The repetition of themes that have a significance in the work.
It can reflect a particular view point, personality or even an idea.
Sometimes it intertwines with the main theme of the work, sometimes it is outright excluded from it.
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” there is a repeated theme
which is references to people coming up to buy their tickets and more people coming up
to buy their tickets and doing so over time with increasing numbers from morning til evening till night.
In “The Lottery” this theme has the character of an idea that people choose to participate in a ritual murder.
In “The Lottery” the theme appears in many forms, however, one in particular is repeated over and over again throughout the story.
It is made up of two lines:
This repetitive line appears in different ways throughout the story but always with a critical meaning.
Although it occurs more than once in the story it is never used twice with exactly the same meaning as if used twice it would become redundant.
The repetition of an object, idea or theme may be symbolic.
For instance, “The Yellow Wallpaper” uses the wallpaper as a symbol of mental illness and the need to escape from it.
In this case the repetition brings more attention to this topic and helps with its portrayal in the story.
Another example of symbolic repetition is that in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”,
where the beating sound of an old man’s heart becomes a symbol for his impending death at the hands of his murderer.
A not so symbolic example of repetition is the repetition of words in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson;
such as ‘turn’ ’till’ and even ‘nights’, but usually several times.
In this case the repetition is used to emphasize on certain parts of the story that are important,
for example the part about everyone becoming quiet, and how it happens in one stroke.
The repetition of themes and ideas
helps in making “The Lottery” have a good symbolic meaning.
For example, when reading the story there is always one particular word that shows up again and again,
for example “till”. It is also very important to note that by using different words each time it causes the whole phrase to sound different, creating a particular meaning.
Also, if an author uses ideas outside of their own it often makes the readers thinks that they know exactly what the story will be about.
The reader knows what they will experience because they already know what the author has already been thinking about.
Also, if an author uses a common idea, readers tend to have the same thoughts about these ideas and many of them will have the same ideas.
This can make the reader feel like they are really in the story with that person and that this person is really thinking about their own ideas.
has an overarching idea that looks back at our society’s more primitive past where everyone participated in a type of ritual murder.
Everyone comes up to buy their ticket, like they do in all American townships on every single Friday night,
and this sentence is repeated over so much it becomes almost redundant because it seems as though everyone always buys a lottery ticket every Friday night.
It is so important because it shows how quiet everyone is when they are in their turn,
and how every single person is participating in the ritual murder.
It shows how everyone wants to participate but no one wants to be the one that gets shot.
The whole idea of this repetition seems to be deeper than it actually is because first of all “The Lottery” does not have a lot of word repetition;
like paper repeatedly saying “paper”, or walls repeatedly saying “wall”.
The “lottery” has many other themes that repeat throughout the story:
What people see, what they hear, and what they smell.
Also, this repetition helps make the reader understand how quiet everyone is when it is their turn to buy a lottery ticket. what can a motif contribute to, or become, when it gathers larger significance throughout a text?
Repetition of themes or ideas can be very helpful in symbolism.
It can also be used to show what the story is going to be about or what the author has been thinking about.
In most cases this repetition makes readers think deeper into the story and see what may cause an idea to repeat in different ways.
“The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, has so many themes and ideas that are repeated so many times that cause anyone who reads it to think deeper into it.
The author uses repetition to add depth to the story and make the reader think a little bit more.