Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Lottery Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Sep. 2016. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lottery/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2016, September 29). The Lottery Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lottery/

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Lottery Study Guide." September 29, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lottery/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Lottery Study Guide," September 29, 2016, accessed December 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Lottery/.

The Lottery | Symbols

Share
Share

Stones

The townspeople's resistance to modernity and change shows in their longtime use of stones. Both a building block and a weapon, stones are a part of nature, revealing the town's loyalty to ancient rites and their deep-knit ties to the land.

By allowing the children to gather stones for the execution, the villagers include the children in the ritual of the lottery, ensuring that the rite will be passed down to the next generation.

Black Box

The black box represents the many years that the lottery has taken place in the village, and the villagers' connections to their ancestors. Black, of course, is a familiar symbol for darkness, evil, and death. This black box holds the villagers' dark secrets and also points to the meaninglessness of the ritual of the lottery. Shabby, splintered, and faded, it is made up from pieces of the original box. The box also has overtones of racial purity masquerading as Christianity. It requires the support of a three-legged stool—the "three-legged stool of Christianity" is the biblical emphasis on love, trust, and obedience—to keep it from falling.

Households

The concept of a family whose curse affects each member is common in literature. The Hutchinsons—whose name, in an example of verbal irony, evokes that of colonial American religious leader Anne Hutchinson, a vocal critic of the Puritans—are under such a curse from the moment their name is selected in the lottery's first round. Lots are drawn by household. The traditional, patriarchal family unit, with the father at the head, symbolizes authority and hierarchy in the town. The residents' fate is determined by their family name, rather than any actions they take as individuals.

Questions for Symbols

View all
what is iambic pantameter and how do i write a poem in it help please!
Create a visual presentation describing prenatal and newborn development to be handed out or presented through the outreach program. Include the following: A brief description of the key milestones in
Which sentence contains correct capitalization? When dry-stacking a stone wall, you need these items: A stonemason’s hammer, gloves, flat stones, and gravel. When dry-stacking a stone wall, You need t
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Lottery? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!