Themes And Symbolism In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

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“The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. In this story we see the power of what a few words can accomplish. On the morning of June 27th every year, all the townspeople gather together to pull small white pieces of paper out of a black box. The reason for the lottery has been long since forgotten, but every year the people still gather in the middle of the town, children first, then men, and lastly women. After the roll call, one person from each family, typically the man, comes to the black box located in the middle of the square, draws a sheet of paper from the box, and then rejoins his family. After every family has a piece of paper, all the villagers look to see if their piece is blank or if it has a black dot on it. Mr. Hutchinson has drawn the black spot so all of his family must draw a piece of paper out of the black box as well. When his family has drawn slips of paper, Mrs. Hutchinson finds that her slip has the black spot. She blunders around saying it is all a mistake. The villagers gather rocks and start throwing them at Mrs. Hutchinson. Shirley Jackson uses the literary devices of character interaction, symbolism, and lastly theme to enrich the story. In the short story “The Lottery,” Jackson uses many characters in order to create excitement in a short period of time. When …show more content…
The author uses the theme of tradition to illustrate that making decisions based on blind obedience to history is not a valid reason to guide one’s actions. The symbolism of the shabby, black box shows the reader how ridiculous it is to unquestioningly follow the people around you. Jackson’s character development draws the reader into her story and makes the reader care what happens to them. “The Lottery” is a confusing short story that leaves the reader with an unsettled feeling and the desire to never again follow a tradition

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