Analysis Of Shirley Jackson 's ' The Lottery ' Essay

1512 Words Apr 29th, 2016 7 Pages
The Repercussions of Tradition Throughout history, many different traditions and prejudices have been passed down from generation to generation. The consequences of failing to question and criticize rituals can lead to the primitive downfall of human nature. In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” villagers gather around to participate in the annual town lottery. An air of nervousness and distress surrounds the villagers as the young boys run to collect stones in one corner of the town square. Mr. Summers, the supervisor of the annual lottery, brings in a black box and a three legged stool. In the box are pieces of paper, all of them blank except one with an ominous black spot. As the name of each family is called, the villagers anxiously talk amongst themselves. Unfortunately, the Hutchinson family draws the spot and must each draw again to determine the “winner.” Tessie Hutchinson draws the final black spot as the villagers look on in suspense. To end the ritual, the people of the village, including her own family, surround and stone her to death. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” utilizes symbolism, irony, dialogue, and foreshadowing to show human nature’s capability of committing brutally savage acts through irrationally clinging to the tradition of the lottery, hopelessly relying on the patriarchal structure of society, and mindlessly following religious based barbaric rituals. Jackson’s use of symbolism and irony exemplifies the villagers’ need to blindly…

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