Essay on The Lottery

Submitted By khalid19911721
Words: 647
Pages: 3

In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” one of the main characters is Mr. Summers. “The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program--by Mr. Summers.” Summers might be the busy body of the village, but he is not the protagonist of the story. Because he represents the status quo situation in the village, his presence in the story is one of the most significant symbols of “The Lottery.” Summers represents blind adherence to ritual, as he is in charge of the operation of the lottery. As part of his duties as lottery manager, Summers controls the black box where all the names are placed. The fact that Summers will have no heirs signifies the fact that he represents the antiquated ideas that the lottery symbolizes. Because of his personal life, because his bloodline is ending, and because his character represents blind adherence to ritual, Mr. Summers becomes the symbol of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,”
Summers’ personal life and appearance suggest a lot about what he symbolizes in the short story. For one, Summers’s name is symbolic because the lottery takes place in the season of summer, on June 27. Summers is described simply as a “round-faced, jovial man.” His face seems rather sunny, also in keeping with the symbolism of his name. Otherwise, his looks do not have a strong bearing on his character. However, the “people were sorry for him because he had no children and his wife was a scold.” It could also be that his childfree state and his nagging wife have caused Summers to use the lottery as a hobby a personal outlet. Summers also “ran the coal business,” as well as “the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program.” Essentially, Summers is escaping the sad reality of his personal life, including his nagging wife, by hiding in a realm of useless and antiquated activities. He is out of touch with himself, just as the village is out of touch with reality.
In addition to his personal life symbolizing being out of touch with reality, Summers’ lack of an heir symbolizes the horribly outmoded ritual that the lottery represents. Summers will have no children, meaning that he does not have to worry about one of those stoning him. The villagers intuit that, given that they treat him with fear and awe when he carries the box. When he asks, “’Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?’ there was a hesitation.” Summers is in a position of power and is…