This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Allegory And Satire In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

2411 words - 10 pages

Originally printed in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” brought about controversy from the beginning. Magazine subscriptions were immediately canceled due to the outrage at the brutal underlying message. Mrs. Jackson tore down virtually every institution that American Citizens hold dear to their hearts. Jackson believes we should not just blindly follow authority or blindly partake in any traditions that we may not understand to the full extent. “Any human institution which is allowed to continue unchallenged and unconsidered until it becomes a destructive, rather than a constructive, force in men's lives…” “The Lottery” explicates this in a manner in which you must know the underlying message to understand the concept that is presented to you. Mrs. Jackson has many insightful remarks in her short story “The Lottery” if you are equipped to understand the underlying message. As with most stories you really cannot take “The Lottery” for just face value. You must delve into the story to unravel Mrs. Jackson’s seemly horrific story. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” Mrs. Jackson allegorizes and satires American society, beliefs, tradition, and their innate fear of change through her use of symbolism.
The United States of America was founded on the concept of religious freedom. The first people left their home country to seek religious freedom and to escape the terror of The English Church. To this day “seventy-seven percent of Americans are Christian” (Newport). Jackson directly attacks Christianity with the “three legged stool.” Jackson specifically mentions that the stool has three legs; these three legs are meant to represent The Trinity, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, one of Christianity’s main symbols. This particular stool upholds “the black box” (Jackson). “The Black Box is a physical manifestation of the villagers' connection to tradition…” (Nebecker). This all symbolizes Christianity upholding the traditions that we blindly follow unquestioningly. In “The Lottery” the tradition that the citizens blindly follow is one of collective violence, therefore Jackson, in a roundabout manner, ties Christianity not only to the blindly held traditions, she also hints that The Christian Faith has led people to do cruel violent things, aligning Christianity with evil. Jackson attempts to show that no matter what you claim to be if your acts are contrary to the beliefs you claim to up hold, your innermost goals will be seen. Nazi Germany claimed to be Christian, yet they committed terrible crimes and horrific acts of murder. Some critics believe that Jackson wrote to allegorize this; she alluded to it yes, as an example but not as a main subject. Jackson further ties her story to Christianity through the use of stones as the murder weapons. Stoning first appeared in Biblical Days. Christians are not the only culprits that used this method of execution though, “stoning comes up specifically in the...

Find Another Essay On Allegory and Satire in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

Symbolism in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

737 words - 3 pages The Lottery: Symbolism In her story “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson manages to catch the readers’ attention and ultimately shock them with an unexpected ending; all of which help her emphasize her critique toward the dark side of human nature and the evil that resides, sometimes, in those who we less expect it from. Jackson uses symbolism throughout the story that helps her set the mood and also makes the readers wonder and analyze the senseless

Tradition in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1084 words - 5 pages “The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson,was published in 1948. The story centers around a social gathering holding every resident in attendance. It is an annual tradition to have this gathering and all of the town’s people have to participate in a lottery in the belief that it will help bring a prosperous harvest. A slip of paper is made for everyone who lives in the town and one special slip is marked with a black spot. The one who draws the

Evil in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1008 words - 5 pages proceeding to do something immoral while recognizing its potential risks. Through the voice of Elaine Aron, Zimbardo claims that such qualities are embodied among ordinary people put under various pressures to create an evil situation. These traits repeatedly appear among characters in both American literature and history in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and the events related

Tradition in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1634 words - 7 pages Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is a story about a small town’s tradition. Every summer the town’s people gather in the square for a ritualistic drawing of names, however, the winner of the drawing will lose their life. No one in the village questions the sadistic ceremony, everyone simply complies. Jackson suggest that the tradition is as old as the town and thus many portions of the ceremony have long been forgotten yet the villagers are

