The Lottery Symbolism Essay

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Logan Conner ENGL 1102 Mrs. Simmons Fiction Essay 14 February 2013 Symbolism in “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson displays symbolism in many different ways throughout her short story, “The Lottery.” The day begins as any beautiful summer day filled with sunshine, blooming flowers, and children playing. The story revolves around a traditional day in the village known as the lottery. The title that Jackson chooses for this story is very ironic. As the reader gets deeper into the story, Jackson illustrates how people, actions, and objects all come together to create a symbolic meaning that makes this story what it is. Jackson presents symbolism through her name choice of the townspeople. Mr. Summers’ name describes the outside weather, but…show more content…
The most obvious object she uses is the worn out, black box. This box is where the citizen’s livelihood rests. Black is widely known as a dark, evil color that represents death. Choosing the color black for the box fits perfectly with the theme and the element of foreshadowing the future death of a citizen. The fact that the box is so worn symbolizes how old the lottery tradition really is. “But most of the history of the lottery and the black box is somewhat vague, creating a feeling of uncertainty” (Shields 417). Another symbol is the use of the flimsy slips of paper instead of the older wood chips in the lottery. “Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations” (Jackson 2). This can represent how men in older times were the ones to die, but now it’s the women’s turn. The lottery itself is symbolic. Normally, the lottery makes people happy because it is very beneficial to them, but not in this story. The lottery is a winning party to the people who lose and death to those who win. The title choosing made by Shirley Jackson is as puzzling as the story itself. The irony of the story and the title is what draws the reader in. “The incident that is usually associated with the story is the above-mentioned random execution of a member of the community in what appears to be a barbaric primitive ritual grounded in tradition”
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