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Shirley Jackson's The Lottery - Essay Example

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The purpose of this paper is to explore “The Lottery” and The Lottery, and analysing which medium is more effective in portraying the nature of the tale. It will also cover the differences and similarities between the film and written versions to uncover the reasons behind these differences and the effects that they have on the viewer or reader…
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Shirley Jacksons The Lottery
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"Shirley Jackson's The Lottery"

Download file to see previous pages The plot of “The Lottery” and The Lottery differ slightly. The plotline in “The Lottery” revolves around a yearly important event, which occurs on June 27. Everyone assembles in the normal town, as for a typical local festival, but in this case a sacrifice is to be made to ensure a good harvest for the coming year. Each family have to draw a slip at random from the all-important black box, and that which is marked denotes the family from which the sacrifice will be taken. Each family member then draws again, highlighting the specific person to be stoned to death; in this case, Mrs. Hutchinson.
In The Lottery, this yearly event is still occuring, which the protagonist Jason returning to the town (which he left when he was very small) with his father’s ashes. It is discovered that Jason is one of the Hutchinson’s referred to in the short story version. The plot of the film adaptation is largely based around flashbacks in which Jason remembers the significance of the gravestones, which all bear the same date at death in yearly intervals. As the townsfolk are so desperate to keep the tradition going, it is difficult for Jason to expose the truth; he winds up mentally ill.
Perhaps the reason that both “The Lottery” and The Lottery are so chilling for American readers and viewers is because it is set within a typical small American town of around 300 residents. Additionally, Jackson effectively mixes the conventions of the small town with the outlandish lottery ritual; for example, the residents “in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o'clock” (Jackson, 1948, p1), establishing the normalcy of the town. This is used in juxtaposition with the ritual that would not be familiar to readers of the New Yorker or viewers of NBC. In The Lottery, too, the town to which Jason returns is extremely normal and could even be described as idyllic despite the snippets of memory it brings back. The main similarity between the two media used to tell the story of the lottery is that they revolve around many of the same themes. Perhaps the main theme is of ritual. The lottery in both “The Lottery” and The Lottery are fiercely protected rituals that hold a large importance to the townsfolk. There are a number of customs that must be observed before the actual process of drawing the lottery must begin; the “swearing-in of Mr. Summers” (Jackson, 1948, p7), and “a recital of some sort” (Jackson, 1948, p7), for example. The film and print versions also show that the local people are fiercely protective of their lottery. The townsfolk also seem to follow a herd mentality, as there seems to be no real explanation for the lottery or the sacrifice, but everyone continues to follow along with the practice as usual. Despite this, the ritual itself is unimportant in many ways as “the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones” (Jackson, 1948, p71). This quote is important in many ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Symbolism in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
It is seemingly a happy event, however, what starts out for the reader as an anticipation of excitement turns into horror and then disgust when it is discovered that the lottery is actually taking place to make the yearly decision of which townsperson is to be stoned to death by the rest of the townspeople.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Conservatism in Jackson's the Lottery
The Lottery denounces the pitfalls of conservatism, where it is a political ideology that opposes social and cultural changes, due to its deference for traditional beliefs and practices. The story shows conservative political ideology, where human nature is conceived as unchanging, but in this story, it is also perceived as evil; the idea of freedom is not possible, when it contradicts conventions; the vision of a good life is paradoxically materialistic and moralistic; the agent or the conservatives act in line with traditions; and the obstacles to their goals are liberal changes.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Analysis of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
The driving force behind this belief seems to the anticipated goodness they acquire because of this Lottery. It has the basis of tradition only and is away from reasonable thinking. Even a small child in the town is wildly engaging in the act of killing a human being to keep the tradition blindly.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Shirley Jacksons 'The Lottery
The writer successfully draws attention to the brutality, the society exhibit in the name of tradition and beliefs, through the characters and their dialogues. A close analysis of the story discloses the following main themes in the story.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
It is most popularly known as being a chilling tale of conformity gone mad. The initial response to the story was negative which was very surprising for Jackson and also the story was banned in the South Africa Union. Although since that time the story is accepted and known to be one of the classic American short stories and it received great amount of critical appreciation and also media adaptations.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
An Examination of Community Acceptance in Shirley Jacksons The Lottery
When these causes disappear, the rituals often continue unabated and now unquestioned, having already been accepted by the community. Jackson portrays the desensitization inherent in this process by carrying it to the extreme of a socially endorsed sacrifice.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
Part of it is the Plot Summary intended to clarify and introduce the points that the critic is presenting. Its analysis is focused on the devices used to develop the plot such as: irony, foreshadowing, juxtaposition, and figurative language. The essay also illustrates the theme like: selfishness of the individual is shown in grotesque caricature, dangers of conformity are painfully obvious, and this conformity leads to brutality.
6 Pages(1500 words)Book Report/Review
Comparison Contrast essay of Paul's Case by Willa Cather and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Both stories give us haunting examinations of the outcomes for individuals when society's expectations force unquestioned loyalty and obedience. We also get a glimpse at the morbid decisions people can make in trying to fulfill unrealistic expectations of themselves to become what they believe society rewards.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Shirley Jacksons The Lottery: How Life Affects Literature
As stated recently by Jonathan Letham, it was "Likely the most controversial piece of fiction ever published in the New Yorker, resulting in hundreds of canceled subscriptions" (1997: np). The controversy derived from the story's setting, the story's use of a familiar community event, and the use of that community event to critique ritual and outdated behaviors.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery
The Lottery is a gruesome depiction of modern life. It is a story that affords an uncomfortable and unforgettable shock of recognition, which makes it a stand out piece of literature. In the story. the villagers are caught in a social trap (which could have been avoided with enough motivation).
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
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