Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is unquestionably a phenomenal, prestigious piece of fiction. Her short story depicted unusual, unreal, and bizarre events in common settings. In fact, Jackson wrote the story in only two hours and submitted it to “The New Yorker” (Roberts 140). Without major revisions, the story became a success and made many readers question the common traditions of time. In The Lottery, an annual sacrifice ceremony is held in a small town in which a selected person will get stoned and killed. In this selection, there are many appearances of symbolism. Some include the lottery “game” itself, the black box, and the characters. These symbols are used to enhance the theme of the story and create an ironic and suspenseful ending.
A symbol is “a specific word, idea, or object that may stand for ideas, values, persons, or ways of life” (Roberts1945). In the story The Lottery, the lottery “game” itself symbolizes a way of life. The lottery represents traditions that are passed down and followed blindly. In the story, the lottery has been an annual summer event in the village for as long as anyone can remember. During this event, the entire town gathers around and begins the ceremony. The family heads go forward and select a paper from the black box. Whoever receives the paper with the black mark will get stoned by the entire village. This is a very cruel, bizarre, and unusual tradition the citizens follow. It is a ritual that no one has the courage to go against because they have been practicing it for years. The result is an unfair murder of an innocent person by the hands of surrounding citizens. The lottery is an example of what can happen if traditions are not analyzed, questioned or changed by new generations.
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...popular. Shirley Jackson succeeded in writing a story that shocked the readers and gave them a new outlook on preserving traditions and imperfections of society. The human sacrifices that occur every year with the lottery show that some traditions are brutal and need to be reconsidered. Some of the symbolism such as the lottery, the black box, and the characters help bring about the theme of the short story. Ultimately, Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery shows just how individuals follow traditions and people in front of them by conforming to society.
Roberts, Edgar V., and Robert Zweig. "A Glossary of Important Literary Terms." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Boston: Longman, 2012. 1945. Print.
Roberts, Edgar V., and Robert Zweig. "The Lottery." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Boston: Longman, 2012. 140-45. Print.
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Tradition is a central theme in Shirley Jackon's short story The Lottery. Images such as the black box and characters such as Old Man Warner, Mrs. Adams, and Mrs. Hutchinson display to the reader not only the tenacity with which the townspeople cling to the tradition of the lottery, but also the wavering support of it by others. In just a few pages, Jackson manages to examine the sometimes long forgotten purpose of rituals, as well as the inevitable questioning of the necessity for such customs.
Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery', is a story that is filled with symbolism. The author uses symbolism to help her represent human nature as tainted, no matter how pure one thinks of himself or herself, or how pure their environment may seem to be. The story is very effective in raising many questions about the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. 'The Lottery' clearly expresses Jackson's feelings concerning mankind?s evil nature hiding behind traditions and rituals. She shows how coldness and lack of compassion in people can exhibit in situations regarding tradition and values. Jackson presents the theme of this short story with a major use of symbolism. Symbolism shows throughout the setting of 'The Lottery,' the objects, the peoples actions, and even in the time and the names of the lucky contestants.
Attention Getter: Shirley Jacksons, The Lottery, without a doubt expresses her thoughts regarding traditional rituals throughout her story. It opens the eyes of us readers to suitably organize and question some of the today's traditions as malicious and it allows foretelling the conclusion of these odd traditions. The Lottery is a short story that records the annual sacrifice ceremony of an unreal small town. It is a comprehensive story of the selection of the person to be sacrificed, a procedure known to the villagers as the lottery. This selection is enormously rich in symbolism.
The Lottery is an amazing work of fiction not only because of its extraordinary twist on the concept of tradition, but for its classic irony and impeccable use of symbolism. The Lottery questions whether or not tradition should be respected for what it is or evolve to suit new generations. When asked the purpose of writing The Lottery, Shirley Jackson responded that the story was "to shock the story's readers with a graphic demonstration of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives." (237) Jackson was a true visionary as a female author who created a thought provoking and alarming story to readers in a time when tradition was still heavily weighted in society.
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a chilling tale of a harsh ritualistic gathering conducted by people of a small village. The word lottery would typically remind someone of a drawing to win a cash prize. A better comparison to the story would be the lottery used to select troops for the Vietnam War; a lottery of death. Another would be the human sacrifices the Aztecs willingly made long ago.
The short story “ The Lottery ” the author Shirley Jackson uses symbolism and imagery to develop a theme the brings forth the evil and inhumane nature of tradition and the danger of when it’s carried out with ignorance.
