Within the story there are many symbols which hint that the ritual may be more than what we think of it. As soon as the story begins, there is a giveaway about how the story will end.
The myriad symbols and images are incorporated into the short story to a compelling effect that ensures the reader is glued to the story. In addition, the story offers a superficial meaning and a meaning underneath whose understanding can only be uncovered depending on the manner in which one perceives and interprets the symbols and images used.
Symbolism runs all through the short story, beginning from the heading- The Lottery- through to the conclusive act of stoning. Whatever message Jackson wanted to carry for the readership cum audience is deeply concealed within the confines of the society and observes the family orientation as an equally important aspect in the society.
The manner in which the short story is constructed espouses a call that denounces traditional rituals and probably explores the consciousness of the society still rooted and detained by the rituals.
In addition, the short story explores the dilemma as the characters contemplate on doing away with the ritual as other villages have done. Though this is the superficial message, an exploration into the symbolism and imagery will provide the proper avenue for the understanding of the short story and more so the message Shirley Jackson wanted to pass across.
The Heading as the First Point of Discussion To begin with, the heading provides the first point of discussion. A lottery is defined by the Oxford advanced learners dictionary defines as an undertaking whose eventual outcome is dependent on fate.
This definition goes in line with the story but deviates from the commonly shared notion of a lottery as a form of gambling in which winners are selected from drawn lots and from amongst those who had paid to participate Duxbury, pg The manner and timing in which it is conducted thus deviates from the understanding of an ideal lottery and is perhaps a message for the readership to brace for a meaning deeper than the setting of an ideal lottery.
Consequently, the authors, Shirley Jackson, tells the story in the confines of a lottery, illustrating its practices and how it is carried out and eventually the final reward, which is an amazing turn of events.
Suspicion is drawn first through the skipping of major practices which characterized the original practice and the fact that the lottery sends shivers amongst the villagers is reason enough for the questioning of its authenticity.
The preparations seem to lack the enthusiasm and excitements expected of a lottery save for the collection of the stones by the boys and girls. The black box is not even considered important in the timeframe that does not include the imminent orchestration of the ritual Mosby, pg Such preparations point to a ritual which less people are even concerned about.
It could also an indicator of dread and uncertainty over the whole issue that pertain the lottery. However, the joy in the collection of the stones and the manner in which they are guarded adds another angle, which probably induces an aspect of nobility into the whole lottery undertaking.
The eventual use of the stones is thus projected as vital and important and the rush to have the stones points as the eagerness of the persons involved to participate in the stoning act.
In addition, the mood set forth before the actual ritual is one of total disinterest with the villagers taking their time. However, the readership must wonder at the essence outlined in having all the villagers in tow even those who are sick.
How important is such a lottery given that in lotteries participation is voluntary and in most cases one has to pay to be a competitor for the ultimate prize! Nyren, pg Reading from such preparations, the strategy of the author would most probably have been an early warning for the readership to brace for a different kind of a lottery.
Points of Contention The setting of short story remains anonymous all through. This points at a deliberate effort by the author not to restrict the short story to a certain geographical area or known location set up. In addition, this points at universality- that is- the concepts explored by the short story run across the whole society all over the globe.
In so doing, the author invokes the understanding and perception of a neutral orientation and probably elicits condemnation of a practice carried world over irrespective of the societal orientation and social parameters.
Thus, symbolic message is meant to invoke similar associations in every day lives of the readership and make the readership associate with the villagers and the eventual villain, Mrs.
The fact that Jackson goes into deep extents and extrapolates the societal segmentation into family units and then into parents and children can be perceived at an attempt to ensure that the short story remains in touch with the day to day lifestyles of the villagers and thus attaching neutrality to it.
However, critics like Burton sense symbolic meaning into the division of the villagers into households. Burton asserts that the division later highlights the patriarchal patronage of the village and is probably a big pointer to opportunities and events all over in the world.
Consequently, the sub division relates to a masculine patronage in all aspects of the society and asserts the authority of men over the proceedings of most of the events happening world over Hague, pg In addition, the fact that the man is supposed to go and take the choice surely outlines the insistence of patriarchy.
Burton goes ahead to point out that probably the author explored the inevitability of capitalism in the society and through the use of the divisions espoused the inevitability of social stratification. In addition, Jackson extrapolated stratification as a construct of the human mind and successfully questions this perception with the use of Mrs.
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In the twenty-first century the creation of the positronic brain leads to the development of robot labourers and revolutionises life on Earth. However, to the Martin family, their household robot NDR is more than a tool, it is a trusted friend, a confidant, and a member of the family.
Jackson uses the black box, stones, lottery and the three- legged stool, as symbolism in the story. A stone means a concreted piece of rock that is a hard substance and . The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery was published in and it is not in the public domain.
Personally, I think the questions of permission and participation make for a great discussion or essay about this particular short story. As small as the gathering is, it is an official event and an act of. Custom Symbolism and Imagery in the Lottery Essay Pieces of literature are perfected by the literary and literal messages they invoke, and Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ achieves this through a fascinating mix of symbolism and imagery.
When Shirley Jackson's chilling story "The Lottery" was first published in in the The New Yorker, readers were disgusted, curious, and bewildered. Analysis of 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson Search the site GO.