Symbolism in The Lottery
Symbolism can help bring out true meaning in a story. It can describe information that may be hidden from the reader in the story. In The Lottery, the black box used to draw paper for the lottery is what best symbolizes the meaning of the story. The black box is the main symbol in The Lottery because it represents the tradition of the lottery that no one wants to change.
The black box represents the tradition that this town holds.
It represents how they continue the practice of the lottery simply because that is how it is. No one bothers to question how or why this tradition came about, just that it is practiced every year. It has become a thing of habit that everyone in the town knows is bound to happen no matter what. The box gets put up on a shelf every year and is forgotten about. In the same way, this tradition is also forgotten about until the next year comes.
The black box is worn and faded. It is obvious that it is in need of a replacement, but no one sees a need to replace it. Like the box, the tradition of the lottery also seems to need to be brought up to date. Although this may be obvious to some people in the town, no one will do anything about it. They may think about it that day in late June when the lottery is held, but until next year it will be off their mind. These people will continue with anything as long as it is their tradition.
The children are even brought up to accept the lottery as fact. They are already collecting stones for the stoning at the end as if it was something normal and acceptable. In the same way, they will probably also keep with the worn and tattered black box in future generations. They will not see a need to replace that just like the tradition needs to be replaced. These children will likely grow up ignorant to how inhumane this tradition really is and will keep passing it on the their children. The whole society seems to be ignorant to any idea of change because that would mean losing tradition to them. They even criticize another town who has stopped doing the lottery.
The tradition is, however, altered in one way. The wood chips for the lottery are replaced with paper. This is only changed, however, to keep this tradition going on for more generations. It may seem like things are changing a little and the tradition of stoning may change too, but it is the opposite. The only reason that changed was to accommodate bigger populations for the lottery. Once the population gets even bigger, paper may turn into a computer system, but the lottery will still go on in the future.
The black box is the main symbol in The Lottery because it represents the tradition of the lottery that no one wants to change or ever will change. The box will remain tattered and unvalued, just like the morals of the people in this town. They see what they are doing as tradition, but anyone on the outside would see them as tattered and flawed just like the box that carries on their meaningless lottery.
Cite this Symbolism in the Lottery
Symbolism in the Lottery. (2016, Apr 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/symbolism-in-the-lottery/