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Symbolism in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery - Essay Example

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Your Full Name Your Your Course’s Title 21 March 2011 Symbolism in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery In her short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson writes about an idyllic New England town where the yearly lottery is about to take place…
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Symbolism in Shirley Jacksons The Lottery
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Symbolism in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

The story is a stark reminder of how hazardous and, sometimes, downright lethal ritualistic following can be. Throughout the story, Jackson has used symbolic references, with most that refer to death in one form or another, all the while pointing at the futility of holding on to mindless ritual. Just starting out with the title of the story, The Lottery, the reader comes to believe that something pleasant is about to take place as most readers think of the lottery as something most people look forward to winning. However, the term here is not used in the normal sense of the word, but is rather symbolic of the twisted logic of most people whereby they think that giving a pleasant name to something would cause it to be looked upon favorably. What is more, Jackson has also used names of people in the story as symbols. The lottery was carried by Mr. Summers, whose name is symbolic of the irony that the story is replete with. Summers are associated with idyllic and happy times, with children frolicking around and everyone having a good time out in the sun. However, as someone who is drawing the lots to decide who gets to be stoned to death, Mr. Summers is not at all as pleasant and joyful as summers ought to be. Then, there is the postmaster, Mr. Graves, whose name is symbolic of the death that is to come as a result of the lottery. Shirley Jackson has also used objects as symbols in this story. ... Read More
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