Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a terrify story about a small town and their traditions. The Ending of the lottery is the most shocking many of its readers have ever read. Why is it so shocking. Well Shirley jackson uses sybolism and simple narritive and her normal life to convey such a shock.
Society today sees the lottery as an easy way to win a ginormous amount of cash just by buying a little slip of paper with a combination of numbers. The irony that Shirley Jackson uses in her short story, The Lottery, is used to the extreme by not only the title being ironic, but also within the story. The lottery is seen as a way to gain cash, but the ironic part of the title is that the reader sees it and thinks that the story will be about someone winning a big prize, yet the winner is sentenced to being stoned to death. Within the story, Shirley Jackson writes about how one member of the community ultimately chooses who wins the lottery. Another ironic thing about someone chooses the winner is that one of the communities sons picked his own father to win the lottery. Linda Wagner-Martin analyzes The Lottery and its irony by writing, “Bringing in the small children as she does, from early in the story (they are gathering stones, piling them up where they will be handy, and participating in the ritual as if it were a kind of play), creates a poignance not only for the death of Tessie the mother, but for the sympathy the crowd gives to the youngest Hutchinson, little Dave. Having the child draw his own slip of paper from the box reinforces the normality of the occasion, and thereby adds to Jackson's irony. It is family members, women and children, and fellow residents who are being killed through this orderly, ritualized process. As Jackson herself once wrote, "I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village, to shock the story's
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a story littered with warnings and subtext about the dangers a submissive society can pose. While the opening is deceptively cheery and light Jackson uses an array of symbols and ominous syntax to help create the apprehensive and grim tone the story ends with. Her portrayal of the town folk as blindly following tradition represents the world during World War II when people’s failure to not mindlessly accept and heed authority lead to disastrous consequences. . Shirley Jackson uses a large array of techniques to help convey the idea that recklessly following and accepting traditions and orders can lead to disastrous consequences.
“A stone hit her on the side of the head. "It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her” (34). “The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson which, sparked controversy when published in the June 26, 1948 issue of the New Yorker. Jackson used several different literary devices to support her theme that people who don’t question tradition get what they deserve. The literary devices Jackson uses to support the theme of ‘The Lottery’ are irony, foreshadowing, and pacing.
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 first literary element of this story is the point of view, and how the writer uses a third-person narrative style to tell this story. This gives the writer the ability to give details, but not make any real judgments. When you read the story you feel as if you are there watching what is happening, looking over the shoulders of the crowd, but not able to know what the people are thinking. In this story we get an example of how the writer is detached in a way. We don’t get to know what the characters are feeling just what their actions are telling us, like when they choose to whisper instead of talking at normal volume, or how nervous they seem as the lottery progresses. This writing style leaves little if any room to get attached to a character. This however is a smart move by Jackson, because if the story was told from a villager’s point of view it could have been far less effective. When we read we just read about the events of the lottery unfolding. This narrative point of view adds to the shock factor when we find out
Following other people may have a positive or negative effect, but when it reaches a certain point where you blindly follow others it may not have a positive outcome. “The Lottery” made by Shirley Jackson is about a small community of villagers that gather together every year to perform a tradition. All of the villagers gather together and draw small slips of paper from a black wooden box, whoever draws the first slip with the black dot on it, their family has to draw first. Now all of the members of that certain family draw again, and whoever gets the black dot in that certain family must get stoned to death. The next story is called “First They Came” made and about a man named Martin Niemoller. It talks about Martin Niemoller former
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a short story widely considered to be one of the greatest dystopian works ever published. In the text, Jackson explores many implied themes including the use of scapegoats by society, the dangers of mob mentality and the consequences of society strictly adhering to tradition. Jackson’s text was clearly influenced by the Second World War that had concluded a mere three years before the date of publication. The Second World War was the largest, bloodiest war in human history. It exposed a potential for evil within mankind that had never before been seen. The Lottery is a clear parallel of the events of the Second World War, the story serves as a warning to future generations to avoid committing the mistakes of the past and does so by making extensive use of parallelism and symbolism to convey its message.
Almost every person in the world holds a set of traditions which have been established and practiced for a long period of time. However, some traditions often cause us to not see the rationality despite of the destructive nature it may have. In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, a sacrifice of one’s life becomes the “jackpot” of an annual event held in a small town. This society’s traditions have caused the people to do away with their rational thoughts and the values of their lives as they have become so stuck in their own cultural beliefs.
“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Twain). The Lottery begins during the summer. A small, seemingly normal, town is gathering to throw the annual “Lottery”. In the end, the townspeople—children included—gather around and stone the winner to death, simply because it was tradition. The story reveals how traditions can become outdated and ineffective. “I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson). As humans develop as a race, their practices should develop with them. Shirley Jackson develops the
Traditions are widespread among many different people and cultures; It is an explanation for acting without thinking. Not all traditions are a good thing, though, and blindly following them can lead to harsh consequences. The villagers in a small town in “The Lottery” gather together annually to participate in this tradition, where one person in the town is randomly chosen in a drawing to be violently stoned to death by citizens. It has been around for seventy-seven years and everyone partakes in it. People always attend, showing the importance of tradition amongst the society. However, in the short story, “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses many literary devices to show that traditions are not always meant to be followed.
Human nature is the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting that humans tend to have naturally. At the heart of “The Lottery” lies the question of whether the townspeople continue the practice due to their human nature, or if this cruel tradition leads the townspeople to continually act against their human nature. In answering that question, A.R. Coulthard clearly argues that “savagery fuels evil tradition, not vice versa”. However, Jackson never seems to make a strong statement that the nature of the
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the story conducts a “lottery” that involves the families of the town to go into a drawing. Once the drawing is done, the winner of the lottery is used as a sacrifice in the town and is pelted by stones thrown from the community, including children. Furthermore, the basis of “The Lottery” has to do with psychological problems and influence. Psychoanalysis is built upon Sigmund Freud’s theories of psychology, which asserts that the human mind is affected by their “unconscious that is driven by their desires and fears” (Brizee). Analyzing the concept of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” through a psychoanalytic lens convey how society reflects on the consciousness, how the denial of the mind can avoid the
“Every group feels strong, once it has found a scapegoat” (Mignon McLaughlin, 1913). A scapegoat is someone who is blamed for all the faults and corruptions that others have committed. In history, there are lots of scapegoat examples, the most popular being; Jesus Christ and the Jews in the Second World War. In the short story “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson used persecution and tradition to demonstrate how scapegoating justified unfair killing. Both of these aspects relate to the World War that preceded only a couple years before the story was written. The persecution was blind and done once a year as a tradition that everyone expected to happen.
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.”