Essay about Desensitization of Murder in The Lottery

Essay about Desensitization of Murder in The Lottery

Length: 1068 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

On the Desensitization of Murder in The Lottery

When someone is a part of or witnesses any one thing enough times, that person will become desensitized to it, whether it is gradually accepting abortion, homosexuality or anything else for that matter. People can even become accustomed to violent murder if it is ingrained into their lives enough. Take the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Officers that were partly responsible for the death of millions) The Lithuanians showed them how to murder women and children, and they became accustomed to it (Cesarani 165). Shirley Jackson most certainly takes this "desensitization" into account when she writes "The Lottery." The characters in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" are so accustomed to their tradition of systematic, brutal murder, that they no longer feel any remorse for their murderous actions. The villagers carry out the lottery very nonchalantly, belittling human life itself.
The villagers think of the lottery as a chore, rather than a slaughter. The lottery to them is nothing more than another errand, a task that they need to fulfill once a year. They dread the lottery not because one of them will be killed, but because it consumes their valuable time and energy. They seem to forget the importance of the life they take away every year, instead complaining about how long and drawn-out the process or taking away said life is. The director of the lottery even wants it over quickly. ?Well now,? Mr. Summers said soberly, ?guess we better get started, get this over with, so?s we can go back to work?? (Jackson, 239) This statement shows that the people no longer care about the life that will soon be ended, but that they have work to do, and the lottery is in their way of finishing it. Moreover, ...


... middle of paper ...


...these people so much that they would turn a deaf ear to the final pleas for help of their own people.
In conclusion, we as people can be desensitized to anything, even something as awful as murder. Philadelphia Journalist John Smallwood put it best when he said: Our desensitization to murder has become frightening. (Smallwood, 1) Shirley Jackson repeatedly shows this desensitization people have with murder through the villagers in ?The Lottery.?

---------------------
Works Cited


1.) David Cesarani. The Final Solution: Origins and Implementations. London: Routledge, 1992.

2.) ?On The Lottery.? 123Helpme.com, 24 April 2008. https://www.123Helpme.com/view.asp?id=41093.

3.) John Smallwood. Terribly Routine. Nov. 28, 2007. Philadelphia Daily News. Philadelphia, 2007.


Primary Source:
Shirley Jackson. The Lottery 1948, New York: The New Yorker

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Tradition Is an Evil Dictator in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Tradition is an evil dictator. Tradition can be simple or complex. Tradition has the power to force someone to do something or not do something. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, the reader gets an uneasy feeling that tradition dictates everything. Jackson makes it obvious that this village is run completely on tradition and that everyone fears change. One-way to ensure that the tradition of the lottery is continued, the children participate. The children are the first to assemble then the rest to the village....   [tags: village, ritual, power]

Strong Essays
551 words (1.6 pages)

Human Sacrifice vs. Ritual Murder in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

- Imagine this; it is 9am, the sun is out and even though the children are playing , but before the day is done, someone will find themselves the winner of the lottery. However, it is not the lottery that most are familiar with. In 1988 author Judy Oppenheimer conducted an interview with author Shirley Jackson, the author of ' The Lottery' . In this interview Shirley explained why she wrote the short story in the following excerpt ; " I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives " (Oppenheimer 1988...   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Strong Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Inhumane Acts of Society Illustrated in Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery” shows the reader that the human race will do any horrible act for success, in this case holding a town lottery where the winner is stoned to death in the towns square in hopes of a bountiful corn crop come during harvest time. The lottery is a tradition held in the town annually on June 27 and is done right as the corn is ready to become fruitful. Even in the day and age where technology is used for farming (tractors, plows) to till and harvest the land, this is a communal tradition that cannot be broken....   [tags: The Lottery]

Strong Essays
964 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Family and Tradition in The Lottery

- Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” published in 1948 takes place in a small village in New England. Upon first reading it would seem as though the lottery that took place in the village was a family friendly tradition that had been carried on for many years. However upon a closer look, it seems as if “family friendly” could be the wrong term to use to describe the lottery due to the nature of what takes place during this tradition. So, the question stands, is the lottery really a family friendly tradition in the village....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Strong Essays
1414 words (4 pages)

Essay The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

- An understanding, of Jackson’s life and times may serve to illuminate motive and meaning, thus yielding further appreciation of this work. Shirley Jackson was born 1919, in the time of the “Lost Generation”. While attending Syracuse University, she met Stanley Edgar Hyman, a classmate, Jewish intellectual numismatist and literary critic whom she married in 1940. With the War’s end in 1946, publication of “the Lottery” in 1948, and her marriage to a Jewish intellectual it seems likely that news of the Holocaust would have influenced her writing....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Strong Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

Modern Entertainment or Desensitization? Essay

- On April 20th 1999, Columbine High School became under attack. The two male shooters, Eric Harris, and Dylan Kelbod killed fifteen people and injured twenty-one others. This event is known as the worst mass murder on a high school campus. Following the event later sparked questions, such as gun control, bullying, and the influence of violent digital media, as to why this this tragic event happened. Since this event others like it, such as the murder of twenty-seven at Sandy Hook Elementary, have occurred....   [tags: Murder, Bullying, Psicological disorders]

Strong Essays
1346 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

- Having read Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1948) several times now; the biggest thing I've learned is that just because something is tradition, that doesn't make it right. In our lives it's easy to get in the habit of doing things because that's how our parent's or grandparent's did it. It is important to make sure we are in God's word, examining our actions to make sure that they line up with what God wants of us. The Lottery is a story filled with rituals and traditions. The problem with traditions is we will often continue in them without even knowing why we do them to begin with....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Strong Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Twain). The Lottery begins during the summer. A small, seemingly normal, town is gathering to throw the annual “Lottery”. In the end, the townspeople—children included—gather around and stone the winner to death, simply because it was tradition. The story reveals how traditions can become outdated and ineffective. “I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson)....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Strong Essays
1157 words (3.3 pages)

Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essays

- Everything may not be what it seems in Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery”. Within the story there are many reoccurring themes, ranging from the townspeople inability to establish bonds to the Jackson’s displaying how easily humans will engage in behavior that is otherwise frowned upon once given an excuse. The most prominent of these themes is the loyalty the townspeople hold towards various items and rituals in their lives. The townspeople hold the utmost loyalty towards their tradition of the lottery....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Strong Essays
1346 words (3.8 pages)

Analysis of Narrative Perspective in the Lottery Essay

- "The Lottery" utilizes an objective third-person perspective to create suspense and foreshadow the ending. It begins by introducing a village and its people on a "clear and sunny" morning, "with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day" (NA, 781), with people finishing their tasks in order to gather for an annual town lottery. The narrator describes the community in a manner similar to that of an observant visitor. When the children leave school for the summer, with the boys gathering stones and the girls talking aside them, the reader is comforted by the light-hearted atmosphere of the village....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Free Essays
451 words (1.3 pages)