The method of execution at the end of the story is certainly not an arbitrary choice. Stoning is one of the oldest and most common forms of execution, but it is also one of the most symbolic. It has strong connection to many people due to its prevalence throughout The Bible. Many of the first Christian martyrs were stoned to death and serve as a symbol for the innocent being executed. In addition, the story of Jesus stopping a stoning with the words “He who is without sin cast the first stone" is one everyone knows at least indirectly. This phrase, while never said in this story, is hard to forget after reading it.
One of the reasons that stoning was used in the past as well as the reason that it is important in this story is that there is no single executioner. This means that no single person has passed judgment or has to carry the guilt for taking a life alone. This is the same reason that execution by firing squad has so many people shooting (often many with blanks). This is important for the story of “The Lottery" because it helps to make clear who the enemy in the story is. In order for stoning to be effective it requires a crowd to act together. This reinforces the point that the antagonist of this story it is not a single person but society.
Symbolism in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay example
1173 Words5 Pages
When most people play the lottery today, they think about having wealth. Generally, people who win are happy about it whether they win one dollar or a million. The lottery in our society has grown to support education and it is often worth several million dollars. Usually, the winner of the lottery gains a lot of recognition for the money they win. But what would happen if there was a small town where people held a yearly lottery in which the “winner” was the member of the town who was not sacrificed? This question is answered in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery.” In reading this story, and reading literary criticism about the story, there were many symbols and much symbolism in this story.
1 Biographical Analysis
Shirley…show more content…
Americans were moving back to a time where they wanted life to be simple and orderly. There was also a need to go back to traditional values and a need for conformity (Miss Cellania). While people enjoyed seeing the Cleveland Indians win the World Series, The Philadelphia Eagles win the NFL and while they were being entertained by beautiful women like Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth (PCM Entertainment and Trivia Network) Jackson was entertaining a different audience through her short story. It was interesting that many people were upset with Jackson about this story. One reason was because her publisher spread a rumor that Jackson was a practicing witch (Miss Cellania). Although Jackson dabbled in mysticism and read tarot cards, the idea that she was a witch was a joke. “The Lottery” was frightening during that time and it still is today. Jackson wanted to show what happened when people blindly followed a tradition just because it was a tradition. “The Lottery revealed an uncomfortable truth about the human psyche and, in doing so, became a classic piece of American Literature” (Miss Celinnia).
3 Symbols and Symbolism in “The Lottery” There were many symbols in this short story. Many researchers state that several symbols refer to Christianity. As an example, the last name of one of the women, Mrs. Delacroix, was a French name meaning “of the