The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay examples

712 Words Nov 28th, 2016 3 Pages
Shocking Tradition I think that pretty much everyone wants to win the lottery these days, but it was not always that way especially in a small town in New England. “The Lottery”, a short story by Shirley Jackson takes place in a small town in New England, which traditionally holds an annual lottery every year to ensure a good crop harvest. The winner of this lottery faces a gruesome death by stoning which is believed to produce a bountiful crop which is vital to the small town. This tradition is never questioned and is held by a very authoritative figure who calls all the shots. The author Shirley Jackson uses foreshadowing and symbolism to give the reader an idea of what is going to happen further into the story and also tie in ideas that help develop the story and its meaning. In her short story “The Lottery” Jackson uses symbolism to give something a symbolic meaning that is different than its actual meaning. Linda Wagner states in her article “The Lottery: Overview”, “Her use of archetypal names of the leaders of the benevolent patriarchy—Mr. Summers, Mr. Graves—seems mundane” (Wagner par. 3). This annual tradition is held in this story, it is symbolic because it is held in the summer on June 27th and has been carried on for several generations, and also run by Mr. Summers. Next the name Mr. Graves is symbolic because someone will be sacrificed for the good of the community and a grave will be needed for the body. Another use of symbolism Jackson uses is the black dot…

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