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 the title of the story, to the ambiance preceding this ritual, one could assume that this will result in someone winning something, but with the usage symbolism, Jackson is able to use names, objects, and the setting to conceal the true meaning and intention of the lottery.
Jackson uses the names of each major character to hold significant meanings to the lottery. She uses symbolic names to indicate and foreshadow what will come to be after the lottery is conducted happens. First, the name “Dellacroix” (Jackson, 137) which translate to “Of the cross” in French provokes a sense of religious association with the ritual. Secondly, “Summers” (Jackson, 137) is the surname of the conductor of the Lottery, and summers are usually positive with people enjoying the sun. The lottery happens during summer, and Mr. Summers’s assistant is “Mr. Graves” (Jackson. 137). This hints that there will be a “Grave” during “summer”. Additionally, Mr. Summers is the owner of a coal plant, and coal represents a dark stone which correlates with the usage of the stone to end the life of Mrs. Hutchinson.
The objects used in the story also adds religious and symbolic meanings to the lottery.
The black dot on the paper represented death and the end of life of whoever was to pick that particular paper, it represents the last stone that will send someone to the mystery side of death. Black has always been a symbol of evil, death and also the symbol for wrongdoers who wish to remain in the shadows. The black box is used to draw pieces of paper for the lottery, and it represents crumble because of the need for people to update it, and it is a box meant to be repaired yet it is in disrepair and still in service hence the box represents the Lottery itself. Many of the villagers talk about the need for its upgrade, or doing away with it but it is always decided to just continue as they always have just like the Lottery; it represents the lack of renovation. A three legged stool on which the black box is placed is used to represent the Christian...