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In The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, what are some examples (3 at least please) of...

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manda212 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:54 AM via web

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In The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, what are some examples (3 at least please) of figurative language?

Figurative language being similes, metaphors and personification.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM (Answer #1)

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Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery," contains many different examples of figurative language.

Metaphor: A metaphor is a comparison between a person, place, thing, or idea to other person, place, thing, or idea which typically is not used.

While the metaphors are not readily found within a line, they still exist. For example, the black box is a metaphor for death and tradition. The town gathers, year after year, to take part in the lottery. Likewise, the three-legged stool and the black dot also represent tradition. Again, the color black is seen (the black dot). Like the black box, the black dot represents death. Out of the black box the black dot is drawn, with the drawing of the black dot, the "winner" is "awarded" death.

Simile: A simile is similar to a metaphor, but it uses either "like" or "as" to create the comparison.

Only one simile is found in the text. As Tessie is leaving Mrs. Delacroix, she taps her "as a farewell." The tap is compared to a parting of ways. Ironically, this is a true farewell. Tessie is the "winner" and will no longer see Mrs. Delacroix after this day.

Personification: Personification is the giving of human characteristics and qualities to nonliving and/or nonhuman things.

Personification can be found in the line where Mr. Graves drops the slips of paper onto the ground. The breeze then "caught them and lifted them off." A breeze cannot (in reality) "catch" anything.  Therefore, the breeze is personified, given it is given the human ability of catching something and lifting it up.

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