Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery,"" is a short story about an annual lottery drawing in a small rural town that has been held for over seventy-seven years. Every year all the families gather for the yearly event to draw and see who will be randomly chosen to be violently stoned to death by friends and family. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism in names, objects and even the setting to obscure the meaning and the purpose of the lottery. Furthermore, I will interpret and explain what I believe those names and symbols signify. .
The names of each character hold a significant meaning to the plot of the story. Jackson uses symbolic meaning in the names of her characters to indicate and foreshadow what is to come, after the lottery has been conducted and a winner is selected. The name Summers is the sir name of the lottery officiate. His name symbolizes the time the lottery is conducted; summer time on June 27. Mr. Graves is the man who's name hints where the winner will end up which is in the grave. Little Davy is symbolic of the biblical David. Just as the biblical David uses a stone to bring down Goliath, Little Davy uses a stone to cast at Tess. Mrs. Delacroix's name means "of the cross " in Latin which I think refers to the biblical crucifixion of Christ. Adam was the first man called to the drawing, hinting to the first man created in the bible. Mr. Warner is the person who warns the villagers of the danger of giving up the lottery. But he is also called Old Man Warner which old usually signifies the term wise. Tessie Hutchinson sir name broken down to "Hutch " is term used a form of furniture. .
The black box is an ill-omened symbol, marking one unlucky winner to be morbidly murdered by their fellow villagers. It is the physical manifestation of the villager's connection to tradition. The villager's attitude towards the black box and its traditions goes unquestioned. Jackson describes the condition of the box as "splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained " (134).