Essay: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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This essay is about The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Jackson employs a writing style loaded with symbols and images. This way she encourages her readers to go for the deeper understanding and to consider all side of the dilemma.

Jackson employs a writing style loaded with symbols and images. This way she encourages her readers to go for the deeper understanding and to consider all side of the dilemma. One of the most well-known symbols is the color black, depicting the harmful forces of capitalism effect the town’s yearly lottery, running the selection of a modest individual.

Jackson colors the ritual with this dark imagery, linking the black color with the box that holds the lottery slips. The tone itself implies death and anguish producing an threatening aura. The description of the black box shows how the community members have become hostage to the will of social order. Jackson portrays:

“The black box grew shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained”.

The above lines show a double meaning which point towards not only the   physical decay of the box; but also, to the decomposed practice of the lottery.

The townspeople evade replacing the box and preserve themselves from the responsibility as much as possible. They respond to the black box in awe and in fear as if it were some enormous power. The society members accountable for arranging the event are the wealthy figureheads of the town. For instance, Mr. Summers who is in charge of the black box and performs the ceremony is also the most influential business owner in the town. Consequently, the community’s show of respect for the lottery to superior prowess of the wealthy, reinforce the principles of capitalism.

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