Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” was featured in an issue of “The New Yorker”, a literary magazine, on June 26, 1948. Jackson used a variety of concepts of how members of a society blindly follow traditions in a very horrifying and unreal situation, at which no one expects. Some of the concepts she uses are the setting, symbolism, and foreshadowing in order to portray the individual societies distinct ritual.
The setting takes place on June 27th “between the post office and the bank, around ten o’ clock.” She uses this to re-instate the fact that these traditions have been around and will be carried on this way. This quote also interprets that the village was accustomed to the lottery now, so that few challenge the validity of it. She also makes it sounds as if the “lottery” was a great and happy thing by saying, “it was a clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.
Jackson also used symbolism to justify their societies’ continuous traditions. One symbol she used was the black box. “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 some places faded or stained. The black box symbolized the outdated traditions. The black color of the box also symbolized death. “Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations.” This symbolized that the tradition continued, but had to make changes due to the increase of population. Another symbol she used was the word “lottery”. When one comes to think of lottery, a prize or money is considered. Jackson portrays “the lottery” to be a barbaric tradition as in human sacrifice that was continued every year.
Shirley Jackson foreshadows the end of the story by clarifying that the boys gathered many stones. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of...