The Black Box represents the tradition of the lottery and the villagers' loyalty to it. The box was now old and falling but they refuse to replace the historic item. In the past they used wood chips but since much of the ritual had been forgotten, Mr. Summers had success in replacing it with slips of paper. Lines 64-67, describes the box "The black box...it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along side to show the original wood color, in some places faded or stained."
Tone and Theme
The stones are represented as murder weapons the villagers used to kill the victim selected in the lottery. At the beginning of the story, the kids are collecting stones and placing them in piles so they may be used later on. The boys guarded their pile of stones as the girls stood aside talking among themselves. Lines 15-18 describes the boys picking up stones "Bobby Martin stuffed his pockets full of stones, other boys following his example, selecting the smoothest stones..."
Personification can be found at the part where Mr. Graves drops the slips of papers onto the ground. As written in lines 262-263, "...he dropped them onto the ground, where the breeze caught them and lifted them off." In reality a breeze cannot "catch" or "lift" anything. Therefore, the breeze is personified, it is given the human ability of being able to catch something and lift it up.
The story begins very calm and peaceful, a picture of a normal village and people gathering for an annual lottery. The scene is described in lines 1-3, "The morning...was clear and sunny, with fresh warmth of a summer day; flowers were blossoming profusely, grass richly green." Soon we learn what the lottery truly is, a person is chosen to be stoned to death by the villagers. The final turn in the plot pushes the reader from calm, through suspense, to shock. The story is powerful literary strategy that Jackson uses to impact the reader, showing the horrific side of society.