Symbolism in Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

This essay examines the emotional turmoil, obedience and defiance in Shirley Jackson’s story `The Lottery.`

This paper analyzes the feelings and emotions of the townspeople in Shirley Jackson’s tale of perverse ritual and strict conformity in The Lottery. The author discusses the cruelty and blind obedience of certain characters, and the intense guilt and defiance felt by others in participating in the lottery.
From the Paper:

In Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery we see an exciting game of chance turn ugly, as the winner of this lottery is subsequently sentenced to death at the hands of the town people. The town runs amok with various rebellious, evil, and utterly insensitive people who lie in wait for their next annual victim. Playing the role of judges, juries, and executioners, many of Jackson’s characters depict a strong underlying theme of the evil, prejudice, and rebellion that is so prevalent in our everyday lives. All the characters’ roles, as well as their names, were precisely chosen in order to awaken our hearts and minds to the callousness and rebellion that lies at the heart of every man in the face of habitual conformity.

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