Symbolism Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

Symbolism Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

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Symbolism Found in “The Lottery”
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a story filled with symbolism from beginning to end. The name itself gives away one of the most important symbols that the story envelops. What makes the story so much more interesting and entertaining is that the reader must explore the symbolism found in the story and give their own explanations because the author does not give a straightforward answer. The story lacks simple answers to questions and requires more thought out responses and the reader is expected to come up with what he/she believes to be the answer. Some of the problems and symbolism that readers encounter is the black box, the white slips of paper, the lottery itself, and then the stoning at the end of the story. Each one has a significant meaning whether it is tradition, equality, death, or the importance of religion.
In the very beginning of the story an ominous black box is brought out in front of the crowd and they seem somewhat terrified of it. This box, however, looks to be falling apart. Its shabby and splintered and faded in areas to where one could see the actual color of the wood underneath. The man who would run the lottery named Mr. Summers would bring up the idea of making a new box, but the villagers did not want to upset the tradition that the black box represented (Jackson 336). Even though it is not the original box that used to be used when the tradition started, it is the symbolic principle of using a similar box. It seems almost illogical though, that the villagers have such a strong connection to the box because many of them, except Mr. Warner, are not old enough to remember why or when the tradition actually began. The villagers are more attached to the story behind the...


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...t the children were just playing. Looking back after finishing the story, though, one can see that the children know what their duty is and they are fully aware of what is going to happen.
The short story of “The Lottery” was a very interesting and suspenseful read because there were so many unanswered questions until the very end. What tends to be overlooked in the story though, is the obvious symbolism. Not only does the lottery itself have an important meaning in the story, but so does the black box, the use of stones, and even the white slips of paper that everyone chooses from the box. The answers to what these objects symbolize are not given to the reader straightforward, but instead require some thought to be put into the answers. By giving us these open-ended answers, the author has allowed each reader to have a different viewpoint of what the story meant.

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Symbolism Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

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