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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Autor:   •  February 6, 2019  •  1,403 Words (6 Pages)  •  90 Views

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how the family members are so easily able to turn against one another. In the town square, families stand together in groups, having each and every family member young and old to be present. Elaborate lists of heads of families, heads of households within those families, and household members are created, and these lists help to determine which member will draw. Family relationships are key to how the actions of the lottery are carried out, but these relationships shortly mean nothing the moment it comes time to stone the “winner”. As soon as it’s clear that Tessie has drawn the marked paper, her husband and children turn on her just as the other villagers do. It as if they are no longer aware that she was their mother or wife. Although family relationships determine almost everything about the lottery, they do not guarantee loyalty or love once the lottery is over.

Lastly a symbol that is found present within “The Lottery” is the black box. The frayed black box represents both the tradition of the lottery, snd the illogic of the villagers loyalty to it. The black box has become so old it had begun to fall apart, the box is no longer black after the 77 continuous years of use and storage, and with the villagers having no thought as to replace the box. Their attachment is based off of nothing more than the story that claims that this black box was made of the older black box from when the lottery first begun. The lottery has been filled with similar relics and pieces from the past that have been supposedly been passed down from the early days when the lottery had just begun. Including the creation of the family lists and use of stones. These are parts of the tradition the community has come to know and recognize, no one now wishes to part from this. The lottery must take place in this way because its how its been done since the beginning, 77 years ago. However, the other lottery traditions have been now changed or forgotten. The villagers have begun to use slips of paper rather than wood chips. There is no reason as to why the villagers should continue to be loyal to the black box yet disloyal to other relics and traditions, just as there is no logical reason why the villagers should continue holding the lottery at all.

Throughout the story Jackson uses setting, themes, and symbols to create a story. The setting and tone in "The Lottery" is very different than any traditional story. She has the reader believing that the town and people she describes are normal. The reader later finds the ritual of the lottery the town practices and the entire tone of the story changes. Jacksons uses of settings, themes, and symbols are shown through the ideas of the danger of blindly following tradition, randomness of persecution, family, and the black box. Jackson leaves her audience with a ideas that have the ability to be applied to any society and any time period.

Works Cited

McCraney, Leah. An introduction to critical reading. Boston, MA, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012.

ismightypen. YouTube, YouTube, 5 Oct. 2015, Accessed 27 Sept. 2017.


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