The Lottery Contains Symbols of the Holocaust Millions of people were brutally massacred in the Holocaust. Because of all the horror and brutality, the Holocaust will be remembered as one of the most notorious if not the most notorious of all crimes. It is a crime that mankind cannot forget and should not forget. As a way of remembering the Holocaust and honoring it's victims authors have been writing about this event. Authors like Shirley Jackson, for instance, wrote the short story entitled the Lottery. The story is set in a small village and the "Lottery" it holds every year.
The Lottery is conducted as the head of each family draws a piece of paper from a symbolic black box. The lucky winner who draws the winning paper then gets the prize of being stoned to death in the middle of the town. The Lottery is an excellent analogy because it's characters are symbols of the Holocaust. One of the main characters and the orchestrator of the Lottery is Mr. Summers.
Mr. Summers can be best compared to Hitler. Like Hitler was to the Germans, Summers was to the villagers. Summers was revered and obeyed by his fellow villagers. The villager's obedience to Summers is established in the following passage from the story, "The villagers kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool, and when Mr. Summers said, "Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?" before two men, Mr.
Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, came forward to hold the box steady on the stool." The villagers' blind obedience to Summers enabled him to carry out his duty with cold and precise efficiency in an almost machine like fashion. If Mr. Summers is Hitler, then the "black box" can be compared to Hitler's Final Solution. The "black box" was Summers' tool to exact his will.
The black box symbolizes death. This fact can be implied simply by noting it's color, black. A passage from the story reads, "Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one like to upset even as much tradition as represented by the black box." this passage gives the reader the impression that the "black box" is unchallenged. Much like how Hitler's murderous campaign in Germany was. No one was to take up the cause and help the Jews defy the Final Solution.
The unlucky winner of the lottery was Mrs. Hutchinson. She was the one who ultimately drew the marked paper from the "black box." Mrs. Hutchinson can be thought of as the symbol for the Jewish people.
There were two occasions in the story where Mrs. Hutchinson voiced her opinion that she and her family were not treated fairly. The first occasion, "Suddenly, Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted.
I saw you. It wasn't fair." The second time Mrs. Hutchinson voiced her opinion was right before her untimely death, "Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. "It isn't fair," she said." Mrs. Hutchinson is a clever analogy. Similar to the Jewish people that were massacred, she was chosen to die for no purpose.
After Mrs. Hutchinson was chosen to die, she was stoned to death in the middle of the town. She was shown no mercy. Mrs. Hutchinson's fate is uncannily similar to that experienced by the Jews in concentration camps. They both suffered horrible and painful deaths.
The final significant symbol in the Lottery is Old Man Warner. Old Man Warner got his name because he is the oldest person in the village and has somehow has been lucky enough to survive the lottery for seventy seven years. Old Man Warner is a symbol for Hitler's army. He was assurance that Lottery will always go on in the village by scaring the villagers, telling of how backwards it is to not have a lottery. Old Man Warner stated, "Nothing but trouble in that," while conversing with a fellow villager, who told him of a town that no longer has a Lottery. The Lottery contains characters symbolic to those in the Holocaust.
The characters cleverly emulate those of real life in a subtle, but not too vague manner. This way the reader does not have think so hard to find out the true meaning behind the story.