?The Lottery? by Shirley Jackson is a short story that without the symbolism of its characters, would amount to little more than an odd tale about a stoning. However, because
of what each character represents and the way the setting helps to magnify those
representations, it becomes a short story that is anything but short of meaning.
The first character is probably the most obviously
symbolic character of the story. Every word that leaves Old Man Warner?s
Mouth reeks of tradition. He never stops criticizing new ideas about the lottery, the way it is run, or complaining about how things have changed for the worst, etc., etc. When Mr. Adams tells him that the residents of a neighboring village are considering doing away with the lottery, he says they are ?a pack of crazy fools.?
After the Hutchinson family draws for the second time and he can hear people whisper about who they hope drew the spot, he is quick to point out ?It?s not the way it used to be, people aren?t the way they used to be.?
He probably reminds most readers of an older person he or she once knew always saying, ?Well in my day we did things differently?..? and ? What is wrong with kids these days? Why when I was a kid if I did that??.?
He is clinging to tradition, even some that are no longer observed, and totally unwilling to let go of the ones that are still practiced, in spite of how ludicrous they might be. It has always been done that way before so why change things now?
In ?the Lottery,? old Man Warner symbolizes everything that is wrong with tradition and really forces a person to consider some of the ridiculous things that we as members of society have done and or continue...
... middle of paper ...
... a single character in the story who could not be a next-door neighbor, a teacher or a co-worker. The setting is so real that there can be no doubt in a first time readers mind the story is taking place right here in America land of the free where things like this just do not happen. This makes the shock at the end of the story that much greater. The reader is forced to deal with the fact, that all these evils, authority that is too powerful, terrible traditions, cowardice, and indifference are taking place right here right now in our own backyards. The setting makes the ending so powerful because the reader cannot remove the unpleasantness of the story by saying ?That stuff doesn?t happen here.?
The combination of setting, symbolic characters and a surprisingly twisted ending make ?The Lottery? by Shirley Jackson a truly powerful and thought provoking story.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Lottery: Symbolism In her story “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson manages to catch the readers’ attention and ultimately shock them with an unexpected ending; all of which help her emphasize her critique toward the dark side of human nature and the evil that resides, sometimes, in those who we less expect it from. Jackson uses symbolism throughout the story that helps her set the mood and also makes the readers wonder and analyze the senseless violence and cruelty in their own lives. It all starts with the setting of the story.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
738 words (2.1 pages)
- When most people play the lottery today, they think about having wealth. Generally, people who win are happy about it whether they win one dollar or a million. The lottery in our society has grown to support education and it is often worth several million dollars. Usually, the winner of the lottery gains a lot of recognition for the money they win. But what would happen if there was a small town where people held a yearly lottery in which the “winner” was the member of the town who was not sacrificed.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
1168 words (3.3 pages)
- The Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Within the first few lines of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" we are faced with such adjectives as clear, sunny, fresh and warmth. She goes on to paint a picture of small children just out of school for the summer, as the townspeople gather for the annual Lottery. This leads us to believe that the rest of the story is as cheery as the summer day initially described. We as the readers are virtually unaware of the horrible senseless events that lie ahead.... [tags: Lottery Shirley Jackson]
954 words (2.7 pages)
- The Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson In "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make us aware of the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. The story starts off on a beautiful summer day in a small town. The author describes the day as very euphoric but strikes a contrast between the atmosphere of the town and the atmosphere of the people gathered in the square. The atmosphere is subdued, where the children are "gathered around quietly." The black box is the central theme or idea in the story.... [tags: Lottery Shirley Jackson Essays Papers]
1179 words (3.4 pages)
- In literature, symbols are often used to deepen the meaning of a story or to convey an idea indirectly. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to reveal the annual ritual that happens to be called the lottery, and the consequences of unquestioned traditions. Most people when drawing the lottery were more concerned with stoning one to death and their beliefs rather than the value of the human life that they were about to destroy. From the title of the story, to the ambiance preceding this ritual, one could assume that this will result in someone winning something, but with the usage symbolism, Jackson is able to use names, objects, and the setting to conceal the true meaning and in... [tags: sacrifice, ritual, religion]
713 words (2 pages)
- Throughout the course of humanity, people have sought ways to promote a society where moral unification and motivation are present. It is essential for a community to coincide with such values; therefore, tradition and folklore are transcended though generations as customs which people follow mostly without question. In Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery, such traditions are exploited through a futile box along with a brutal ritual which symbolizes the way a society might mindlessly abide by them and feel powerless to divert from such illogical acts.... [tags: Death, Tradition, Ignorance]
595 words (1.7 pages)
- In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, once a year a person from town as to be sacrifice for a good harvest. Kids gather stones and put them in their pockets and they head towards the center of the town with the other villagers. As they gather around Mr. Summers brings a black box, in this box it is filled with many papers. Only one paper has a black dot. This dot will determine the family that would be chosen to be sacrifice. Wait I am not quite done, if a family is chosen they would have to draw again between each other to see who in the family would be stoned to death.... [tags: Symbolism, Symbols]
1529 words (4.4 pages)
- Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Thesis: The short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson found in Perrine's Literature written by Thomas R. Arp is a story full of symbolism. I. Names are used to represent different aspects of the story. a. Mr. Summers is a bright and cheerful man. His attitude, demeanor, and name represent the summer. Mr.Graves' name represents what is about to happen. They are sending someone to their grave. These names are obvious as to what they mean. b. Mrs. Delacroix's name comes from the Latin word for crucifix.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
494 words (1.4 pages)
- 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 story opens by embracing the reader with a relaxed setting, giving the anticipation for an optimistic story.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
800 words (2.3 pages)
- Symbolism and Setting in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson ?The Lottery. by Shirley Jackson is a short story that without the symbolism of its characters, would amount to little more than an odd tale about a stoning. However, because of what each character represents and the way the setting helps to magnify those representations, it becomes a short story that is anything but short of meaning. The first character is probably the most obviously symbolic character of the story. Every word that leaves Old Man Warner?s Mouth reeks of tradition.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
1120 words (3.2 pages)