The Lottery by Shirley Jackson: an Analysis Essay example

Words: 1528
Pages: 7

Ingrid Kouyialis
EN102: Composition II
Professor Eklund

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson: An Analysis The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948 and takes place in a small town, on the 27th of June. In this story, the lottery occurs every year, around the summer solstice. All families gather together to draw slips of paper from a black box. When reading this story, it is unclear the full premise of the lottery until near the end. The heads of households are the first to draw a piece of paper from the black box. The paper with the black dot on it indicates which family is to draw again. Then pieces of paper for each family member are placed in the box and each family member must draw again from the
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The names of some of the participants represent much, as Helen Nebeker states in her critical essay. Steve Adams, who assists Mr. Summers with the box, is indicative of Adam, the first man to be created by god. He is also the only one who states that other towns are talking of discontinuing the lottery and that in fact, some have stopped altogether. Mr. Graves, who carries the stool and black box used in the lottery, has a name that is self-explanatory. He represents death which is the outcome of the lottery. Mrs. Delacroix is one of the women mentioned in the story. She is the one who picks up a stone she is barely able to carry to throw at Tessie Hutchinson. The name Delacroix translates into “of the cross”. Bobby Martin, who is the first to gather and stuff stones in his pocket, has the surname “Martin” which derives from a Middle English word signifying ape or monkey. This surname may urge us to be aware of the Hairy Ape within us all, as Helen Nebeker states in her critical essay “The Lottery: Symbolic Tour de Force”. As per Nebeker, Tessie Hutchinson also has a name steeped in meaning. Her first name, Tessie is short for Theresa, which derives from the Greek word “theizein”, meaning to reap. Or if the name Tessie is short for Anastasia, it translates literally into
“of the resurrection”. The name Hutchinson is