Symbolism in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

Categories: Shirley Jackson

In Shirley Jackson's short story “The Lottery” symbolism play a big part to keep you engaging and curious throughout the story about what's going to happen next in the story. In Shirley Jackson's short story “The Lottery, ”symbolism plays a big part to keep you engaging and curious throughout the story about what's going to happen next in the story. The title of this short story sounds so positive, and it might mislead a lot of readers to think that something fun and positive is going to happen in the story which is the irony became the story take a sudden dark turn toward the ending.

The writer introduces the village as a beautiful rural place where few people were living and that it was “ The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely, and the grass was richly green. ' The author gives great detail on describing the setting of where this story takes place.

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There are so much more symbolism throughout the story like how old this lottery tradition was or how the people from the story had stone piled while the lottery was happening. The story starts as with such a calm environment where everyone and everything seems normal. It seems like Everyone was participating in this lottery which made me feel like they really enjoy taking part in this lottery. And that it was going to be short and sweet positive story which will bring a smile to my face.

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The author did a great job giving us different character and building the climax of the story. In this short story, there are so much more symbolism but the one thing that really caught my attention was when old Warner said “Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There's always been a lottery,' he added petulantly. “ Pg 4 When this statement was spoken, it left me wondering what did the lottery have to do with harvesting food. But for me, this was a great symbol to find out where the story was moving toward.

Symbolism plays such a big part in this story because this will help you understand what the story is really about. It also help us to understand the perspectives of these villagers toward this superstition belief and how this had caused them to be twisted that they forgot to be decent human being. There are lot of symbolism which play big part on letting reader know what the theme of the lottery is. Lot of these characters were locked with this orthodox belief and yet they themselves didn't know how this orthodox tradition might make them an offering someday as well. Which make me think that symbolism can be interpreted in a different way. Symbolism can make you understand a different aspect of the story. The symbolism could help you understand the tone, setting, and much more things.

The lottery is very cleverly written which will make you experience different emotion as you are reading this. This story will illustrate how selfish and greedy we human can be for our benefit we are willing to offer life for it. The village this lottery take place believes in this horrific superstition ritual which has been practiced by generation and generation. One of the biggest symbolism is how this villager take this ritual as something so normal and positive that they seem to be willing to keep practicing in the future. The most saddest part for me was that none of the villagers even had remorse for what was had happened.

Work Cited

Jackson, S. (2018).The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
Cite this page

Symbolism in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. (2021, Aug 03). Retrieved from

Symbolism in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson essay
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