Shirley Jackson wrote many books in her life, but she was well known by people for her story “The Lottery” (Hicks). “The Lottery” was published on June 28, 1948, in the New Yorker magazine (Schilb). The story sets in the morning of June 27th in a small town. The townspeople gather in the square to conduct their annual tradition, the Lottery. The winner of the lottery will stoned to death by the society. Although there is no main character in the story, the story develops within other important elements. There are some important elements of the story that develop the theme of the story: narrator and its point of view, symbolism, and main conflict. The story “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, argues practicing a tradition without understanding the meaning of the practice is meaningless and dangerous.
Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, uses symbols to develop the theme in effort to help others see the problems that arise from blindly following their superiors. This was most likely in response to World War Two, which had ended a few years before. A symbol is a person, place, object, action, or event that can be understood on two levels: its literal meaning, and a more complex meaning or range of meanings. It’s often used to enhance the theme, or the underlying message behind the story. Jackson uses the symbolism in the setting, the shock that comes at the end of the story, and the character of her protagonist, Tessie Hutchinson to tie together to form an intriguing story that weaves together to demonstrate why blind submission
Written by Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” is a short story about a town that hosts an annual lottery that decides which person is stoned by the rest of the town. Jackson slowly and subtly builds the suspense throughout the story, only resolving the mystery surrounding the lottery at the very last moment, as the townspeople surround Tessie with their stones. The symbolism utilized helps demonstrate the overall significance of the story, such as the lottery itself. The lottery shows the way people desperately cling to old traditions, regardless of how damaging they may be. In addition, it can show how callous many will act while staring at a gruesome situation, until they become the victims. Jackson’s story presents the issue regarding the habit
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, is a short story about an annual lottery draw in a small town. The story sets place in a small town in New England. Every year a lottery is held, in which one person is to be randomly chosen to be stoned to death by the people in the village. The lottery has been practiced for over seventy years by the townspeople. By using symbolism, Jackson uses names, objects, and the setting to conceal the true meaning and intention of the lottery.
In Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" symbols are used to enhance and stress the theme of the story. A symbol is a person, object, action, place, or event that in addition to its literal meaning, suggests a more complex meaning or range of meanings. (Kirszner & Mendell 330) The theme of the story is how coldness and lack of compassion can be exhibited in people in situations regarding tradition and values. That people will do incredibly evil and cruel things just for the sake of keeping a routine. Three of the main symbols that Shirley uses in the story is the setting, black box, and the actual characters names. They all tie together to form an intriguing story that clearly shows the terrible potential if society forgets the basis of tradition. The story also shows many similarities between the culture of the village, and the culture of Nazi Germany. How blind obedience to superiors can cause considerable damage to not only a community, but the entire world. Symbolism plays a large role in "The Lottery" to set the theme of the story and make the reader question traditions.
In Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery," what appears to be an ordinary day in a small town takes an evil turn when a woman is stoned to death after "winning" the town lottery. The lottery in this story reflects an old tradition of sacrificing a scapegoat in order to encourage the growth of crops. But this story is not about the past, for through the actions of the town, Jackson shows us many of the social ills that exist in our own lives.
What thoughts come to mind when you think of "The Lottery?" Positive thoughts including money, a new home, excitement, and happiness are all associated with the lottery in most cases. However, this is not the case in Shirley Jackson’s short story, "The Lottery." Here, the characters in the story are not gambling for money, instead they are gambling for their life. A shock that surprises the reader as she unveils this horrifying tradition in the village on this beautiful summer day. This gamble for their life is a result of tradition, a tradition that is cruel and inhumane, yet upheld in this town. Shirley Jackson provides the reader’s with a graphic description of violence, cruelty, and inhumane treatment which leads to the unexpected meaning of "The Lottery." Born in San Francisco, Jackson began writing early in her life. She won a poetry prize at age twelve and continued writing through high school. In 1937 she entered Syracuse University, where she published stories in the student literary magazine. After marriage to Stanley Edgar Hyman, a notable literary critic, she continued to write. Her first national publication “My Life with R.H. Macy” was published in The New Republic in 1941but her best-known work is “The Lottery.”(Lit Links or Reagan). Jackson uses characterization and symbolism to portray a story with rising action that surprises the reader with the unexpected odd ritual in the village. While one would expect “The Lottery” to be a positive event, the reader’s are surprised with a ritual that has been around for seventy-seven years , demonstrating how unwilling people are to make changes in their everyday life despite the unjust and cruel treatment that is associated with this tradi...
In conclusion, the use of symbolism, irony and setting in the Lottery is very evident, the author indirectly implicates the true darkness within the human heart. The Lottery remains relevant in society today because the overall vagueness of the city allows this story to be true to all people around the world. The short story shows us that humans are evil enough to follow traditions blindly, even if they cause pain and death in loved ones we know. Jackson also centers a lot of symbols and irony on religion and how they affect our culture and decisions. In this the reader can learn that sometimes it’s better for a person to follow his moral compass, and not just blindly follow his evil heart, and the evilness of others.