The Lottery and Other Stories

Take a close look at Jackson's description of the black wooden box (paragraph 5) and of the black spot on the fatal slip of paper (paragraph 72). What do these objects suggest to you? Why is the black box described as "battered"? Are there any other symb

The lottery

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The black box and the black spot are symbolic of the one who will be the sacrifice, the one who has the worst luck and will be the "sacrificial lamb" for the luck of the village. The box is battered because this is something this village has done for years and years - this tradition has not died out even though it seems particularly savage.