Lottery - Essay Example

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“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a short story depicting the American life of a contemporary small town. The short story was first published in the year 1948 through The New Yorker. This short story is considered to be one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature…
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Download file to see previous pages This story was later taught to the middle school and high school students. The story talks about an American town which has an annual ritual known as “The lottery”. It is based on a life of a small village with 300 people living in it. All the residents become extremely excited along with nervous on the 27th June. Children get together and gather stones and all the adults assemble and become united for their great annual event which is linked with their local tradition which is about practicing to ensure that a good harvest is done that year (Jackson, Reg S, 1983). The process of the lottery starts by the head of each family moving forward and drawing a small slip of paper from a black box. This time Bill Hutchinson and his family were picked for drawing a small slip of paper coming out of the black box. Tessie Hutchinson who is the wife of Bill got the market slip (Jackson, S 1982). As per the process and tradition all the villages that have stone will begin to surround Tessie and finally Tessie was stoned to death by the time the story ends. Tessie knew that the situation was extremely unfair but sadly she could do anything about it. The tradition basically is that the lottery preparations start a night before, the task of making the paper slips is assigned to Mr. Graves and Mr. Summers who need to note down the list of all the families. Once the names are properly written down, the slips are kept in a black box which is safely places in the coal company for a night. Everything is closed till 10 am so that everyone can participate in the lottery tradition which takes place around the lunch time. For the first round, men who are drawing the slips need to be over sixteen years and then later on, in the second round the families draw slip no matter whatever age they are of. After the slips were picked, they were allowed to fly off the wind followed by the most brutal act of human sacrifice which this name Tessie Hutchinson had to give. Initially when the novel was published, it was considered to be an extremely controversial novel. The readers were not ready to accept the brutal and cruel reality which was explained through an implicit work of Shirley Jackson. The rituals and the traditions which were explained in the novel about the America’s small town were not something people wanted to accept or openly admit (Jackson, S, Joyce C. Oates, 2010). This cruel story is about the event of lottery which ends up in taking life of poor and innocent people without any solid reason or justification. All the villagers as per the short story gathered at the square to participate in the lottery which was conducted by Mr. Summer. All the children arrive first and gather stones as their parents ask them to do so. Tessie Hutchinson unaware of her sad and unfair future arrives late and starts talking to Mrs. Delacroix. As soon as the process begins and Hutchinson family is selected, Tessie starts protesting and thus the readers here understand that though the name says “The Lottery” the story is not about the family wining money or something big, it is surely something unpleasant and something which no one would want. After the family is selected in the first round, the second round makes the entire family to pick slips. There were five members in Hutchinson ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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In this short story, the title alone is a play in irony. We expect that the winner of the lottery is the “lucky one”. However, the ending of the story reveals the opposite. Jackson is very effective in putting her readers in suspense. What seems to be a pleasant story turns out to have a very grim ending.
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