Реферат: Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay Research Paper

Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay, Research Paper

In «The Lottery,» Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make us aware of

the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. The story

starts off on a beautiful summer day in a small town. The author describes the

day as very euphoric but strikes a contrast between the atmosphere of the town

and the atmosphere of the people gathered in the square. The atmosphere is

subdued, where the children are «gathered around quietly.» The black

box is the central theme or idea in the story. It symbolizes at first some type

of mystery, but as we read the ending we realize that it is synonymous with

doom. Someone’s fate lies in an inanimate object, the black box. We do not

always enjoy change, even if it might prove beneficial to us. The box is

symbolic of our loathing of change; it is old and splintered showing that we

cling to what is familiar rather than change and it also symbolizes the

traditions of the community. No one in the little town questions the origin of

the black box, but accept it as an intrical part of their lives. The lottery

itself is symbolic of the paradox of the human psyche between compassion on one

hand and the thirst for violence and cruelty on the other. An example of this is

when the children are enjoying a break from school, playing and being children,

and suddenly they are being joined by «rational» adults in stoning a

mother to death. It appears that tradition has blinded these people in an

irrational way, making them unable to think of a reason why this possibly should

not be happening. When forced with the possibility of death, human nature in all

its complexity, comes down to one instinctive urge, that of survival. When

Tessie was in no danger she was gossiping with the other ladies and even

encouraged her husband to go and pick a piece of paper. When Tessie wins the

lottery; she pleads for another chance and screams for mercy. She demands that

her daughters take their chances as well, which is indicative of regression

toward our basic instinct of survival. The pieces of paper that are lifted away

by the breeze is not only symbolic of the ease with which life can be taken but

is also symbolic of vast civilizations that were doomed to eventual failure for

believing in and acting on tradition and not living according to the word of

God. We see that even as Tessie is being stoned to death does she not question

the reasoning behind the lottery, but why it should be her that has to die.

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