The Dangers In Following Traditions Blindly The Lottery

852 words - 3 pages

The dangers of Following Traditions BlindlySymbolism is the application of symbols to signify things or bring them to mind. In her story "The Lottery", Shirley Jackson expresses her emotions towards man's carelessness and violent practices of traditions. This is shown when the lottery takes place in the story and the "winner" is stoned to death to help crop growth in the village. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to represent a sequence of events that occur throughout the story. She uses symbolism in the characters' names, the black box, and the lottery itself.Symbolism is exposed in "The Lottery" in some of the characters' names, which include Mr. Summers, Mr. Graves, Old Man Warner, and Mrs. Delacroix. In the story, Mr. Summers is a man who is responsible for all the civic activities including the lottery. His name is symbolic because the tradition of the lottery takes place in the summer time. Also, the word summer is used to describe happiness, beauty, and tranquility. So, despite the feelings of happiness and relaxation that may come from his name, Mr. Summers plays a role in helping with the death of a villager.Mr. Graves, the holder of the black box, assists Mr. Summers in conducting the lottery. Mr. Grave's name symbolises death which is the outcome of the short story "The Lottery". His name foreshadows that death is to come. The author chose to associate his name with his character, revealing that Mr. Graves plays a role in the death of the villagers.Old Man Warner is the oldest man in the village, and has participated in seventy-seven lotteries. He is fearful of change and therefore, he does not want any changes in the tradition of the lottery regardless of the dreadful outcome. He expresses that when he says, "…used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon'…" Reading that his name is Old Man Warner, the reader would assume that he will warn people of doing the right thing and that he will be the wisest one amongst all the villagers - since he is the oldest thus the more experienced one. However, he does not, and he demonstrates that when he is at the front of the crowd encouraging people to throw stones at the victim of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson, and saying, "come on, come on, everyone" (Jackson 6).Mrs. Delacroix's name is also significant in this story because the word "Delacroix" in French means "of the cross". In the Christian religion, the cross symbolizes dignity, respect,...

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