Symbolism in "The Lottery" Essay

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Symbolism in “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a short story filled with an immense amount of symbolism used in a way that conveys to readers the evil nature of society and traditions. Every year the community gathers to select a winner for the year’s lottery and this year it is Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson who is the lucky winner to be stoned to death. The story begins in a setting so real it could have taken place any where right here in America but it does not give an exact location. This signifies that these evils of humanity and tradition that take place in the story can take place any where we live. The time period the event occurs in is not stated either, signifying that such cruel acts can take place at any time. The author uses symbolism throughout the story but the three most prominent uses of symbolism can be seen in the lottery, the black box used to choose the winner, and the most predominant use of symbolism, the characters actions and names. The lottery is symbolic of the corrupt nature of humans regarding pointless and inhumane traditions. It expresses the evil behind traditions and man’s unrelenting refusal to accept change. The lottery occurs on a warm summer day in a traditional small town in the same town square where the community gathers for all events. Because the people are able to return over and over again to this location of death with out feeling any remorse symbolizes societies ability to turn a blind eye to things they feel they can not change or things that do not directly involve them. Even before the lottery begins the reader gives indication to the ways of the society through the actions of the boys gathering stones for the stoning to come. The author is symbolizing here how humans are only as good as they are taught to be no matter how pure they seem to be. The black box used in the lottery to select the
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