The Lottery Argumentative Essay

Words: 684
Pages: 3

Shirley Jackson’s controversial piece The Lottery has been described as one of the greatest works of the twentieth century. It has been regarded as both confusing by some and brilliant by others. At first glance the short story seems to be a simple take on how unchecked tradition and power can make people go blind to the injustices they commit. However, Jackson’s rich use of symbolism paints a clear picture that The Lottery is reflective of the Gospel. Every society needs a scapegoat, someone to blame for the trouble they are experiencing. They need someone to take the fall for them, to carry the weight of their actions or to justify their choices. Whether it is Americans blaming illegal immigrants for taking their jobs or the Jewish people’s position during the Holocaust, scapegoats have existed throughout history and will persist in the future. “The need for scapegoating is deep in human nature, and God recognizes this in making our salvation the acceptance of our role in the greatest of all scapegoating rituals” …show more content…
The black box which the citizens use to perform the lottery represents the Bible. People in the village have always used the box even though it has changed over the years. This is similar to the shift from the Old Testament to the New Testament. “There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here” (Jackson 255). The stones themselves are representative of mankind’s innate violence and sinfulness. The earliest weapons were made from stone and it shows the primal side of the village and the people within it. The act of stoning to death is also present in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. “In other words, stoning is a classics means for expelling an outsider to reinforce group beliefs” (Shmoop Editorial