Symbol, Allegory, and Myth in Shirley Jackson’s the Lottery

In: English and Literature

Submitted By thientran2711
Words 770
Pages 4
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is an excellent example of a symbolic and allegorical short story. This short story is about an annual lottery drawing at a small town in New England. The title itself holds a deep symbolism in this story. A lottery has always provided a sense of hope and adventure to people, but the lottery takes on an entirely different significance in this story. “The Lottery” in this story has been a tradition at this small rural town for many years. This tradition leaves painful death to a winner but the villagers never question to perform this horrible act of murder. The lottery is a symbol that represents as a barbaric and cruel symbol that results in the death of a friend, family, and neighbor. It is also an allegory showing that destructive effects can results from gambling.
One of the allegory shows through the description of the characters. Names are used to represent different aspects and certain meaning throughout the story. One of the leaders and most important men of the town is Mr. Summers. Mr. Summers is a bright and cheerful man. His attitude, demeanor, and name represent the summer. He is the owner of coalmine. Coal suggests his ownership with evilness and death. He makes it a happy gathering, conducts all the town’s activities and then is also an executioner. Mr. Graves’s name represents what is about the happen. They are sending someone to their grave at the end of each lottery. His name is representing the irony of evil that implies, a death future outcome of this small town through “The Lottery.” Next, the “Winner” of “The Lottery”, Tessie Hutchinson, screams at the end of the story that it is unfair at all when she is the chosen one. The name Tessie can be associated with the word testy or tizzy. Which means that someone is angry or rebellious state. These names are obvious as to what they mean, when it happens, how it…...

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