Examples Of Foreshadowing In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Words: 285
Pages: 2

Shirley Jackson demonstrates through her appalling short story "The Lottery" the perils of following tradition without questioning the morality of such actions. The story takes place in a small village during the spring planting season. There is a reference to planting crops in the near future and the ritual of "The Lottery" seems to be geared around this time. Mr. Warner shares a short precept "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon" (Jackson 4). The saying seems to be the catalyst that’s driving the mindset of the village inhabitants.
Jackson possibly is using the black box utilized in the lottery metaphorically toward the tradition of the lottery itself. Through the refusal to acquire a new box Jackson may be describing the village people's unwillingness to deviate from the ritual murder. Jackson hints to this near the end of the story when she writes "Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones"(Jackson 14). Both the black box and the tradition can be interpreted as something pieced together from the remains of something once more structured.
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The severity of the callous murder of a fellow villager gives the reader a harsh look at the inherent evil of the human race. Jackson demonstrates the importance of independent thought and the willingness to act on principles that should be second nature. "The Lottery" is a prime example of what can happen if society becomes complacent in traditions that once may have held purpose but have become unacceptable by today's