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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 marked paper is proclaimed the winner of the lottery and receives the honor of getting stoned to death by the rest of the participants. The slips of papers are drawn from the same rustic black blox used year after year. The town is symbolic of the box ...view middle of the document...

” Immediately Old man Warner’s feeling are showcased when he says “it’s not the way it used to be.” He takes the child’s comment as a “ threat to the social order” (Oehlschlaeger 259) and that is why he blurted out that comment. It is plain to see that the town is as male dominated as the box.
The color of the box and the town are undoubtedly similar. The box is plainly dressed in black and it is the first adjective used to describe it. The color black in literature “ is strongly associated with death . . . and evil” (Agırel 92). The Town displays these characteristics from start to finish in the short story. Right away in the first paragraph it shows the wickedness that lies in each citizen. It is said that the lottery is short enough for the families to get home in time for noon dinner. That implies that all of the families are going to essentially murder a person that they know, stomach that and still have room for dinner. In the following paragraph there are signs of death and evil. The children are all outside playing and gathering stones. Stones specifically chosen with the purpose of killing. More despicable acts are carried out during the drawing of the lottery. A mother who was fearing for her own life, in the fright of winning, decides to try and lessen her odds of dying by trying to bring down her own daughter with her saying "There's Don and Eva… make them take their chance!" Later in the tale, when the winner of the lottery is announced, the entire town unleashes a frenzy of flying rocks at her. The people throwing the rocks are the same people who the victim socialized with, ate with and even gave birth to. The town is full of evil and death just like characteristics of the black colored box.
How the box was made is very similar to the the town and it’s inhabitants. Annually, the same box is dragged to the center of the town to be a part of the lottery. Mirroring the box, the townspeople...

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