Normally when one thinks of winning the lottery, they don't think their entire community, including their family, will brutally stone them to death as a human sacrifice so their town can have a plentiful corn harvest. "The Lottery" has many ways of symbolizing different ideas; out of all representations, tradition seems to be the most important. Throughout the story, tradition is symbolized and shows us how sticking to tradition can actually be quite pointless and cause unnecessary problems in society.
Seemingly the most prevalent symbol of tradition is Old Man Warner. Old Man Warner, the oldest in the village, has witnessed 77 annual lotteries in his lifetime. Throughout the story, Old Man Warner shows his dissatisfaction with the modern lottery. He represents how unwilling people can be when they have grown up with a certain tradition, and he views it as an absolute necessity for the town to partake in this outdated and ridiculous ceremony. When Mr. Summers tells him that some of the young people in a nearby town want to do away with the tradition, Old Man Warner claims that nothing is "good enough for them." After Mrs. Adams said that a few towns have already quit the lottery, he retorts that "There's nothing but trouble in that." While Old Man Warner shows how people strongly believe in the tradition of the lottery, many objects also symbolize the idea of tradition.
The black box, where all of the names are held and drawn from on the day of the lottery, symbolizes more than one aspect of tradition. For one, it shows how little tradition can mean to everyday life; during most of the year, it was simply left in a barn or "set on a shelf in the Martin grocery store and left there." However, on June 27th, the day of the lottery, it would seem to be the most important box ever made. It's quite odd that even though no one knew the actual origin of the black box, the townspeople were very hesitant to change what they saw as an essential part of the lottery tradition.