Every now and then, evil comes to light from the most ordinary and unpredictable situations and everyday surroundings. ''The Lottery," a short story of threatening evilness written by Shirley Jackson, is an allegory of village itself. At first, the story seems completely harmless and the readers might think the lottery is a good idea, not knowing what the 'prize' at the end of the story is. This village lottery ends up in a brutal murder each year, an absurd and bizarre ritual that suggests how dangerous tradition may be when people follow it without questioning why.
In the beginning of the story, the lottery event is described as a normal and ordinary tradition that occurs every year on the assigned date, but very soon, in the second paragraph, the suspicions begin to rise and the tension begins to increase. We start to wonder why are the boys piling stones up in the village square, and finally, we can guess that something terrible is about to happen and that this event is not at all naive and harmless. People growing up in this small village come to think of the lottery as a common part of their lives. There is an irony here, since no one seems to be worried about this event that could cause death of any of them. They don't seem to think of it as anything out of the ordinary, let alone as something bad and evil.
Many themes and symbols related and leading to evil can be found in this story, such as: the black box, blindly following tradition and customs, stoning, hypocrisy." The black box grew shabbier each year; by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained.'' This is a description of a shabby black box where the people drew strips of paper from to decide who is the ''winner''. It was very old and even older than the oldest member of the town. The black color denotes death, and the box revolves around all the evil that is done.