A Black Box, Stones, And The Actions Of Mr. Summers Essay

927 Words Nov 13th, 2016 4 Pages
Tradition roamed the street speaking of good intentions, but held motives of evil. Many traditions, such as human sacrifice, were practiced by civilizations to appease their god(s). The practice of human sacrifice has been extinct for centuries because people began to understand how morbid, barbaric, and unfair the practice was. This could not be said about the town depicted in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” Darkness is revealed in many ways throughout the story. A black box, stones, and the actions of Mr. Summers symbolize the macabre traditions of the town.
The black box presented in the story may represent death. Death has been personified and represented in many ways throughout history. Shirley Jackson uses a simple black box passed down from generation to generation in the town to depict death. The physical appearance of the box supports the idea of it being death. The box was described as “no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained,” (Jackson 134). The box became worn down from years of use, mimicking the weathered and dead look of the grim reaper. The box also has no permanent storing place or home. It was moved to different locations every year and was treated as a meaningless object. The treatment of the box contradicts the importance placed upon it by the townspeople. Just like death, the box is important but forgotten until it appears in the lives of the townsfolk again.…

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