Shirley Jackson is well known for her work in horror classics. Jackson does a very great job at using symbolism in each of her stories. Some of the most interesting symbols where written in her short story “The Lottery”. Simply trying to understand the symbols in the story is amazing. These symbols can include the lottery itself, the black box, and even the people of the town. Each symbol means something different. Some symbols might have more than one meaning to them. However, it is not realized until the end of the story what that symbol might actual represents. That is what makes the symbols in this story so intriguing.
The main symbol of the story, however, is the black box. The black box is the main part of the lottery itself. …show more content…
The black box symbolizes equality. Every family in two had to do the same thing. Even after the head of the house had chosen, the rest of the family was put in to the lottery. No matter how old or young, rich or poor, or smart or dumb they were, everyone did the same thing. The box is a symbol for everyone is equal in the eyes of death.
The other symbol in “The Lottery” is the lottery itself. The Lottery is how the town shows equality in the system. Just as the black box symbolized the same, the lottery is for every. Everyone in town had to draw out of the lottery. Not just the poor or the old. The lottery itself also symbolizes the tradition of the town. It’s the way it has always been. “The author considers those things which make no inherent sense, yet are done because that is how they have always been done” (Elton Gahr).
Both the black box and the lottery itself have the same meanings. Even the slips of paper have a meaning behind them. In this town, this is all they’ve ever known. Every year it is the same thing. One person dies. Maybe it is to show equality or maybe it is to slow down population. No one knows the answer to that because it has gone on for so long in. However, it will not be changed. The tradition of the lottery is the tradition of the