In "The Lottery," how does the author use creative language to accomplish a specific purpose?Like for example using: imagery, symbolism, word choice, and figuritive language to do something, such...

In "The Lottery," how does the author use creative language to accomplish a specific purpose?

Like for example using: imagery, symbolism, word choice, and figuritive language to do something, such as develop character, enhance theme, or create tone?

Asked on by sj-14

1 Answer | Add Yours

teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

In "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses imagery and symbolism to develop theme.  At the beginning of the story, the narrator describes the little boys building a pile of stones, and upon the first reading of the story, the audience gets the impression that this image of the boys and the stones is simply child's play.  Jackson continues to build these types of "ordinary" images to give the impression that the village is a place just like any other place.  Later, the audience understands that the stones are to be used for stoning the "winner" of the lottery.  One of the themes of the story is questioning the blind following of traditions, and Jackson wants the reader to understand that traditions are part of all cultures in all places, thus depicting the village as an "ordinary" place.

Similarly, Jackson uses symbols throughout the story such as the black box and the black spot to suggest the tainting that the tradition is implicitly having on this community.  Many people in the village question the reason for the lottery, but symbols of the past like Old Man Warner convince the younger generation that their traditions define who they are.

We’ve answered 318,944 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question