English 1102 Essay

961 WordsFeb 25, 20154 Pages
Elizabeth Taylor ENG1102 Pamela Rentz 02/15/15 Theme Analysis 928 A Good Sacrifice Is winning the lottery worth good crops? “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson tells the tale of a small town that has an annual lottery similar to annual Halloween parties or Thanksgiving dinners. The lottery is actually a ritual that leads to the death of the “winner” as a sacrifice so the villagers will not starve. Through the use of foreshadowing, symbolism, and irony, Jackson presents the theme that people blindly follow tradition. The writer shows the use of foreshadowing by focusing on the stones; while introducing the readers to the murder weapon that will be used to complete the sacrifice. While the boys are waiting for Mr. Summers to arrive, they begin gathering stones: “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and the roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix—the villagers pronounced this name ‘Dellacroy’—eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys” (259). Jackson begins with this quote to show that the whole town, even the children, know how to use stones to murder the winner of the lottery. “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones,” Jackson writes (265). Jackson is showing the readers how important the stones are for the ritual. Mrs. Hutchinson’s friends start picking up stones: “Mrs. Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar.” “Come on,’’ she says. “Hurry up” (265). The writer uses the name Delacroix to represent a woman of the cross. Even women of God have to help stone the winner. The stones represent tradition going all the way back to the Bible.

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