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

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 obviously
symbolic character of the story. Every word that leaves Old Man Warner?s
Mouth reeks of tradition. He never stops criticizing new ideas about the lottery, the way it is run, or complaining about how things have changed for the worst, etc., etc. When Mr. Adams tells him that the residents of a neighboring village are considering doing away with the lottery, he says they are ?a pack of crazy fools.?

After the Hutchinson family draws for the second time and he can hear people whisper about who they hope drew the spot, he is quick to point out ?It?s not the way it used to be, people aren?t the way they used to be.?

He probably reminds most readers of an older person he or she once knew always saying, ?Well in my day we did things differently?..? and ? What is wrong with kids these days? Why when I was a kid if I did that??.?

He is clinging to tradition, even some that are no longer observed, and totally unwilling to let go of the ones that are still practiced, in spite of how ludicrous they might be. It has always been done that way before so why change things now?
In ?the Lottery,? old Man Warner symbolizes everything that is wrong with tradition and really forces a person to consider some of the ridiculous things that we as members of society have done and or continue to do ?because it has always been done that way.?
Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves both symbolize authority and how it can be used to coerce the masses. While neither Mr. Graves nor Mr. Summers are tyrannical, awe inspiring, or otherwise persuasive leaders, the townspeople follow them. It is very probable that if the two of them proclaimed there would no longer be a lottery it would stop but they insist with the tradition. Unfortunately as is the case so often in reality, people follow them blindly, they are leaders in the community, they must know what they are doing right? When people fail to question their leadership, in reality, just as in ?The Lottery,? terrible things happen.

The other characters symbolize more the faults of individual humans rather than those of whole societies. The Hutchinson Family is both symbolic of internal faults that all humans have, such as cowardice and indifference.

Bill Hutchinson is apparently so scared of saying no to authority that he will not take the necessary steps to protect his family. As a matter of fact he aids them in the death of his wife by forcing her to show the black spot.

When a man is willing not just to stand by and watch as his wife is stoned to death but...

Find Another Essay On Symbolism and Setting in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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

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

Irony of Setting in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

1105 words - 4 pages Irony of The Setting in The LotteryThe setting set forth by Shirley Jackson in the beginning of The Lottery creates a mood of peacefulness and tranquillity. This setting also creates an image in the mind of the reader, the image of a typical town on a normal summer day. Furthermore, Shirley Jackson uses the setting in The Lottery to foreshadow an ironic ending.First, Shirley Jackson begins The Lottery by establishing the setting. To begin, she

The Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1226 words - 5 pages The Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson In "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make us aware of the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. The story starts off on a beautiful summer day in a small town. The author describes the day as very euphoric but strikes a contrast between the atmosphere of the town and the atmosphere of the people gathered in the square. The atmosphere

Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1487 words - 6 pages Jackson.” Word Press. N.p., 10 Jun 2013. Web. 17 Mar 2014. Pirate Teacher and Lentz. “What are the Symbols in ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson.” Enotes. Enotes, Inc., 10 Nov 2011 and 19 Sep 2012. Web. 17 Mar 2014. Scheelat, Lucas. “Symbolism in ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson”. Reading Reaction. N.p.. 26 Jan 2009. Web. 17 Mar 2014. Shmoop Editors. “Symbolism, Imagery, and Allegory: The Black Box and The Three Legged Stool”. Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., n.d. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1883 words - 8 pages isn’t just used in things like life; it is also used in things like education wise. For instance how a pencil and paper can symbolize writing or reading class or, how a globe or a map symbolizes world geography. In the story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, Jackson, without a doubt, uses a manifold of symbolism in her story. In “The Lottery” the character Mr. Summers symbolizes “the season of the year” (Names in Shirley Jacksons ‘The Lottery’). Not

Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1288 words - 6 pages Symbolism means like any place, person or thing that is something but can be interpreted in a different way. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a short story that shows symbolism, to give hints about the story in all the characters and objects in the story. This Short story takes place in the summer where a small town has a lottery every year round. The person that wins the lottery has a huge impact on the town and the crops that grow

Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson - 2039 words

2039 words - 9 pages me. 123 Help me, Inc., n.d. Web. 17 Mar 2014. 123 Help Me Editors. “Religious Symbolism in ‘The Lottery.’”123 Help me. 123 Help me, Inc., n.d. Web 17 Mar 2014. Cassel Seth. “Symbols in ‘The Lottery’.” Flamingnet. Litpic, LLC, Nov 2005. Web. 17 Mar 2014. Ma, Martine. “Literary Analysis Essay: ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson.” Word Press. N.P., 10 Jun 2013. Web.17 Mar 2014. Pirate Teacher and Lentz. “What are symbols in ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson.” Enctes. Enctes, Inc., 10 Nov 2011 and Sep 2012. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Symbolism in Shirley Jackson´s The Lottery

731 words - 3 pages years. Jackson excels at telling this satirical short story in a way which pokes fun at the way some customs are conducted by people of different cultures, revealing that sometimes some of our own customs might be a bit trivial. The story somewhat wraps this specific theme into a box (no pun intended) and makes the reader delve into the rich layers of symbolism. Cervantes 4 Work Cited Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/ Prentice Hall, 2008. 120-25. Print.

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

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

Similar Essays

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

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

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

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