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Central Themes of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson - Book Report/Review Example

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The objective of this review is to critically discuss the short story entitled "The Lottery" written by Shirley Jackson. The writer of the report attempts to analyze elements such as character, plot, mood, and theme in order to examine Jackson's piece of literary work…
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Central Themes of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
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Download file to see previous pages The events of the story unfold in the context of a deeply-entrenched tradition, which the townspeople respect and abide by, even without the knowledge of why they do so. By detailing the horrific elements of this village’s practice, Jackson provides a stunning critique of the common American ritual. Using these elements in this way, “The Lottery” touches on themes of hypocrisy, tradition, class and society, and the family, all of which play a vital element in the unfolding of the plot. Having masterly crafted the story to emphasize such themes throughout her short story, Jackson underscores them all by constructing an ominous mood that follows the characters, and their actions, to the conclusion of the narrative.
This ominous mood begins in the short story when the reader can finally see that the lottery is not for anything positive, or beneficial, to the person who wins it. That is how people usually view lotteries: as something whereby a person can win something. But nobody “wins” Jackson’s lottery, except maybe those who were not chosen. It becomes abundantly clear that the lottery is an undesirable force when Tessie Hutchinson first objects to her husband’s drawing of the unlucky piece of paper. At that point, Mrs. Delacroix tries to reason with Tessie that Mr. Hutchinson’s selection was fair. As the story moves closer to its climax, Tessie continues to object and protest. As the story climbs its rising action toward that culmination, the mood becomes ominous. The reader is forced to question and keep reading about what is going to happen. Further complications are added when the members of the Hutchinson family are forced to draw amongst themselves, even the small children. At this point, the situation goes from bad to worse, and the mood becomes more sinister than ever. The reader is forced to question what will happen to whoever is selected from the Hutchinson family.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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