Symbolism and Irony in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

802 words - 3 pages “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, is a short story about a once a year lottery that is performed in a small town. The story takes place in a town in New England. In this particular village during the lottery, one person is chosen at random to be stoned to death by the people. For nearly a century the lottery has been performed. This reoccurring event is not looked down upon and is accepted by the townspeople. By using symbolism, Jackson uses

Tradition and Dehumanization in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

773 words - 4 pages The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a short story about a small town’s annual lottery drawing. Each year, the lottery is held, and instead of the winner being rewarded, members of the community stone them to death. The residents of the town have practiced this tradition for at least 70 years. Jackson’s use of symbols, names, and settings hide the true nature of this long-practiced tradition. The setting of the story is in quiet small town in

Symbolism and Imagery in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

970 words - 4 pages The short story “ The Lottery ” the author Shirley Jackson uses symbolism and imagery to develop a theme the brings forth the evil and inhumane nature of tradition and the danger of when it’s carried out with ignorance. In the story, Jackson introduces characters whose names are very symbolic to the story. The ultimately foreshadow the climax of the story. There is Mr. Summers who conducts the lottery. His name is significant because the

Symbolism and Setting in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1134 words - 5 pages Symbolism and Setting in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson ?The Lottery? by Shirley Jackson is a short story that without the symbolism of its characters, would amount to little more than an odd tale about a stoning. However, because of what each character represents and the way the setting helps to magnify those representations, it becomes a short story that is anything but short of meaning. The first character is probably the most

Twists and Turns in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1132 words - 5 pages top and she follows after her husband in a hierarchal prospective. The way Shirley Jackson began The Lottery, her readers would never expect it to end the way it did. The author began by saying that the day was “clear” and “sunny.” She continues to explain that “flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was rich and green” (Jackson 373). By describing such a beautiful day, one would assume that the village was in for some type of treat

Religious and Traditional Symbols in the Lottery by Shirley Jackson

741 words - 3 pages Religious and Traditional Symbols in the Lottery Religious groups encourage and enforce conformity of their social norms and beliefs upon their members. Religious traditions are usually passed on from parent to child at an early age. In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson reveals the tradition of the lottery and how all of the villagers conform to the ritual of a human sacrifice. Growing up with an exceptionally religious father I can relate to

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

2292 words - 9 pages the cruelty of the world and realize the need to rethink society and find peace.  Through her techniques of characterizing Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson, of atmosphere, and of allegory, Shirley Jackson is able to bring the harsh realities of the world to fiction in such a way that readers our left rethinking what is right and what is wrong. Because of the roles women had in the fictional village of “The Lottery” as displayed through Mrs. Hutchinson

Similar Essays

Symbolism, Allegory And Plot In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

1044 words - 5 pages story, the meaning, and the significance. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism, allegory, and plot to illustrate a theme of true human nature in The Lottery. Symbolism plays a significant role, represented in The Lottery by people and objects. For example, the meaning of the black box in the story is deep yet simple. It is important to note here that the box is noted in the story to be aged, neglected and the black paint faded. Due to these

Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

615 words - 2 pages Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Thesis: The short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson found in Perrine's Literature written by Thomas R. Arp is a story full of symbolism. I. Names are used to represent different aspects of the story. a. Mr. Summers is a bright and cheerful man. His attitude, demeanor, and name represent the summer. Mr.Graves' name represents what is about to happen. They are sending someone to their grave

Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

855 words - 3 pages In literature, symbols are often used to deepen the meaning of a story or to convey an idea indirectly. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to reveal the annual ritual that happens to be called the lottery, and the consequences of unquestioned traditions. Most people when drawing the lottery were more concerned with stoning one to death and their beliefs rather than the value of the human life that they were about to destroy. From

Irony In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

557 words - 2 pages Irony in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson “The Lottery” is full of irony. Shirley Jackson most likely intended to use this amount of irony to make the over all story funny in its twisted theme. Each layer of irony used, prepared the reader to have the most dramatic reaction to the last and final blow that wrapped the whole story up. I would say the most major and obvious type of irony used here was situational irony. Jackson