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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson - Essay Example

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Summary
Shirely Jackson’s short story, ‘The Lottery,’ has achieved solemn attention from its readers as well as literary critics and captured the status of a prominent work in the field of American fiction. The author has developed the plot through the life of village people who…
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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Download file to see previous pages... The story reveals the misguided beliefs of the villagers and their specific customs. The day, in which the lottery was conducted, Mr. Summers, an old man in the village, gives guidance for the villagers. He arrives in the village square carrying a black wooden box with slips of paper in it and Mr. Graves, a young man in the town, follows Mr. Summer, carrying a three- legged stool. People keep a distance from the box and the reader can see that the villagers show their willingness as well as their hesitations towards the rituals. Amelia Tibbet observes that “Basically, the story revolves around the misguided belief that if the villagers sacrifice one of their own to what readers are led to believe is a Rain God, then they will have good crops the next year” (Tibbett). The villagers believe that if they fail to follow the tradition of the lottery, they will face some tough consequences like starvation, poverty and drought.
Before the lottery is conducted, various lists had to be made, such as the heads of households, heads of eminent families, and the members of each family. The old man keeps and classifies all the details and begins the lottery. From the words of the old citizens in the town, the reader can see that there had been a ritual solute which the officials of the lottery used to practice. They had addressed each and every person who come up and draw from the box. Examining the procedures, the reader can see “there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery, a perfunctory, tuneless chant that had been rattled off duly each year” (Jackson). After the drawing, the winner is stoned to death by the villagers, and their activity exposes their superstition and brutality. Here, the modern reader may feel the situation as absolutely ironic because they have positive expectations ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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