The Lottery Essay

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La`Michael Boles English 101 Leah Halliday Little Black Box In the story “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, the people of the town believed in holding a lottery every year. They picked one name and then the winner would be killed. They held on to an old black box which they all knew they needed to get rid of, but didn’t. The black box in “The Lottery” represented old traditions, loyalty, and lack of knowledge. The black box represented old traditions in the community. The old black box represents the tradition of the lottery and the invalidity of the villagers’ loyalty to it. The black box is basically falling apart, is barely even black anymore after years of use and storage, but the villagers are against to replace it. They base their attachment to the box on nothing more than a story that claims that this black box was made from an older black box. The lottery is filled with similar reminders from the past that have supposedly been passed on from earlier days, such as creating the family lists and use of stones to kill. The black box in the story represented loyalty in the community. Each person had their name entered one time, then announced at the town gathering. These are part of the tradition, from which no one wants to move from—the lottery has to take place in this way because it’s always been this way. Nevertheless, other lottery traditions have been changed. For example, the villagers used slips of paper instead of wood chips. There is no reason why the villagers should be loyal to the black box yet disloyal to other reminders and traditions, just as there is no real reason why the villagers should continue the lottery at all. Also, the black box represented a lack of knowledge within this community. No one really knew why they kept this box around. They just knew that the story said that the box had been used for years. The lottery represents

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