"The Lottery," was published in the New York Yorker on June 29, 1948, by Shirley Jackson. It was the first short story that she wrote that received widespread attention by readers. "The Lottery," is a very twisted story. It's about a town where there is a tradition of a lottery, that decides which town member will be stoned to death that year. In the short story, "The Lottery," Jackson uses the black box, Old Man Warner, and Tessie Hutchinson as symbols to show that humans will blindly follow meaningless traditions. .
The black box is the box that the names are picked out of for the lottery, every time the lottery takes place. It represents the tradition of the lottery and the illogical sentimentality of the villager's loyalty to it. The black box was mentioned several times in the story, in detail, and people did not want to get a new box even though it was shabby and worn out. Towards the beginning of the story the reader is told, "Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box," (Jackson 84). The reader knows this is illogical because there is no reason to keep the black box. The townspeople are attached to the box, to the point that it is obsessive. It shows just how much the villagers do not want to replace the black box. "It is falling apart and, because the paint is so chipped, is hardly even black anymore," (Jackson 84). The villagers are still loyal to the black box, because the box, "had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it," (Jackson 84). The villagers are following a tradition by using the black box that has pieces of the previous box. It is a ritual to use the black box every year, thus making it a tradition that the villagers follow. .
Even though the lottery is important to the villagers, and a tradition that they do every year, "The rest of the year, the box was put away, sometimes one place, sometimes another; it had spent one year in Mr.