The Lottery Symbolism

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Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery takes its readers down the slippery slope of an uncivilized society. Taking place in the 1900’s, a non-descript village continues to practice it’s established customs for the sake of preserving tradition. Every member of the village must attend the lottery, and every person must draw their ticket. Through Shirley Jackson’s work, the story is revealed through the eyes of Tess Hutchinson, a housewife living in the village. Readers will find out if Tess prevails against all odds, or if her luck has abandoned her in The Lottery. At the beginning of the story, it seems to be a happy day in the village. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers …show more content…
For example, Mary Ellen Judd speculates that the story “is an allegory for how random life can be” ( 2 ). The town itself represents the fear of change, since the lottery continues to operate, even though it is morally wrong in every aspect. This contrasts sharply with Mrs. Hutchinson, who is the only member of the village who is willing to revolt and rebel against the lottery. “Not about the fact if the lottery, but that it unfairly resulted in her family being chosen.”, Steven Judd remarks. ( 2 ). This symbolism is supported by the fact that other towns have ceased the lottery, and the town described in the story is the only village that hasn’t abandoned their lottery. The villagers continue the operation of the lottery, just as they have done so in the past. Athira notes that the oldest man in the village believes “the lottery is the best thing that ever happened” ( 2 ). This symbolism suggests that the author is trying to convey to the reader that people should not be afraid to embrace new ideas, instead of always following the past traditions. Bryan Francoeur mentions that, “ What ‘The Lottery’ is really about are the broader issues of not blindly obeying authority and not doing things just because they are tradition. The people of the town don 't even stop to think about why they are killing someone, and we never find out through the course of the story” ( 3 ). Diana summarizes: “ The underlying message of Jackson 's story is just as relevant today as ever” ( 1

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