Essay about The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

Essay about The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

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The Importance of Characters and Symbols in a Story
Have you ever read “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson? “The Lottery” published in 1948 and it was one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature. “Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco, California on December 14, 1916. On August 8, 1965, she died of heart failure at the age of 48. She began writing short stories and poetry when she was a young teenager. In 1948, after her first novel “The Road Through The Wall”, she published her iconic story “The Lottery” and received a largest amount of hateful mails that ever have by a magazine” (Shirley Jackson 's Bio). This short story is the most well-known in the 20th Century. Believe me or not, this story is very interesting. There are many meanings of the characters and symbols. I will analyze the importance of Joe Summers and Tessie Hutchinson as characters, and the symbolism in the story by focusing on the black box and the lottery. This story is also a good illustration of how tradition can be dangerous if people follow it blindly.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is about the annual lottery for the growth of corn in a small town. “The short stories ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson and ‘The Children of the Corn’ by Stephen King are modern tellings of the corn spirits ' demand for sacrificial victims” (De Vos). This lottery is held each year and has been in practice for more than seventy years by the villagers. Everyone in the village needs to participate in the lottery, but in the beginning, this is not clear what happens for the winner of the lottery. However, this story has many characters and the names of various characters have important meanings in the story. For example, Joe Summers refers...


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... her own church” (Shields). This story criticizes the cruelty of people when blindly following the dangerous tradition. Tessie Hutchinson in the story performs the victim as a scapegoat in the ritual. She is killed by her family and her friend, even the children in the village. No one attempts to help her and they want to kill her as soon as they can.
The story is very interesting and effective in the use of symbols. The black box and the lottery are the most important symbols. For instance, the title of this story is “The Lottery,” and everything is connected to it. The lottery has happened for a long time, from one generation to the next. “‘Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery,’ Old Man Warner said as he went through the crowd. ‘Seventy-seventh time’” (Jackson 377). The villagers accept and follow the lottery with no questions, even it is cruel and illogical.

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