The box in "The Lottery", represents Fate.The civilians have no way of affecting the outcome of who's picked, and must accept the results. Stones are used to kill those who're selected, and it is symbolic of how we hurt others in our society.
On the day of the Lottery, we learn that " the morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green". The boys also form a pile of stones, which we know are used later.
There are many types of figurative language used in the passage, the following is an example of personification. When Mr. Graves had selected the five slips an put them in the box, and he dropped all the papers but those onto the ground, where the breeze caught them and lifted them off. The black box in the story is a metaphor, as it represents fatigue. We know the color black symbolizes death.
Dread and relief are the two tones of "The Lottery." Dread is to anticipate with great apprehension or fear, and relief is "a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress." We learn how dreadful the lottery is viewed, and they are very relieved when their name isn't called.