Elements of Fiction in the Lottery
The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson uses a variety of fictional elements to explain how in particular setups people are forced by the societal commands to be whom they could not have been by their own volition. Jackson talks of a certain village where each member participated in a barbaric tradition but believed it was fine since they were conforming to the societal customs blindly. The villagers participated in the Lottery every year to choose a person to be stoned because they wanted to stay in line with village traditions. In narrating the ruthless tradition, Jackson has employed several fictional elements including conflict, climax, foreshadowing, and irony, the theme of tradition, symbolic aspects, and theme of scapegoat. In the same light; this essay undertakes the critical analysis of the major fictional elements used in the story. The Lottery has used the acts of symbolism in several instances. The Lottery itself has been used symbolically to represent the unquestionable tradition. The shabby black box, the black dot, and the three-legged stool, the stones and the stoning all have been used symbolically. The shabby black box presents the ideal lottery tradition while the black dot denotes the villagers’ identification of a victim to be stoned (Hicks, 2014). The shabby black box and the black dot elements are important for the villagers since it is a tradition that must be observed despite breaking them apart. The shabby black box has been fading over years, but villagers have to renovate and paint the box to maintain its original color (Jackson, 1991). The villagers’ acts of continuing to take care of the shabby black box may portray their ignorance of continuing to hold and preserve a tradition that is causing their predicaments. The three-legged stool may portray the society which has continued to associate itself with the evil customs, which have been presented by the shabby black box.