Thesis: After a long period of time passes people forget the true meaning of their traditions by slowly disregarding as the years pass.
Shirley Jackson is known for her creative writing and plot twisting stories such as “The Possibility of Evil” and “The Lottery”. Jackson always finds a way to leave the reader somewhat confused and wanting to read more. In both of these stories it is a small town where everyone knows one another but something about each of these towns isn't right. In “The Lottery” it turns out that each year, one family, then individual from that family is chosen to be stoned to death for a sacrifice. Then in “The Possibility of Evil” it turns out that one old woman has been writing rude anonymous letters to the people of the town. In both essays Jackson uses many literary devices that help her create these stories that she is so known for. Some of the literary devices she uses are situational and verbal irony, and mood and foreshadowing. She uses a fair amount of all three of these throughout her short stories.
In Shirley Jackson's story, “The Lottery”, she expresses her feelings on why the people of the village blindly follow certain parts of the inhumane tradition, while allowing others to be disregarded without question. For instance, a villager is selected at random to be stoned to death. This conveys the reader to understand some of the traditions were cruel, and allows them to foresee the result of the traditions that took place in the village. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism throughout her story to allow readers to be aware of the pointless nature of humanity in regard to the tradition. Three concepts behind “The Lottery” are family relationships, blind adherence, and rules of the tradition.
In this essay I will be doing a compare and contrast between the two stories “The Lottery” by Chris Alani and “the Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Both stories were good, and had a deep meaning behind both stories that leaves the readers wondering why the stories had to end in the way they did. Now I’ll start off by giving a summary of both stories so you can know and understand my point of view better.
In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and the historical event of blacklisting Americans during the 1950s, the authors convey that loyalty causes us to turn against others around you through symbols. In “The Lottery”, loyalty to tradition caused a society to turn on one another. “The Lottery” was an annual tradition where each head of household (the dominant male in each home) picked a slip of paper. If the piece selected had a black dot on it, you had to go through the selection process again, but this time each individual member of your family had to choose a slip out of the box. Whoever chose the black dot out of there family had won the Lottery, and would be sacrificed for a good corn season. On the seventy-seventh lottery, the
Over the years many critics have wrote articles on Shirley Jackson's numerous works. Many critics had much to say about Jackson's most famous short story, "The Lottery". Her insights and observations about man and society are disturbing; and in the case of "The Lottery," they are shocking. "The themes themselves are not new, evil cloaked in seeming good, prejudice and hypocrisy, loneliness and frustration, psychological studies of minds that have slipped the bonds of reality" (Friedman). Literary critic, Elizabeth Janeway wrote that, " 'The Lottery' makes its effect without having to state a moral about humanity's need to deflect the knowledge of its own death on a victim. That uneasy consciousness is
In "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson presents us with a shocking story guaranteed to outrage the reader. The author brings together the residents of a small village as they are gathered for an annual event referred to as the lottery. The families of the village are represented by their names on small pieces of paper, which are placed in a black box. The appointed townsperson oversees the drawing to determine who pulls the slip of paper that "wins" the drawing. The characters seem ordinary enough, and they appear to be pleasant mild people participating in an innocuous activity. There is a huge shock when the story turns violent. The peaceful village people are choosing which person in their community they are going to
It was the morning of June 27th, ten years after Tessie Hutchinson was stoned to death. So much had happened during this decade after her death. Horace Dunbar was stoned last year, and Mrs. Graves the year before. The village now consisted of about 500 citizens, and with the village growing every year the lottery became more and more necessary for the town to prosper. But still people doubted the value of the lottery and tried to preclude it. Back when the year Tessie was stoned, the Adams were talking about how other towns were giving up the lottery. Every year there were a larger amount of people opposing the lottery.
Believing in a passion can be persuasive to others. If one has a passion for something, there is an uncontrollable emotion about it. Everyone in the world is different, if it was not that way, the world would not go around. Someone may have a passion for something that another person can not stand. In “The Lottery,” there was a negative passion for people getting stoned. The emotions of others that did not get stoned were horrific for the one getting stoned to death. The father in “Without Title,” had a huge passion for hunting buffalo. The only problem was that his wife did not let him, she made him work in the city while he would have worked otherwise in the woods. In “Texas vs. Johnson,” as a whole community and around the world, there
“People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth”, said by Roberto Bolano. There are many different perceptions on the events that occur in “The Lottery”, “The Fun They Had”, and also “Eye of the Beholder.” I feel that in “The Lottery”, Tessie was right for arguing against winning the yearly tradition of the lottery. Margie was right for feeling that the past schools were better in “The Fun They Had”, and Janet was right for contrasting herself from the others in “Eye of the Beholder.” Individuals may distinguish their interpretations on distinct feelings or statements.
There are many Americans and people all over the world that live their lives following traditions that are passed down from one generation to another. A tradition can be as simple as cooking a recipe to how you raise your children and holiday traditions. Culture plays a significant role in how people live their day to day lives. In Shirley Jacksons “The Lottery” the people that lived in the town follow a tradition every year. It's easy to understand why Shirley Jackson’s Lottery caused controversy when it was published shortly after World War II in 1948. The Lottery has been dramatized, televised and turned into a ballet. It is taught in high schools and colleges. (Whittier). The Lottery held many questions about traditions that have
Shirley Jackson’s choice of point of view in “The Lottery” is that of being told in the third person. The story is told more by an observer’s point of view rather than that of a participant. In “The Lottery” she illustrates how what is being done to the family members, of people in the village, is an act of pointless bloodshed. It isn’t clear as to why they carry on with the ancient rite but what is clear is that the people in the village are obedient to the past law and are unwilling to see the whole thing for what it is, senseless killing. Jackson’s third person view is crucial to the plot of the story because it allows the illumination of the fact that the villagers, led by Mr. Summers who had assumed the
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a story that shows the most shocking elements of humanity. The ending surprises the reader by coming out of nowhere, and shows the brutality that people are capable of. New Yorker Readers were shocked to the point of outrage at the time of its publishing. They were both certain that it was “perverted” and “gratuitously disagreeable,” but also that they didn’t “know what it’s about” (Franklin). Jackson herself hoped the story would “shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson). This shock is very effective, and is in part possible because of how Jackson portrays her characters. She sets the story up to shock the reader by leaving only slight hints, but also by effectively showing how the characters themselves see the event. Jackson highlights the commonplace nature of the event. She portrays the event as a dated ritual, and explains the ways that the people of the town resist it. T ending feels like a surprise because it is brutal and because the characters themselves resist understanding the ritual. Jackson makes the true meaning of the event invisible to everyone except the readers and the victims themselves.
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, the small village, at first, seems to be lovely, full of tradition, with the townspeople fulfilling their civic duties, but instead this story is bursting with contrast. The expectations that the reader has are increasingly altered. The title of this short story raises hope, for in our society the term “lottery” typically is associated with winning money or other perceived “good” things. Most people associate winning a lottery with luck, yet Jackson twists this notion around and the luck in this village is with each of the losers.