Essay regression toward our basic instinct of survival.

Essay regression toward our basic instinct of survival.

Essay submitted by In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make us aware of the pointless nature ofhumanity regarding tradition and violence. The story starts off on a beautiful summer day in a smalltown. The author describes the day as very euphoric but strikes a contrast between the atmosphereof the town and the atmosphere of the people gathered in the square. The atmosphere is subdued,where the children are “gathered around quietly.

“The black box is the central theme or idea in the story. It symbolizes at first some type of mystery,but as we read the ending we realize that it is synonymous with doom. Someone’s fate lies in aninanimate object, the black box. We do not always enjoy change, even if it might prove beneficial tous. The box is symbolic of our loathing of change; it is old and splintered showing that we cling towhat is familiar rather than change and it also symbolizes the traditions of the community. No one inthe little town questions the origin of the black box, but accept it as an intrical part of their lives.

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The lottery itself is symbolic of the paradox of the human psyche between compassion on one handand the thirst for violence and cruelty on the other. An example of this is when the children areenjoying a break from school, playing and being children, and suddenly they are being joined by”rational” adults in stoning a mother to death. It appears that tradition has blinded these people in anirrational way, making them unable to think of a reason why this possibly should not be happening.When forced with the possibility of death, human nature in all its complexity, comes down to oneinstinctive urge, that of survival. When Tessie was in no danger she was gossiping with the otherladies and even encouraged her husband to go and pick a piece of paper.

When Tessie wins thelottery; she pleads for another chance and screams for mercy. She demands that her daughters taketheir chances as well, which is indicative of regression toward our basic instinct of survival. The pieces of paper that are lifted away by the breeze is not only symbolic of the ease with which lifecan be taken but is also symbolic of vast civilizations that were doomed to eventual failure forbelieving in and acting on tradition and not living according to the word of God.

We see that even asTessie is being stoned to death does she not question the reasoning behind the lottery, but why itBibliography:

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