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Use Of Symbolism In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

1487 words - 6 pages

In stories there will be objects that will constantly be mentioned within the story. This is what is known as Symbolism. Symbolism is the use of object, name, or person to represent an idea. If a name is being use, a name such as autumn can represent the adulthood of a human. Creatures such as an Eagle, represents ‘Freedom’ and ‘America’. Even inanimate objects can represent ideas; the light bulb represents ideas that just sparked into a character’s head.
In the short story, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, a village has just entered the month of June, meaning that the lottery is to begin. When everyone was present, the heads of the households’ names were called one by one to pick up a slip of paper. It was then discovered that the Hutchinson family was the chosen family to participate in the lottery again. When Mr. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson, Bill Jr., Nancy, and Little Dave each got a slip of paper they soon checked through every slip of paper. Mr. Hutchinson, Bill Jr., Nancy, and Little Dave proved to not have the dotted paper but Mrs. Hutchinson was the one with the black dotted slip of paper, declaring her the “winner” of the lottery.
The use of symbolism is evident in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. The main character’s names all represent a symbol. Mr. Summers is declared an example of symbolism. In fact, an article titled “Names in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’” stated that Mr. Summers name means “the season of growing, the season of life” which explains why in “The Lottery” he is described as a “jovial man”(Jackson1864) “who had time and energy”(Jackson1864). “Names in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’” also stated that Mr. Summers also represented
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innocence “because of his new ideas”. In the story it has been stated that “Mr.Summers spoke frequently to the villages about making a new box” (Jackson1865), which means he really thinks it’s a good idea to change things up, maybe up to the point of cancelling the lottery for good.
Mr. Graves is another symbolic character in “The Lottery”. According to Martine Ma, Mr. Graves’ name “hints that there will be a ‘grave’.” The thought of graves and death rattles the mind to think that there will be a death of a character in the story. Mr. Graves also represents superiority over others. “Names in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’” sees that “The sacrifice and the lottery in itself is more important than the new ideas presented by Mr. Summers and a few other villagers.” No matter how many times Mr. Summers and the other villagers try the majority of townspeople and Mr. Graves win the argument.
Old Man Warner is also a character of symbolism; “He is repeatedly shown warning” as written in “Names in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’.” Mr. Warner always ‘warns’ the other villagers if their lottery is to end. Without their “precious” lottery, the phrase “corn be heavy soon” (Jackson1868) will no longer exist for them.
Even though Young Jack Watson wasn’t in the story much, he also is declared...

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