Imagery In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Words: 619
Pages: 3

In the short story The Lottery the author, Shirley Jackson, begins the story using vivid and detailed imagery to set the setting and tone for the story. Jackson describes the village as”clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day” (paragraph 1). The author’s diction indicates that the town is welcoming and in the process of transitioning into a fresh start of a new season. Jackson misleads the audience into thinking that the village is average and performing the usual day to day activities of any other town. The summer typically is a new beginning and a time for fun. However, the story later reveals that the start of one person's summer is the end of the life for another. Jackson’s use of imagery to describe the village coupled …show more content…
Jackson writes,“The lottery was conducted-- as were the square dance, the teen club, the Halloween program…” (Paragraph 4). No one ever questions the lottery they just know it is supposed to happen. In today’s society, it is much similar as we have Easter eggs and Christmas trees. Even though not as severe, our traditions distract us from the dangers of following traditions passed on by previous generations. On the other hand, another central symbol in "The Lottery" is the black box. Unlike the lottery, the black box represents the loss of tradition throughout the years. There has been conversation “about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it.” (Paragraph 5). The physical box has not been passed down, but rather its purpose and use. Jackson’s symbols imply that the village is continuing the ritual only because there has always been one. Also, many specific details of the lottery, like the wood chips being replaced by paper, have been lost with only the intention