“The Lottery” is the story of a town that holds an important lottery every June 7th.A date that is very special to the people in the town because it coincides with their crop season and unless the lottery ritual happens every year,the townsfolk feared that they would have a very bad crop season for the year…
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That is the main reason why the lottery happens every year although not everyone truly looks forward to it. This research paper takes a critical look at this story to establish how the writer uses imagery and other devices to communicate the central theme of the danger of blindly following customs. These exposes underlying backwardness and hypocrisy with which the administrative authority run its affairs (Hattenhauer, p.171). It goes further to draw comparisons and contrasts between Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Jane Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” focusing on the main characters that are both females living in a male dominated and conservative societies. They symbolize change as they are the ones out to change how things happen by their actions and words. “The Lottery” The friendly tone that Jackson uses to write the story and the way that she describes the days’ events leading up to the lottery draw actually manages to initially hide the darkness that is actually represented by the lottery (Smith, p.170). No doubt that not a single person in the town ever looked forward to the lottery draws every year because nobody wants to end up being pelted to death with stones just because your name was drawn out of a box. Before we establish the kind of lottery to be done, the preliminary preparations does not depict any kind of violence to give the image of a typically organized society. The man in charge of the process is very shabby and carries a black box that has been used for a very long time without being replaced; this depicts this tradition as an old custom that has no place in the modern society. According to Smith (p.117), the lottery as a practice feeds the blood lust of the villagers and the hypocrisy of the practice. In fact, it could also represent a study of the human psyche that shows how nobody truly knows his neighbor and how mundane activities could actually hold an evil intention behind it. The event is organized in a very shambolic manner with pieces of paper used to write the residents’ name for selection purposes. These events were organized in order to connect with the gods and ancestors for favour of blessings and abundant harvests. The writer however punches holes in the exercise even saying that these people did not even have an idea why they were taking part. They preserve this archaic tradition because it was passed down generations but no factual explanation of when and how it was started. According to Showalter (p.411), the lottery practice in the town itself presents society’s weakness and their ties traditions that they continue to practice even though everyone has already forgotten why the tradition started in the first place. Never mind the fact that they continue to practice legalized murder just because the society is afraid of what might happen if they actually stop the practice of murdering a person from the town every year as an offering for an excellent harvest. I find it hard to believe that nobody in the town questioned the reason for the lottery and its outcome. Even harder to fathom is why the townspeople pretend to be excited by the lottery when it is not something that normal thinking people would look forward for annual participation (Duffield, p.62). It can't just truly be all about not wanting to ruffle any feathers when it came to townspeople participation in the event. Why would somebody be afraid of being rejected by their neighbors for not wanting to participate in a bloodbath year after year? No. This was a town that rejected change and the disruption of traditions for some reason. The lottery ends in murder committed annually in a very inhuman way; the
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The paper talks about a variety of symbols and themes in Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery.” There are many speculations of the story by many different literary critics. The story is still chilling because it does point out that human nature can do a variety of things that are not always nice, and that under pressure, they can hurt others easily.
Montresor and Fortunato are the two most important characters of the story and Montresor seeks revenge on Fortunato for an insult. The character of Fortunato displays pride in the story and ultimately as seen in innumerable stories proves fatal for him and leads to his downfall.
Nevertheless this short story is said to speak about important matters in society through a very simplistic manner. It tells the story of a small town where only a few villagers lived. Interestingly, it is filled with a strange tradition to share. The villagers were to have a lottery that day with families represented by the fathers.
There are two ways in which the story shows elements of things that were going on in the time period it was written. The first of these is a reflection of the Womens Movement, which was starting to become more wide-spread and which questioned traditional views. The
They children seem to feel as if they dont deserve to be free. The children demonstrate a restraint which is uncharacteristic of children. The story demonstrates that their minds are preoccupied with the effects of work and reproof that they receive
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.
12 Angry Men and The Lottery “12 Angry Men”, produced in 1957, is one of a kind movie through its thematic display of how stereotyping, prejudice, racism including other behaviours could hinder communication resulting to catastrophic results (Lumet). The movie emphasizes the importance of critical thinking by an individual instead of making decisions based on groups.
It is evident from the study that Jackson’s ideas in both stories are to inform people that evils in the society settings are real and need to be addressed before they cause more damages. This seems to be a reality that has been taking place in the society for many years, and it can be phrased as a tradition in the case of the lottery, that no one has bothered to question.
While it is a simple story, with a straight forward story line, and not long in length, its subject matter touches on some primitive part of the human makeup that no matter how grisly the events of the story are, they still stir the senses of readers. Not many can ever forget the story once they have read it even though it is clearly fictional, and not really very believable.
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper
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