Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948. The story takes place in a village square of a town on June 27th. The author does not use much emotion in the writing to show how the barbaric act that is going on is look at as normal. This story is about a town that has a lottery once a year to choose who should be sacrificed, so that the town will have a plentiful year for growing crops. Jackson has many messages about human nature in this short story. The most important message she conveys is how cruel and violent people can be to one another. Another very significant message she conveys is how custom and tradition can hold great power over people. Jackson also conveys the message of how men treat women as objects.

The primary message that Jackson shows in “The Lottery” is that people can be involved with such a violent act and think nothing of it. In the story all the people are happy, “they stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed.”(244) All the people in the town gather together without question to perform this horrible act of murder. All the people think nothing of this terrible act. Mr. Summers the man that runs the whole lottery says, “guess we better get started, get this over with, so’s we can go back to work.”(245) This illustrates how they think of the lottery as an everyday occurrence. Old Man Warner says, “lottery in June, c...
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