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And Thy Shall Be Named… Essay

948 words - 4 pages

“The lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (page 25). In Shirley Jackson’s short story, she alludes the events leading up to Tessie’s stoning to the Bible. In turn, proving that through the symbolism of their names, all the townspeople were in on the sacrificial beliefs of “The Lottery”.
Traditionally, a child with a name that is that of the bible is classic. In efforts to make the child that much closer with God, parents pull names from His Holy Word. So, it is not ironic but rather conventional that Shirley Jackson chooses to use Mr. Adams as the first of the town’s people to choose his fate from the black box. Representing the towns’ people as a whole, he was the first name called, just as Adam was the first man God created. Adams was to stand as an example for the people to follow – being that he was the only person that greeted Mr. Summers – just as Adam from the Bible was to show Eve the way at which God wanted for them to live in the Garden of Eden. It did not come as a surprise to find that the story ends with Adams and Mr. Grave standing before Tessie Hutchinson, in front the people, as she was stoned – representing the life and death that stood before Tessie.
Just as Mr. Adams, Mr. Summers name was a significant to the plot, representing death cast amongst the people. “Summer,” which normally brings thoughts of livelihood and joyous times, just as in the setting of the story, ironically was the name of the person that the citizens chose their destiny’s from. Mr. Summers drew the heavily blackened death mark upon one slip of paper, and stood before the people as they awaited their names to be called. As he called their names off alphabetically, curiosity raised as the anticipation to know who the lucky lottery winner was came quicker as each name was called. Beginning the drawing, Summers says “well now […] guess we better get started, get this over with, so’s we can go back to work” (24). In other words, Mr. Summers was in now ways affected by the death that he was yet to cast. He was more concerned about getting “back to work,” (24) and getting “home for noon dinner” (21).
The mysteries of death are unpredictable. In “The Lottery” your life is encompassed within the black box. Standing as the postmaster, Mr. Graves was the keeper of the death box. Graves Profoundly carried their lives, as if it were a game of chess, and the citizens, his pawns. Holding the box within his possession, in a sense, the citizens chanced their life in the pickings of their grave – of the winning slip of paper. Unlike all the other characters, Mr. Graves is not described, pops up in and out of the scene, and is without...

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