1, The primary theme of the story concerns the mindless adherence to rituals, and that is symbolically represented most by the black box. The black box is a physical manifestation of the villagers' connection to tradition and also the focal point of the lottery. The current black box is not the original one, though pieces from the old box have always been used to make the new one until the time of this box. When it gets too worn or dilapidated, it will no doubt be used to make the next version of the black box. Some have talked about replacing the black box; however, the unsurprising consensus is to keep it as is. Clearly they do not care about the actual box, at least based on how they treat it. Think of this box symbolically as representing the tradition which these townspeople do not really understand and no longer has any current meaning, yet they are unwilling to give it up simply because it has become a town tradition. No one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. Oddly enough, the people are extremely loyal to this box but do not care at all that they now use slips of paper rather than wood chips. The lottery can be compared to all kinds of traditions, beliefs, and ideas--which are followed or believed simply because they have always been followed or believed. It is a rather silly example, but I think of the mother who always cuts the ends off the roast before putting it in the roasting pan to cook. When her daughter asks her why she cuts off the ends of the roast, the mother says she does it because her mother did it. When the daughter asks her grandmother to clarify the tradition of cutting off the the ends of the roast, the grandmother gives a very simple explanation: I cut off the ends of the roast because that is the only way it would fit in the pan. Take any erroneous belief, such as the horribly inaccurate idea that black people are inherently less intelligent...
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