The Symbol Of Death In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Generally, when we think of a lottery we think of winning money and prizes. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” she flips the script, and makes the lottery a symbol for death. In “The Lottery” the townspeople gather in the town square, and draw names, on slips of paper to see who get stoned to death. This year’s lucky “winner” is Tessie Hutchison, is a character that is self-centered, outspoken, hypocritical and eager about the lottery. She never questions the lottery, only the reason she has to die. In the beginning of the story Mrs. Hutchison, shows up last-minute to the lottery saying she “Clean forgot what day it was” (417), “… and then I remembered it was the twenty-seventh and come a- running.” Mrs. Hutchison is eager, and excited about…show more content…
Hutchison, switch to survival mode, and start to only care about her life that is on the line. “ ‘There’s Don and Eva’ ” Mrs. Hutchison yelled, ‘Make them take their chance’ ” (420). She tries to have her daughter, and son- in –law added to their family household, so there is a least likely chance she will die. Jay A. Yarmove also comments on these events saying “…singling out her married children as possible victims to increase her own chances of survival, we see that she is manifestly not the good-humored, whimsical matron whom we first saw eagerly entering the lottery” (Yarmove). She does not display her easygoing demeanor she display’s when we first met her, as she is walking up to the black box. “She hesitated for a minute, looking defiantly, and then set he lips and went up to the box” (420). Mrs. Hutchison has transformed into a self-centered character questioning why she had to die, and say “It’s isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (421). This is the only time in the story she has not agreed with the traditions of the lottery, she would have happily stoned someone else, even her own family. She does not even say goodbye to her children, who are about to be motherless before she is stoned to
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