Analysis Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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Brandon Koscinski David Nackley EN 102 2/11/2014 The Lottery by Shirley Jackson The story The Lottery begins describing a seemingly normal village in which an event known only as “the lottery” takes place on June 27th (Jackson 1). In the introduction, the story talks about how in other towns the lottery takes two days whereas in this smaller community it can all be done by noon dinner (Jackson 1). In the start of the story it seems as though this is just a normal small town community where the locals gather for events – but the events soon show their head and reveal this villages dark traditions which first shows when boys are gathering stones in the square that are reserved for the event (Jackson 1). After the town is described, some of the townspeople are introduced such as Mr. Summers who is in charge of the activity as well as many of the other town activities (Jackson 1). As the story progresses it shows how strong the tradition is in this particular village – not only do the people follow this ritual, but, they do not even change the box because the tradition that the box carries from the original villagers (Jackson 1). At the same time, however, the use of paper instead of wood chips shows that though tradition may be strong, growth justifies change (Jackson 1). Even throughout the description of the event it is evidently clear that this village is rooted in its ways and their tradition is solidified (unless absolutely necessary for change). The story then progresses to the event, otherwise known as the lottery which evidently takes place at the center of the village. As the event starts, everyone convenes in the middle of the town and the only person who is not there is Clyde Dunbar whose wife is forced to take two sl... ... middle of paper ... ...ey are murdering people they had grown up with, the tradition dominates their life and is one of the only things that they know therefore it is necessary to uphold. Another theme is sex roles which is evident in the subordination of the women throughout the story. The first place that this subordination is evident is when examining the power structure of the village, the hierarchy in which Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves are at the top. One of the only reasons that Summers is held up as this authority is because he has the time that is vested because he does not devote that time to his “scold wife” (Jackson 2). Another example of this is the subordination of Tessie by her husband while she tries to defend him from stoning. Though she is trying to defend his life, Bill shows he is still the dominating force and puts himself above Tessie before he is killed (Jackson 3).

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the story the lottery describes a seemingly normal village in which an event known only as "the lottery" takes place on june 27th.
  • Analyzes how the town is rooted in its ways and their tradition is solidified. the use of paper instead of wood chips shows that growth justifies change.
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