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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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In "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, she speaks much about tradition in a small town in which many have been lost over the years. The black box, which Shirley speaks about in the beginning of the story, is of great importance. The black box represents the entrapment of tradition and the change over time. It is the trapping of tradition because now that it is worn and ragged they still do not want to change it because it is tradition. Along with the box changing many people's views on The Lottery, it also lets the town's people stand strong by themselves. Shirley Jackson in "The Lottery" uses symbolism and irony to foreshadow death.

Although the towns' people are gathering for a lottery drawing there is an air of nervousness about the event. From start to finish there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is about to happen due to the authors deep use of foreshadowing. The setting and irony of the story starts when the day is described as a bright sunny day and all the towns' people are looking forward for the Lottery on the big day, but not knowing the big day ends in death. Mrs. Hutchinson, as is seen later, is the only one who rebels against male domination, although only unconsciously. "She tapped Mrs. Delacroix on the arm as a farewell and began to make her way through the crowd" (318). The word "farewell" is used as foreshadowing to the climax of the story (318). Normally when a person enters a crowd of people they are greeted, but not Mrs. Hutchinson for she is obviously "leaving." Although they are gathering for a lottery drawing there is an air of nervousness about the event. Shirley Jackson uses an abundance of foreshadowing, which indicates, to a degree, what is about to happen to the winner of the lottery drawing. There is at least one indicator within each individual paragraph, which lets the reader know that the lottery is disturbing, and that the people of the town are not looking forward to its commencement.

The Lottery takes place on a clear, sunny, June day. It does not take long for the skies to turn gray as she introduces the readers to the black box. The black box is the central symbol of the short story. It suggests both death and necessity of change due to a combination of the passage of time and population expansion. The box is old and needs to be replaced, but no one takes the job of making a new one because that would be an alteration of the way the tradition has been done for many years, and it also shows man's resistance to change. The black box also symbolizes the need for a new tradition and the reluctance of the townspeople to accept change. The physical appearance of the box suggests that it was not only the black box that needs to be replaced but also the tradition of the lottery. The black box becomes the ultimate symbol of death, as it is the very vehicle that delivers the unfortunate

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