Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Improved Essays
Shirley Jackson 's “The Lottery”, is a story chalk full of symbolism. Jackson uses symbolism to help her point out to the readers that humans are not completely innocent, no matter how innocent one may think of themself to be, or how innocent the world around them looks to be. “The Lottery” is very effective in making the reader question why tradition is so important. Jackson uses “The Lottery” to convey her hatred of humans hiding behind tradition and old habits to do evil. In writing this story, she shows how lack of emotion and following in others footsteps can lead to dangerous and situations. Jackson uses a major symbol in order to display the theme for the story. Jackson also uses symbolism in the lucky lottery winners’ names, the setting, …show more content…
The symbolism is what makes it so intriguing. The amount of symbolic depth Jackson adds into the short story is amazing because she wrote “The Lottery” in less than two hours. This short story’s main literary device is symbolism and Jackson uses symbolism to form a whole different world that parallels our world so well. This story makes the reader think about how the principles presented within can be applied to their everyday life. The slips of paper in the end that float away in the wind are symbolic of how easy life can be taken from someone. Also there are so many colonies, like the village, that were predestined to fail from the start because of the tradition the leaders originally set. Those places could have made it if they would have just changed tradition. The reader can see that even Tessie does not regret the lottery. Even when Tessie is facing death she only pleads for a redraw not for the tradition to be removed. Again Jackson writes in more symbolism by showing that Tessie never had the chance to question the lottery that eventually she would die from. We always have the chance to question the traditions around us and the people who are in our lives. We can always aim for a better opportunity at life than the characters in “The Lottery”. We always have a chance to change things for the better. And that’s what Shirley Jackson was trying to show

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    But when she finds out it is her, it becomes unfair. Irony is found in many places throughout the story requiring the use of imagination to unravel what Shirley Jackson is revealing to readers, starting with the title of the story “The Lottery,” then leading the reader to believe the children gathered rocks as a part of a game, ending with Mrs. Hutchinson screaming “it isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (137). These examples are just a few of the many ironic happenings, so one can appreciate how entertaining the story is by keeping the reader guessing what may happen…

    • 799 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “The Lottery” is considered a hidden gem because the author creates a story filled with symbolism, irony, and ritualized tradition that masks evil, which ultimately demonstrates how people blindly follow tradition. There are many different symbols in this story, and the more research one does, the more they will find. There are three symbols that are considered to be the most prominent. The first one being the stones. Jackson not only attempted but achieved something that a lot of writers seem to have trouble with, turning an object that is seemingly harmless, into something deadly.…

    • 836 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Many stories consist of foreshadowing that readers do not notice. One of those stories is “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. This story has a twisted, demented ending, but if you pay close enough attention, you can use the foreshadowing that Jackson presents to conclude what might occur. In “The Lottery”, Jackson uses foreshadowing to allow the reader to make logical conclusions about what is to come to this town; she uses this technique to add suspense. In the second paragraph, Jackson creates scenes of children playing and collecting stones.…

    • 616 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a short story full of dramatic twists and turns. It begins with a sweet day, and continues onto making the readers believe there is an exciting and pleasurable tradition going on. After reading deeper, we discover this tradition is something people seem to be wary about, but don’t discover why until the ending. Shock is everything we experience once the short story is over because all along, the so called lottery, wasn’t a chance these people wanted to get or it would result as a terrible death. The author created this story in a way that allows us readers to interpret it in many different ways though.…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Although that is one, the best example comes from Mr. Summers when the late Mrs. Hutchinson reached her husband, and Mr. Summers, who had been waiting, said cheerfully. "Thought we were going to have to get on without you, Tessie. "(3) This use of verbal irony is laid out as an ambiguous threat. While Mr. Summers makes sure he goes over the names of every person in town and why they are not there we begin to think that the town would not have let Tessie remain absent from the lottery. Having personal instinctive reactions to what we traditionally believe in and how we believe in it, at this point in the story we should be on guard for a different ending that was starting to emerge in the story.…

    • 1399 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hawthorne uses these names to symbolize the real personalities behind them. Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Pearl are all given these names to show the connection between the characters and their personas. Pearl leads to the idea of Dimmesdale being “dim.” Dimmesdale and Pearl lead to the idea of Chillingworth turning “chill.” This furthermore emphasizes the chain of events characterizing the people in the book. These events ruin these characters to some degree and force the true meaning behind their names to finally be exposed. Yet the reader knows because having a different outside appearance fools them, leading to the non-existent happy ending of their lives.…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Shirley Jackson 's use of Symbolism in "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson 's "The Lottery", is very effective in raising many questions about the nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. "The Lottery" clearly expresses Jackson 's feelings concerning mankind 's evil nature hiding behind traditions and rituals. As well, she shows coldness and lack of compassion in people. Jackson presents the theme of this short story with a considerable use of symbolism. It being shown everywhere in the setting of "The Lottery," the objects, the peoples actions, and even in the time and the names of the lucky contestants.…

    • 853 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    However, besides, violence as well as victim and victimization “The Lottery“ especially deals with the dangers of blindly accepting traditions and the cruelty of human nature. It becomes unsafe when the significance of a ritual is lost. The tone Shirley Jackson used in her short story does not mach the themes mentioned above. While the author uses a light and happy tone throughout the whole story, the main theme as well as the ending are dark and unhappy. The dramatic irony within the Jackson’s story already starts with the title “The Lottery“.…

    • 1296 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Shirley Jackson’s symbolism in The Lottery portrays manhood’s nature as meaningless due to a savage tradition. On literature, symbolism is important to understand foreshadowing and distinctions. In some cases, symbols can have a cultural significance and non-changing for the characters in the story. However, sometimes the meaning of the symbols is deeply hidden and understood as the story continues. Characters in literature are fundamental to understand the story being told by either a character on the story or the author.…

    • 1869 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She brings up that in modern day religion we tend to do religious things so often without thinking about them just so we can say that we are doing the right thing and that this will make our lives better. Just as in the witch trials the people thought they were doing the right thing by convicting and murdering those innocent women. The people of the village in the story also believe deeply in what they are doing and even when Tessie was about to face certain death she did not cry for a stop to the lottery she instead…

    • 1070 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays