Sinister Symbols Within The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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Throughout history with no specific date of origin, people have used objects to represent ideas. These objects of representation are known as symbols. Symbols are used in almost everything we see in our daily lives. They are often flashed right in front of us without us mentally taking notice of them. It takes observation and a comprehension of certain things to understand symbols. For example one might question why there is a bald eagle on the back of the quarter. Fact is the bald eagle is known to be a strong creature therefore is a symbolism of strength which is what the United States is known to be. There is a wide variety of different symbols. They may be colors such as white for purity and black for evil, they may be animals such as the bald eagle for strength, or even numbers such as the thirteen stripes on the United States flag symbolizing the original thirteen colonies. In the short story “The Lottery” the story begins with noisy villagers gathering around for an event known to be the annual lottery. Once it is time to get started, silence surrounds what were once the voices of the villagers. Two men by the names of Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves stand in front of the audience and begin to call out family names. Slowly the villagers go up and select a paper from the mysterious black box that stands beside Mr. Summers. After everyone has selected their papers they each unfold them and hold them up in the air. A villager named Mr. Hutchinson turns out to have a sort of different paper though. His family is then told to redraw from the box and his wife turns out to be the lottery winner. Her prize is being stoned to death. Ledesma4 Throughout her story, Shirley Jackson uses numerous symbols in which if thought about enough ha... ... middle of paper ... ...people playing right into it. This view changes once the story is examined more. Shirley Jackson uses an abundance of symbols all throughout her story. When these symbols are looked into more thoroughly, they reveal the dark side that is “The Lottery”. Works Cited Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Heritage of American Literature Ed James E. Miller. Vol 2 Austin Harcourt Bruce Jovanovich, 1991. 1864. Print. Ma, Martine. “Literary Analysis Essay: ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson.” Word Press N.P. 10 Jun 2013. Web. 17 Mar 2014. 123HelpMe Editors. “Names in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’.” 123Helpme.123Helpme, Inc, N.D. web. 17 Mar 2014 123HelpMe Editors. “Religious symbolism in ‘The Lottery’.” 123HelpMe.123HelpMe,Inc, N.D. Web. 17 Mar 2014 Scheelat, Lucas. “Symbolism in ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson.” ReadingReaction N.D., 26 Jan 2009. Web. 17 Mar 2014
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