25 Oct 2017
“The Lottery” Research Paper
“The Lottery,” written by Shirley Jackson, is one of the most crucial pieces of literature to read as well as learn about. This piece was published in 1948 and caused a stir in the literature world. In “The Lottery,” Jackson uses tone throughout the story to help portray the theme. Jackson creates an absolute, barbaric tradition to illustrate the crowds’ mentality and the townspeople’s inability to speak out against injustice when perpetrated by their neighbors.
Jackson is considered to be one of the most haunting figures in American Literature. She showed this side of her in “The Lottery” by perfectly “executing a scathing moral analysis of American society” (Cleveland, “Shirley Jackson”). In the story she has society murder as well as challenges the reader to try to differentiate between the horrific events happening and the meaning behind all of it. Doing so, she engages the reader and has them thinking about what is going to happen next.
In “The Lottery,” Jackson leaves it up to the readers about how to feel with the situations going on. She doesn’t put how she feels throughout the story. By Jackson doing this she is “pushing the reader to make their own judgement.” (EOTL) Throughout “The Lottery,” Jackson keeps a calm and detached tone leaving readers to guess how she truly feels about the situation. Jackson keeping this tone through the entire story accentuates the horror of the story. It is
Since the emergence of the written word humans around the world have used literature to convey emotions and invoke thought within others. This invocation of thought and conveyance of emotion arises not only from the words themselves, but also through the usage of literary elements that enhance the overall transmission of the authors message. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” displays a masterful usage of literary elements to better convey Jackson’s general purpose, such as through the deep symbolism and underlying theme; however, Jackson’s true provocation of emotion is accomplished through her quintessential use of point of view. The objective point of view is indispensable within “The Lottery” because of the creation
Shirley Jackson is often regarded as one of the most brilliant authors of the twentieth century. Born in San Francisco in 1916, she spent the majority of her adolescence writing short stories and poetry (Allen). While she is known best for her supernatural stories, one of her most popular works is a short story called “The Lottery”. The lottery takes place in a small village in which once a year on June 24th, the town population is gathered. After the gathering, there is a drawing to see which family is chosen, after the family is chosen, another drawing takes place to see who is stoned to death. In the New Yorker's magazine book review hailed “The Lottery” as “one of the most haunting and shocking short stories of modern America and is one of the most frequently anthologized” (Jackson). This review stems heavily from Jackson’s brilliant use of irony, symbolism, and foreshadowing. However, perhaps what truly stands out is how Jackson is able to wrap all of those elements together as a way to show an overarching theme of the corruption that exists in human nature. While the real source of “The Lottery’s” inspiration is unclear, there has been heavy speculation that the roots lie heavily in the actions of the holocaust and the actions that took place during World War II. Regardless of the source material, a general consensus can be made that the plot of the lottery is a dark reflection of human actions.
Another message that Jackson illustrates is the blind following of tradition and how that can be a terrible thing. All the members of the community participate in this horrible act because it is a tradition. The people believe that if it is a tradition it then the lottery must not be a bad thing. When Old Man Warner heard that some communities had stopped the lottery he called them a “pack of crazy fools.” He said, “There’s always been a lottery.”(247) Jackson shows how a tradition can be so brutal yet everyone will go with it because it’s in fact tradition. To go against tradition would be to go against the community, so no one is willing to do that. Jackson shows the long running tradition when the black box that is used to hold the slips of paper never changes. It shows the inability for change in the community.
The setting and tone of the story “The Lottery” play very significant roles that give the reader a sense of where they are and an overall feeling of what the story should be like. At the beginning of the story Jackson is very specific in describing the setting of the story. She does this by giving an exact date, time, and even telling the reader how the weather outside is. In the story it is summer and everything is getting ready for a new beginning. By saying all of this it gives the reader a sense that this is a normal town that goes through normal day to day activities just like other towns do. Later in the story it is revealed that the “Winner” of the lottery gets stoned to death by the rest of the town. The overall tone of the story changes in an instant as you get to the end of the story and realize what the lottery really is.
“The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. This narrative uses different literary devices to help the reader understand the importance of the story. The author uses her story to describe the dangers of blindly following tradition. In this story, Jackson uses foreshadowing, irony and imagery to show how peer pressure can make someone feel no guilt through the negative tradition that occurs.
