Symbolism, Allegory and Plot in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

Symbolism, Allegory and Plot in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

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The Lottery, Unlocking the Secrets
Of the many intriguing varieties of literary methods used to write most short stories, the author of The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, uses symbolism, allegory and plot to make this story stand out. Of the many literary methods of writing, Jackson used symbolism and allegory to her advantage. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary classifies symbolism as “the particular idea or quality that is expressed by a symbol” and Allegory as “a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for ideas about human life or for a political or historical situation”. Jackson also organizes her story with a striking, broad message, which takes the reader by surprise. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary also lists Plot as “a series of events that form the story in a novel, movie, etc.” The combination of these methods assists the reader with the understanding of the story, the meaning, and the significance. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism, allegory, and plot to illustrate a theme of true human nature in The Lottery.
Symbolism plays a significant role, represented in The Lottery by people and objects. For example, the meaning of the black box in the story is deep yet simple. It is important to note here that the box is noted in the story to be aged, neglected and the black paint faded. Due to these characteristics and the hinting that the box was constructed with the remnants of the past vessels represents many things. It is noted in a literary criticism that, as a complete unit, the box represents tradition, one which has been allowed to become cumbersome, meaningless, and indefensible. In addition to this, further sources of symbolism exist in the children’s names. As the realm of symbolism is explored, it is ...

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...most seven decades ago, many of the issues still hold true today. Many individuals still take distaste to literature and other media which paints a clear picture of society. Combined, The Lottery is a very simple, yet multifaceted selection of literature with much to offer to society.

Works Cited

Du Bose, Thomas. "The Lottery." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Evans, Robert C. "The Lottery." Short Fiction: A Critical Companion (1997): 112-119. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. "Symbol, Allegory, and Myth." Compact Literature. Eghth Edition ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2013. 403-408 415-420. Print.
Nebeker, Helen E. "The Lottery": Symbolic Tour De Force." American Literature 46.1 (1974): 100. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

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