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The Effective Use of Common Experience in The Lottery and Araby - Essay Example

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amuel Johnson’s statement that “Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature" ("Preface to Shakespeare," p. 210) undoubtedly holds true in the case of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and James Joyce’s Araby…
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The Effective Use of Common Experience in The Lottery and Araby
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The Effective Use of Common Experience in The Lottery and Araby

Download file to see previous pages... Both writers use recognizable situations and characters as effective tools, but in vastly different ways. Jackson uses typical characters and settings to deceive the reader into a complacence which is rudely shattered by the unexpected ending. On the other hand, in Araby, Joyce contrasts the commonplace situations and characteristics of the secondary characters with the uncommon emotions of the protagonist. In both cases, the reader is able to identify with the commonplace characters and situations in the narratives: this is the major contributing factor that has made The Lottery and Araby stand the test of time. Jackson sets her short story in an ordinary, commonplace village, and peoples it with typical, recognizable characters, with whom the reader can easily identify. This effectively serves to intensify the uncommon horror of the ritualistic stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson at the climax. The characters are reassuringly familiar: Mr. Summer, whose “wife was a scold,” and Old Man Warner who shows the senior citizens’ resistance to change. The casual gathering of the people in the village square in the “warmth of a full-summer day” , the children at play, the everyday conversations taking place: the children talking of school, the women gossiping, the men “speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes”, the cheerful banter surrounding Mrs. Hutchinson’s late arrival – all these are shared experiences that lull the reader into complacency. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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