The most shocking part of “The Lottery” is the level of dehumanization that comes with the crowd mentality. Shirley Jackson uses the normalcy of the lottery to veil the true outcome until the very end. Describing the crowd coming together and conversing as though it were a Sunday dinner, outlining the calm thoughts of the bystanders as they draw cards to murder one of their own, and picturing the actions of the people as normal. The fact that these characters neither mentioned, thought of, or acted like they were about to murder a blameless woman shows the role dehumanization had played on this community.
Publishing “The Lottery” in 1948, at the termination of World War II, Shirley Jackson uses prevalent cultural and historic cues throughout this story to insinuate a threatened, late 1940’s American society. References to the Holocaust were made by appeasing to this violent and sadistic tradition of stoning, in like manner the propelling of the stones reference the propelling of The Atomic Bomb. Consequently, the people of this village were forced to conform with the inability to observe humanity. Jackson’s purpose of writing “The Lottery” was, “to shock the story’s readers with a graphic demonstration of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (236). In this story, she was trying to present a barbarous tradition
Jackson’s famous literary work was published in The New Yorker in June 1948. “The Lottery” received major backlash and criticism upon its first publication, with many readers being offended and taken aback by the material; some readers assumed Jackson was recounting the events of a real town and inquired Jackson where these lotteries took place (Friedman 63). Its contemporary setting and relatable characters make the story more realistic and thus drives home its message to a greater effect, as well as playing into the psychology of mob mentality. For example, if the story’s characters are easily identifiable in addition to its setting, the audience will have an easier time placing themselves into the situation of the characters. The titular lottery in the story has been a tradition in the community for generations, with each generation gradually forgetting certain aspects of how the lottery is held and even the reason behind the lottery. One man, Old Man Warner, remembers that the lottery was held to ensure a good harvest and
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, is a short story that was written in the 1948 issue of The New Yorker. The short-story is based on a fictional small town that holds a yearly lottery that determines the future of one of its citizens. After this dark short-story was released, it received multiple negative reviews and caused several readers to cancel their subscriptions with The New Yorker. Although the future of one of the citizens is not vividly described, the reader gets a clear understanding of it. Throughout the short-story, the authors choice of not releasing the meaning of the lottery, the tradition’s history, and overall betrayal, leave the story to be open to interpretation by the readers.
“The Lottery,” Jackson’s most famous work, is often called a gothic horror tale. “The Lottery” is considered a part of the gothic genre because of the feeling of suspense as well as horror it brings to the reader, who may not fully understand the purpose of the lottery until the end (Wilson 144). “The Lottery developed in the story is very horrific because when we here about a Lottery we think about achieve something good but, in the story achieving a lottery is getting stoned to death by your own townspeople. Until the end author hide real meaning of the lottery. “The narrative technique for “The Lottery” is detached and objective, meaning the story is told without excessive emotionalism or description, which helps to impart the ordinariness of the barbaric act of the lottery” (143). “It is also ironic that the events of the story are related in a matter–of-fact and objective way since the story as a whole seeks to elicit profound emotions and question morality” (144). Emphasis is placed on the brutality of the lottery by not giving a specific time and place to the story. Critics often see the irony of the story. It is ironic that the story takes place
When Shirley Jackson had her short story, “The Lottery,” published in The New Yorker in 1948, she had no idea it would strike such a nerve with readers. The response she received from her story was staggering. The story bewildered, angered, and fascinated people and continues to do so. Some critics speculate that it is because of the blatant act of human sacrificing and the villagers’ use of a scapegoat; plus, their refusal to stop their sadistic tradition; not to mention, the hypocrisy of some of the characters that takes place in the story that has upset so many readers.
Of all Miss Jackson’s eerie and gruesome fantasies, ‘’The Lottery published in The New Yorker magazine, was the best known and most baffling to readers. ’’ After the story was published, many readers of the magazine wrote and asked what the story meant; many still want to know. While the author declined to tell what she meant, she does provide the careful reader with some clues. The tone is established very early in the story.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a classic short story in U.S literature. Written in 1948, the short story has been published in multiple languages around the world. It is still a required reading in U.S today. The story was later adapted into both a TV short and a play (“Shirley Jackson’s Bio”). Jackson uses irony and symbolism in “The Lottery” to show the corruption of human nature.
From start to finish, “The Lottery” is set up to be profound in a chilling, eerie mood. In the beginning, the story starts off pleasant, “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” (Jackson 281). By starting off like this, Jackson is able to give the reader of a happy image and allow the reader to believe that the story will be merry. One other reason Jackson may have started of this way was to show the blindness of