Shirley Jackson was a master of modern gothic fiction and wrote of the essentially evil nature of human beings. The major focus of her work is to emphasize the psychological dimension of experience and the absolute isolation of a human. Shirley Jackson also believes and suggests that humanity must continue to try to define its own reality, and strive to survive with nobility. Her most famous piece of work “The Lottery,” depicts the cruelty and brutality of humanity in the mass and insensitivity of individuals to the suffering of society’s victim. Although “The Lottery” was widely criticized and was quite “disturbing” at the time it was released, it helped Shirley Jackson path her success in the horror fiction world. No matter how different and violent Shirley Jackson’s writing style was at her time, she is one of the most critically acclaimed authors of horror fiction because of her ability to successfully use different literary elements in her stories.
The author of “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson decided it was important to write this short story in order to inform the readers about another dimension, where a certain common tradition gets prized with something obscure. Some readers can be shocked when reading this story, because they might be surprised and even shocked with the themes that play along in the storyline. This short story “The Lottery” was so controversial at the time, because in the date it was published in June 24, 1948 there were so many themes from the stories that could relate to past events or even event that were taking place at the time.
What is the difference between superstitions and traditions? «The lottery» by Shirley Jackson provides a good example how superstitions of people from a tiny town affect on those traditions. This story shows dark side of Humanity. Whole community entrusts their life with a small black box. The allegory can confuse you, because the main purpose of the «lottery» is kill one of the citizens for a strange false belief. To my mind, the author tried to explain why new generation sometimes shouldn’t continue the weird and cruel traditions.
“The Lottery” was written in 1948 by Shirley Jackson. Mrs. Jackson, born in 1916, was known for her tales of horror and supernatural novels. She and her literary critic husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman lived in a little town called Bennington, Vermont. Mrs. Jackson was not accepted by the town. Her novels, especially “The Lottery”, revealed the dark side of human nature. Stephen King honored Shirley Jackson by dedicating his book Firestarter to her.
In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” a small village is preparing for an annual drawing, a tradition carried out for generations. During this ritual, the head of each household draws a blank piece of paper out of a black box. One piece of paper is marked with a single black dot and if chosen, the outcome is having the winner’s entire household draw out of the box. Whoever chooses the black dot out of the household is stoned to death by the entire village. In this instance, a husband wins to which his wife protests, and then she is the ultimate victim who is sacrificed. This story includes many literary elements like foreshadowing, warning of a future event, symbolism, symbols used in the story to represent ideas,and irony, when the contrary to what is expected to happen, occurs. Jackson uses foreshadowing, symbolism, and irony to prove the theme that it is foolish and barbaric to blindly follow tradition.
Once upon a time there was a little village. In this village three hundred people happily farmed and played and went about their business. The children went to school while the men cut wood or farmed, and the women cooked and cleaned. Every summer in June each of villagers took part in the traditional lottery drawing and one villager was picked for the prize – a stoning. In 1948, Shirley Jackson published this short story known as “The Lottery,” in The New York Times. The story’s plot shocked readers all over America as they learned of the horror happening in such a quaint town. Jackson purposely set this tragic event in this innocent setting to emphasize humanity’s cruelty. Using her appalling short story, The Lottery,
In “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson writes about the game lottery, which makes the story very ironic. Unlike all of the other Lottery games, in this traditional version no one wants to be chosen, because that brings them the end of their life. Jackson explains how keeping up with some traditions that are part of people’s life, may not be the best choice to embrace a particular culture. Jackson uses the Lottery as an example to express her idea about the ethical issues such as; violent murder, harming people, forcefully following a tradition, and lying. All of these ethical issues are created by blindly following tradition in “The Lottery.”
