did escape, and Trudi usually found her outside, hiding under the stairs....   [tags: Stones from the River Germany Essays]

Better Essays
3027 words (8.6 pages)