The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

3156 Words13 Pages
The story of “The Lottery” is a dark tale that gives the reader a window into a community blighted by an tradition propagated by ignorance; sending a message that reverberates with many events, ideas, and observations throughout the annals of time. Written by the great Shirley Jackson, this fable exemplifies how delusion and illogical thinking led to the terrifying and morose ending of Tessie Hutchinson's existence. Shirley Jackson was well known in her lifetime, but not necessarily as the literary master she is hailed as today. Jackson had great interest in the culture of witchcraft, and deeply incorporated this knowledge into one of her first short stories: “The Lottery.” While this influence greatly improved the haunted tone of the…show more content…
Shirley Jackson saw these crimes against humanity, and wanted to express how questioning nothing in your society can quickly unravel it until there is no humanity left. A society without empathy will surely burn to the ground as those with power stoke the fires with the weak as kindling. While the villagers in “The Lottery” may not have a corrupt mastermind behind their sacrificial tradition, the citizens display a similar form of the psychosis to that of Nazis; casting out their humanity to do their “job.” In fact, Mrs. Jackson wrote this short story only three years after World War II. Perhaps she felt it was her obligation to identify the root cause of the Nazi movement, and how its morals may still be perpetuated in the subtle ways. The limited rationality that these groups of people both display are completely fueled by faith built on a foundation of lies. Blind faith is what drives these people to do horrible deeds. It is their lack of self-awareness and the complete surrender of skepticism that allowed these despicable tragedies to come to their fruition. They've accepted that they know all there is to know about the world, and the terrible deeds that they preform only solidify their disposition. Published in the late 1940s, the cultural relevance this story portrayed was undeniably the Nazi party and their indefensible attempt to purge the world of any humans different from

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