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November 13th 2000 Short Story Final Exam Essay The Role of Theme in three stories Theme is the principal phrase or idea behind a story It plays an important role in the notable accomplishment of Shirley Jacksons The Lottery The Open Boat written by Stephen Crane and Battle Royal by Ralph Ellison Each of these stories portray an important and powerful theme which is a valuable contribution to the success of each work The Lottery is a story about human sacrifice and tradition It is nicely written with a total control of the point-of-view which prevents readers from realizing the ending even with symbolic hints and foreshadowing The ironic situation of the story is that usually a lottery serves the winner with a good prize However the winner of the lottery in this story is stoned to death The small group of townspeople gathered to participate in the traditional lottery must choose a piece of paper out of a black box The paper with the black circle on it means that person is selected to die Both the black box and the black circle symbolize death and fate itself This lottery is such an old tradition that the villagers have forgotten when and how it originated One of the oldest men in town Old Man Warner warns the people about what will happen if they end this tradition He states that it is crazy and that they would have to go back to living in caves He warns the people about not being able to go back to normalcy This story is about life and death It is not just tradition it is reality The reality of being the one fated to die is based upon sheer chance The tradition of human sacrifice provides the success and benefits of the rest of the town As the saying goes Lottery in June Corn be heavy soon This tells the theme The sacrifice allows the
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