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    Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."

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    This week's literary club plans to discuss symbolism in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."
    Assignment: Prepare yourself for a discussion with others.
    Explain what you think is the symbolic purpose of this story: for society.
    Choose one character from the story that seems to symbolize something special for you and explain why in terms of the character's:
    - background information
    - dress
    - speech/dialogue
    - actions
    List and explain 2-3 other symbols you think are important to the outcome of the story.
    Explain why there may be different interpretations by readers.

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    Solution Preview

    - A symbolic purpose of this story is to remind us of the dangers of blindly following tradition. In this story, the village ritually kills someone who has the misfortune to "win" the lottery. There is no discussion in the story as to the immorality of the decision to murder a villager or the relevance or necessity of the act. It is just something that is done because it always has been.

    - Tessie Hutchinson is a central character of the short story and is the unfortunate "winner" of the lottery.
    Background information:
    She has lived in the village all of her life and has participated in many lotteries. Though she has gone to every ...