Many cultures have a tradition where they choose to never go against it. The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is about an american village who that never goes against their tradition. Their tradition was throwing stones throwing stones at the chosen lottery winner till death. The lottery was a system that had been created for as long as people could recall. The lottery winner was chosen from pieces of paper inside a black box. Throughout “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson utilizes symbolism to convey the theme of perils of blindly following tradition which can result in unfortunate and foolish events. The stones are a part of symbolism that is used throughout “The Lottery.” Stones are used to represent the death of the chosen lottery winner. The stones are used by all of the people throughout the village when the chosen lottery winner is announced. All of the villagers use the stones in order to establish the tradition of the throwing of the stones till the winner of the lottery dies. It is not out of the ordinary in this town for the idea of the stoning till death. This is a casual act completed by everyone throughout the village. Even the kids of the village were aware of the act of death and participated in this tradition. In the beginning of “The Lottery,” everyone in the village is gathering in the town square in order to begin the lottery. But first some of the kids like “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones (pg 1).” Everyone in the town including the kids participated in the throwing of the stones after the lottery winner was chosen. The symbolism of the stones relates to the theme of perils of blindly following tradition because the tradition of the stones is an ordinary act. The people of the town think that nothing is done that is wrong because this tradition has been going on for so long. None of the townspeople think that this act of death is wrong. They just complete this act because of how long this tradition has been going on. The villagers blindly follow this tradition which results in the death of a person every time the lottery is conducted. When the lottery winner was chosen, everyone in the town would gather around them with stones in their hands. The lottery winner of this particular year was Tessie Hutchinson. When the winner was declared, “Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out separately as the villagers moved in on her. “This isn’t fair,” she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head (pg 7).” Everyone in the town threw stones at her as the punishment of being the lottery winner. No one in the town was aware of how foolish these actions were. The symbolism of the stones were that it symbolized death because when the stones were thrown at a person who won the lottery, they would die. This represents the overall theme of “The Lottery” because the villagers didn’t know right from wrong. They just always followed the tradition that they knew because of how the tradition that they’ve been following has always been going on. The use of the symbolism of the stones in “The Lottery” relates to the overall theme of perils of blindly following tradition. The black box was an important symbol throughout “The Lottery” which symbolized the idea of blindly following tradition. The black box has always been part of the lottery system. The black box was involved in the choosing of the lottery winner. Inside the black box, there were slips of paper that had all of the villagers names on it. The use of the black box had been used ever since this tradition has first started. The black box symbolized the importance of the tradition and where this tradition came from. Mr. Summers was one of the oldest members of the town. He was in charge of the lottery. “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. There was a story that the black box had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here (pg 1).” The villagers in the town made it really clear that they didn’t want to change the idea of the black box as Mr. Summers suggested. The people of the town preserved their tradition of the black box and how the black box was created. The black box was a key piece to the town and the lottery system. Since the black box symbolized the importance of tradition and where it came from, the black box connects to the overall theme because the villagers used passed traditions in order to continue traditions. The importance of the black box kept the tradition of the lottery alive. They wanted to use and preserve the black box for many years to come. But, the idea of this resulted in the people of the town blindly following the tradition of the use of the black box for the lottery. They weren’t able to recognize that times had changed which means that traditions can be changed too. In the past, this American town had used the black box for figuring out who would be executed by having stones thrown at them. The tradition of the black box has been altered in order to fit the new population of people. The black box was altered by “Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations (pg 2).” Since the people among the village wanted to keep this tradition going, they had to create adjustments to the black box. Mr. Summers adjusted the black box by using slips of paper instead of chips of wood. This shows the symbolism of the black box because although the black box represents the tradition, in order to keep the tradition alive, the black box needs to be altered. The reason why the black box needed to be adjusted because times are not the same as they were in the past. The people of the town wanted to keep the same tradition of the use of the black box but there had to be adjustment made. This idea of the black box connects to the overall theme because the villagers were blindly following this tradition. They didn’t come to a realization that since adjustments are being made to the box, it may mean that it’s time to make adjustments to the tradition that they are following. The villagers don’t understand that everything in the past is not the same in the future and it’s not meant to be. Everyone in the town is blindly following the tradition of the black box which results in unfortunate and foolish events. The overall idea of the lottery represents symbolism which develops the theme of perils of blindly following tradition and how it can lead to foolish and unfortunate events. The lottery has been going on in the town for as long as people could recall. The lottery was part of the town’s tradition and how it developed the town. The lottery symbolizes the tradition that has always been completed. Every single person that lived in this American village participated in the lottery. But, before the lottery could be completed, “There was a great deal of fussing to be done before Mr. Summers declared the lottery open. There were the lists to make up– heads of the families. heads of households in each family. members of each household in each family (pg 2).” Since everyone that existed in the town was entered into the lottery, it took a lot of time and effort to be able to have the actual lottery. The lottery symbolizes the tradition of having the lottery each and every year because of how many people participate in it. The symbolization of the lottery represents the overall theme of perils of blindly following tradition and how it can lead to unfortunate events because this system made everyone aware of the tradition that was done each year. The people used the lottery system to symbolize the tradition that was completed each year with little to no adjustments. The overall idea of the lottery was kept the same in order to preserve the tradition because of how much following this tradition meant to the people. The people blindly followed this tradition by not realizing the outcome of it. Everyone just continued to follow the same lottery rules and ways that happened in previous years. Since everyone in the town has participated in the lottery for so long, they didn’t even think of the lottery as a wrong act. The villagers knew so much about the lottery and how it worked that they felt the need to not even listen to the directions that Mr. Summers told them about the lottery. Mr. Summers told the people among the townsquare, “Now I’ll read the names — heads of families — and the men come up and take a paper out of the box. Keep the papers folded in your hand without looking at it until everyone has had a turn. Everything clear?” The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions: most of them were quiet (pg 3).” The townspeople were all aware of the lottery and what was done since they’ve participated in it so many times because of the annual tradition. The people were already able to understand the directions because of how long the lottery has been going on. The lottery has been a tradition that had been in this American village from many generations ago. This symbolizes the lottery because of the tradition kept and how people participate in it and can blindly follow the tradition of the lottery which leads to unfortunate events like death of the winner. The theme of the troubles and consequences of blindly following tradition is used in “The Lottery” through symbolism which can lead to disastrous and unreasonable events. The use of symbolism is used in “The Lottery” through the stones, black box, and the lottery system. These ideas of symbolism convey the overall theme of the short story and how a tradition can be followed blindly and can lead to events that are irrational. Today, it is expected for everyone to follow a tradition that’s been in their family for many generations but, they need to be conscious to what these traditions can result in. It is important to understand the tradition a person participates in order to remember the past while it is very important to understand that times have changed which means that traditions can be changed too!