Shirley Jackson is a master at using symbols to convey underlying meanings in her writing. In her short story, she uses one symbol in particular to express the importance of new generations questioning old traditions. This symbol is the black box that the "winner's" name is drawn from in the lottery. The citizens of the community are attached to the black box as much as they are attached to the lottery itself, almost to a point that it is sacred to them. The black box has been in use for a very long time, it "had been put into use before Old Man Warner, the oldest
man in ...
... middle of paper ...
...wever, when blindly followed these traditions can become a disease
that plagues communities for generations. "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson poses many questions about tradition to the reader. Jackson stresses the importance of new generations questioning and examining the practices of past generations. "The Lottery" is an extreme example of a new generation failing to do this. Through Jackson's use of symbols, description and the theme of danger, she urges readers to look into their own lives, assess their customs and embrace the benevolence of change.
Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Making Literature Matter. John Schilb and John Clifford.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 837-844.
"Tradition." Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2012. merriam-webster.com. 27 Feb. 2012.
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