The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Literary Analysis

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Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” uses the black box as a symbol to convey an underlying message that tradition should be questioned since the ideals followed may have illogical purpose and cause harm. For instance, in the short story, while the citizens were gathering around for the ritual, “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones.” (25, Lines 15-18) Basically, children start to prepare for the ritual, without questioning what they are doing, because they have been doing it for so long, they have been accustomed to perform it. No one thinks about what they're doing, everyone thinks it’s just a tradition, no one thinks …show more content…
To emphasise, Old Man Warner has been part of the Lottery for 77 years, and never got picked once. And because of that, he might not be questioning the tradition. He might fear that if he disagreed with the tradition, he would be the unfortunate winner of the lottery. So instead he agreed, knowing that the black box, which significances death, might hurt him. This also connects to a famous novel today called “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. In the novel, Jonas, the main character, is given a task to hold all the memories of his community, and give wisdom to the citizens. But he also has rules to follow, to take his injections, which take his emotions away, and also never tell anyone about his training. But the more he is with the Giver, which is the person helping Jonas, he starts to see society as something horrid. He started to see it differently than others and one of the things that hurt him the most was killing the babies, and him not even know that he does that, they just replace the name. So when Jonas wanted to do something about it, the person in charge of the community decided to kill him, because he was changing the tradition. The baby, Gabe, is the symbol of how something so small can make you see society