The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

1468 Words6 Pages
Today’s American Literature tends to put more of a realistic tone to writing than in previous time periods. Writers point out what society as a whole likes to pretend does not exist, and were often frowned upon for doing so. In Shirley Jacksons “The Lottery” she does exactly that by portraying themes like the inhumanity of violence and the tendency people have to follow traditions even when they do not agree with them. In a short biography about Jackson it says “The story was met with an avalanche of feedback, including hate mail and cancelled subscriptions. Many folks interpreted the story as an attack on the values of small towns America” (“The Shirley Jackson Page at American Literature”). This negative reaction is how most people…show more content…
The literature has become more like a borderland in the sense that it is an undecided area, to which we are not sure how far we can push. In the dictionary the definition is exactly that “an uncertain, intermediate district, space, or condition” (Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online). What a person feels morally right about can really define the type of person they are. In this story no one sees anything wrong with what they are doing except the person who actually “wins,” and she doesn’t exactly see anything wrong with it she just does not want to die. This whole town does not realize what is right and wrong, or if they did they would not be sticking to this tradition let alone giving “little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles” (5). No matter what is officially declared to be right, these people should recognize the craziness of what they are exactly doing. No matter how important the ritual is officially, it is outdated and it is even stated that “Some places have already quit lotteries” (4). The only person who is so stuck on following the ritual is the oldest man in town Mr. Warner who feels like if the lottery is not done they will not have any good crops (3). For the reader this is of course an easy decision to make, but it is

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