Symbols And Traditionalism In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

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Furthermore, symbols play an important role in the short story “The Lottery”; indeed, they inflate the theme of the story and make it more impressive. First symbol in the story is the lottery, which stands for the certain ritual and tradition presents in society. “‘Some places have already quit lotteries,’ Mrs. Adams said” (144). ‘“Nothing but trouble in that,’ Old Man Warner said stoutly, ‘Pack of young fools”’ (145). Although there are places where the tradition of holding the lottery has been forgotten, it continues in this village, because it was always there and people are faithful to it. Moreover, villagers are afraid to rectify the situation with the annual murder, for they are afraid of becoming a victim of the lottery. As a result, they do not express their true feelings and opinion, since it can be treated as an action against society. Furthermore, the black box appears in the story as a second main symbol. “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one …show more content…
The story tells that some established customs in society could harm its citizens and even create violence between them. Blind people’s traditionalism in the story leads to rejecting the understanding of the purpose of the annual lottery ritual. Though the elements of fiction in her story, Shirley Jackson shows that although the villagers do not try to maintain the specifics of the lottery, they do not want to improve upon the tradition either. Moreover, she wants to convey to the reader that all traditions should be understandable and useful to people, for blindly accepting tradition can be extremely dangerous with horrible consequences. Therefore, “Traditions need to be reviewed from time to time, and any elements which seem to have become useless or irrelevant must be reformed” (Bihar,

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