Essay on The Lottery

1873 Words 8 Pages
When “The Lottery” was first published in 1948, it created an enormous controversy and great interest in its author, Shirley Jackson.
Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco, California on December 14, 1919. When she was two years old, her family moved her to Burlingame, California, where Jackson attended high school. After high school Jackson moved away to attend college at Rochester University in upstate New York but after only a short time at Rochester and, after taking off a year from school, she moved on to Syracuse University. At first, Jackson was in the School of Journalism at Syracuse but soon moved to the English Department to pursue her interest in writing. Jackson soon started publishing works in the school news paper and
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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” illustrates several aspects of the darker side of human nature. The villagers in Jackson’s “The Lottery” unquestioningly adhere to a tradition which seems to have lost its relevance and meaning to their lives even when it requires that they brutally kill by stoning one of their neighbors and friends. The ritual that is the lottery shows how easily and willingly people will give up their free will and suspend their consciences to conform to rituals and people in authority. The same mindless complacency and obedience shown by the villagers in Jackson’s story are seen in human behavior throughout history and are still visible in current events seen today. Religion and higher authority are able to convince people to commit horrendous crimes against other human beings without hesitation or guilt. In religion, ritual can be a substitute for taking responsibility for one’s actions or even thinking for oneself. The behavior shown by the villagers can also be compared to human beings cruel enjoyment of the suffering of other human beings. This side of

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