On the surface, Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” reads as a work of horror. There is a village that holds an annual lottery where the winner is stoned to death so the village and its people could prosper. Some underlying themes include: the idea that faith and tradition are often followed blindly, and those who veer away from tradition are met with punishment, as well as the idea of a herd mentality and bystander apathy. What the author manages to do successfully is that she actually uses the names of historical figures to add to the underlying themes of the story. Some names include the Puritan spiritual advisor Anne Hutchinson, who is banished for speaking out against Christian beliefs and traditions, the founder of
Andrew Lansley once said “Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behavior, and they are classic excuses.” Most people tend to follow cultural customs because they have grown with them or it has been forced onto them with factors such as parents or their environment. However, is it always right to follow these customs even if they are in fact considered wrong? Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a short story about the cultural norms of a small community and its annual lottery ritual; a stoning. Jackson overthrows the story by making the lottery a corrupt occurrence rather than a victory. The reader would probably think that the “winner” of the lottery would be benefited but in this case the victory was not so delightful. In her short story “The Lottery” Jackson seemingly uses ordinary details about the setting and the townspeople to characterize her theme that although society claims to be civilized, and may appear so, it is inherently barbaric.
In some ways, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson could be seen as controversial. Within the first paragraph, we are left with two main questions; “what is the lottery?” and “why does it happen?” A major theme that answers the first question is all about tradition. Yes, the lottery is a tradition in many towns. No one has ever questioned this tradition, even though it is quite inhumane. In all honesty, you could compare this story very well to The Hunger Games just because of what this tradition consists of. Imagine being in a town of around three hundred people and having your life put on the line. The lottery itself comes down to all of the townspeople meeting up, and each family name is read by Mr. Summers, and the head of the family
b. Background In the short story “The Lottery,” the inhabitants of a village participate in a lottery, which is essentially a tradition for them. However, the villagers are oblivious to the true consequences and destructiveness of their death ritual. One June day each year, the lottery is conducted and the “winner” is violently stoned to death. The very same day, the villagers return home and carry on with their normal day-to-day functions.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson artfully uses foreshadowing in order to build suspense and create a shocking ending. Jackson’s success in “The Lottery” comes from her ability to keep the reader in the dark about the evils, until the very end. She has masterfully set up what the reader believes as a pleasant event. But, it is not until the ending, can the reader see the foreshadowing of the evils to come. Through the use of foreshadowing, Jackson is able to contribute to the story 's overall effect of suspense and a shocking ending.
The Black Box in the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson signifies the physical connection between the villagers and their unwillingness to give up their tradition. “The Lottery” is very unpredictable and quite misleading. The black box has no functionality, except every June 27th. Shirley Jackson depicts the black box as an important and traditional tool.
The Lottery, a ritual that no one has ever thought to question, which represents any action, behavior, or idea that is passed down from one generation to the next that’s accepted and followed unquestioningly, no matter how illogical, strange, or cruel. “The oldest denizen of the town, Old Man Warner, points out that this is his seventy-seventh year participating in the ritual, called simply the lottery.”(Dubose 1) The “Lottery” is so much a part of the town’s culture, that the townspeople does not truly know what the tradition means but rejoice at the it nonetheless. That is the force that drove the theme In Shirley Jackson’s the “Lottery” with her use of setting, symbolism, suspense, and characters as she exemplifies blindly following tradition with obedience can be dangerous. The lottery is an extreme example of what can happen when traditions are not questioned or addressed critically by new generations because of the infamous word tradition.
It was a sunny summer day when all the villagers gathered in the village on June 27th for the annual Lottery. The actual event did not start until later on in the day, so there were little activities that the community members could do to keep them occupied. People would also go around looking for stones and collected them so they will have enough for the event. Mr. Summers is the person who conducted the Lottery. He has no kids so running the Lottery gave him something to do since he had a lot of time on his hands. Therefor he created the Lottery event and that was what he did to keep himself busy. The Lottery is the main reason of the villagers gathering together; at the event all the families from the village gather together to pick a slip of paper from a black box to determine who will get stoned by all the other villagers. In short story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson demonstrates the dangers of a culture that requires people to participate in traditions that may lead to death.