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. These names are obvious as to what they mean.
b. Mrs. Delacroix's name comes from the Latin word for crucifix. Mr. And Mrs. Adams' name is used to represent humanity. These names you have to look a little more deeply into.
II. The items used to hide the lottery are also significant in their own way.
a. A black box is used to holds the slips of paper that will be drawn. The black box represents tradition and a coffin.
b. One of the little slips of paper in the box contains a black dot. Whoever pulls that slip of paper is the winner of the lottery.
III. Even the time period in this is a symbol used by the writer.
a. The story takes place in the twentieth century somewhere around the 1930's.
b. We are aware of this by the clothes they are wearing and what the men are talking about.
Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco, California on December 14, 1919. The family left California and moved to New York when she was sixteen. At age twenty Shirley enrolled at the University of Syracuse. There she met Stanley Edgar Hyman. Her and Hyman were later married in 1940. Her literary production increased tremendously after her marriage and the birth of their four children. Unfortunately with all of her success she was still human, with human problems. She was an agoraphobic and severely depressed. The may be why her stories are so far out in left field compared to what was being written at the...