How Shirley Jackson Uses Imagery in The Lottery

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How Shirley Jackson Uses Imagery in The Lottery

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A successful work of literature is timeless and placeless. The themes and messages conveyed in a good piece of literature are important despite the era or place the reader is. A successful work of literature also allows readers to connect to the world surrounding them through a clear understanding of the picture the author has painted. A good literary work ought to have a positive social foundation by bringing in an apparent character development through the use of imagery. Moreover, exploration and evolution represents a critical component of literature. Character exploration is significant in fulfilling the quest to explain who we are, and we need to do. Elements such as those of motivation, passion, and psychological forces form part of a positive social foundation of literature. A beautiful work of literary art is, therefore, constituted by the quality of enjoyment of the reader and its overall effect on the life of its readers and the general public.

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Good works of literature are often stunning incitement of something and at the same time being suitably ambiguous, that many individuals or groups of people can take personal offense at their implications. The story “The Lottery” has a pretty conventional way of reading it as it touches on both the fundamental human truth and offers a relatively little offense to anyone. The literary work, therefore, is a representation of human institutions that are authorized to continue unchallenged until they become destructive, instead of productive forces in the lives of individuals; hence it is a good piece of literature.

The lottery story commences with a sense of freedom to the children who are out of school. It is during the summer when villages begin to assemble in the square to hold a lottery. There is uncertainty about what the prize of the lottery would be at the end. The mystery of vagueness happens to continue throughout the story, setting the scene for future revelations as it should be the case in the initial situation. Shirley Jackson uses symbolic names to indicate and foreshadow what will probably take place after the lottery is conducted.

“The Lottery” presents a good example of a surprise ending in a successful work of literature. Surprise endings in pieces of literature are significant in giving the reader a delight, but that is not the case in Jackson’s story of human sacrifice. He gives the reader a hint that something harsh is taking place. For instance, the gathering of stones and rocks shows the crowd’s sense of nervousness even as the lottery proceeds. The surprise ending ion Jackson’s story, therefore, reveals the dark themes that include the warping effect on the community does not mind tradition.

Jackson uses the symbolism of names and objects to hold meaning to the religious and other significant activities in the lottery. The names of each character in the story hold significant implications to the lottery. The author utilizes the use of symbolic names to indicate and foreshadow the situation that will come to be after the lottery is conducted. For instance, Jackson uses the name “Dellacroix” which in the real sense means “of the cross.” The villages pronounced the name as “Dellacroy,” indicating that the people wrongly pronounced the word; hence provoking the Christian symbol of martyrdom. (Jackson 2). Moreover, “summers” is the sir name of the conductor of the lottery. Coincidentally, the lottery is conducted during the summer, and the assistant to Mr. Summer is “Mr. Graves.” The symbolic names are a hint that there would be a “grave” during the “summer.” The author, therefore, utilizes symbolic names to predict the winner’s prize. In the long run, the prize is a brutal stoning from the town’s people (Jackson 4).

The objects in the story are a representation of religious and symbolic meanings to the lottery. In the sentence, “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones,” is a depiction that young children were picking up stones that were smooth in nature while most stones were jagged and tapered. The smooth stones would lead to a slow death of someone as opposed to the sharp stones that would lead to a faster death. The author mentions that the children find it normal to participate in the murder incidence. The religious objects used are a black box that represents a key between life and death for every member of the townspeople. It is also an embodiment to the evil acts that have been executed in the past and the ones that are yet to happen. The three-legged stool, on the other hand, represents the Christian belief in three beings as one God. The representation of holiness and purity shows the manipulation of the townspeople to support the violence that will be done for religious reasons (Jackson 2).

The story is a shock to the readers as the story appears to be that of fiction but Christian persecution eventually happens, and readers cannot accept the horrific truth. In the beginning, the author paints the picture of an ordinary and innocent town before the lottery is conducted. The story was set in a small town in New England, and it is described that “the flowers were blossoming profusely, and the grass was richly green.” The surprise ending shows the destruction of the innocence of the town as the terrible stoning is witnessed.

In conclusion, the use of imagery in the story is persistent at Jackson implicates the truth through names, objects, and the setting. The story is still relevant in the contemporary society since the symbols used were never elaborately explained. The story emphasizes on tradition and religion, making it one of the darkest and most mysterious stories.

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