The Lottery and Other Stories

Questions: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

8. Examine the symbolism in the story. Comment on the significance of the following:

f)the treatment of the box the rest of the year

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The importance of the box is obscured as much as the whole tradition. Nobody much cared where the box was stored. The box had no intrinsic meaning anymore. It only became another neglected part of the process in order to choose a person to sacrifice.

The night before the lottery, Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves made up the slips of paper and put them in the box, and it was then taken to the safe of Mr. Summers' coal company and locked up until Mr. Summers was ready to take it to the square next morning. The rest of the year, the box was put way, sometimes one place, sometimes another; it had spent one year in Mr. Graves's barn and another year underfoot in the post office. and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there.