by Shirley Jackson
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson’s a short story filled with symbolism. The weather in the beginning of the story leads the reader to believe that the story is about bounty and optimism. Due to Ms. Jackson’s skill at foreshadowing, the reader quickly summarizes that the story is not what the name conjures in the imagination. Foreshadowing, daily cycle, weather, human environment and tools are all used to skillfully tell a story of a town’s tradition.
The reader is taken to a day described as, “clear and sunny” which leads the reader to believe that the setting is in a place of reason and enlightenment. In addition, the time in the daily cycle is “around ten o’clock” in the morning; setting a tone for youth and optimism. Furthermore, order and rationality are symbolized when “The people of the village began to gather in the square.” The reader quickly surmises that the situation may be what was originally presumed.
The male children begin “stuffing their pockets full of stones” and the reader gets feeling that something might be amiss. “The round face jovial man” by the name of Mr. Summers, who “had no children,” is in charge of a black “Wooden box.” Mr. Summers and the black wooden box are representative of death; the undertaker and the coffin.
”villagers kept their distance, leaving space between the themselves and the stool.” “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 and in some places faded or stained color”, that this practice, that involved the box, was not a new one it would show later in the story that this was quite a tradition. This was a great example of foreshadowing. The way the names were called all in alphabetical order and the male head of house hold were the first to pick. This again showed the shows the strength and order in which this process was done it was a strong tradition. The...