March 26, 2011
Symbolism on “The Lottery”
The author showed a variety of different signs of symbolism in the story. There are people all over the nation who perform different yearly traditions like decorating Christmas trees, being involved in Easter egg hunts and plenty more. People are accustomed and comfortable to yearly rituals. However, in “The Lottery,” the practices they carried out was not likely comfy at all what so ever. Normally most people would associate the lottery with something superior like winning cash money or some type of prize and so forth, but in this particular story it was the complete opposite. The lottery in this story was devastating and torture to humanity. In order to take part in this lottery, a slip of paper had to be drawn out of a black box for a member of each head of household in attendance. If a person had a black dot on their slip then they were to be stoned to death. It was like the people that lived in the village were forced to participate in the event since it was tradition. Three objects of symbolism in the lottery were the black box, the stones, and the three-legged stool.
First, the black box was a physical sign of the villager’s relation to the belief. The black box was like a sign of death. Villagers in the story seemed a bit frightened by it. When he arrived in the square, carrying the black wooden box, there was a murmur of conversation among the villagers and he waved and called, “Little late today, folks” (248). The villagers kept their distance, leaving space between themselves and the stool, and when Mr. Summers said, “Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?” there was a hesitation before two men, Mr. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, came forth to hold the box steady on the stool while Mr. Summers stirred up the papers inside it (248). The black box was also shaped like a smaller version of a coffin and black of course. The color of black is a color of evil....