A Literary Analysis Essay On The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

695 Words3 Pages
Kenley Duke D.E. English Professor Walker October 9th 2012 Analyzing Literature: “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Tradition, defined my Webster’s Dictionary, is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior. Not once does it say that tradition is meant to have good intentions. Such is the case in the “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. The villagers in this town gather annually to conduct what they refer to as “the lottery.” This gruesome event selects one of the town members to meet their untimely death by the mid-evil process of stoning. The villagers have kept this tradition around and they don’t even know why. Jackson conveys the battle between the values of tradition vs. the…show more content…
The event of the lottery is a symbol of death. To most people, the lottery means a prize of winning, a representation of something good to come. As the story unfolds, the reader has no idea that the lottery means something so contrasting. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full- summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” The imagery that Jackson presents is ironic due to the horrific ending. The lottery is a reaper of some sort that every year, claims the life of an innocent soul. Jackson confuses the reader with her lively tone, but reels them back in with the small, but meaningful gestures and comments from the town’s people. The villagers accept this form of death because it is the only thing that they know. The tradition of the lottery has been drilled down for so long that Old Man Warner, the oldest of the town, doesn’t know any better. Another form of symbolism is the black box that sits upon the three-legged stool. The black box is a symbol of the villager’s connection to their tradition. Like the lottery itself, the box is becoming purposeless and worn out. Yet, nobody bothers to get rid of it. They keep it around just as they do the lottery. The black box is useless, a dead weight collecting dust, except for one day every year. Here lies the contrast between tradition and

More about A Literary Analysis Essay On The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Open Document