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Essay on Shirley Jackson's The Lottery - Message of Social Responsibility

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The Message of Social Responsibility in The Lottery

Often, we paint a fairytale view of life for ourselves and our children. Sometimes, an author paints a frightfully realistic picture of life and forces us to reconsider the fairytale. In Shirley Jackson’s story, "The Lottery," a town each year conducts a lottery in which the winner or looser, in this case, is stoned to death by his or her own neighbors. The tradition is supposed to uphold social structure within the town, but in order to comprehend the true meaning of the story you must be able to read between the lines. "The Lottery" is a story about a town that has let its traditions go too far. Also, it is clear that the story contains eye-opening facts that lead me to believe that the author’s intentions were not to write a horror story, but rather cry to all to stop and realize we have problems that we can and should approach, that can make a difference in many people’s lives in our society.

The author states that the lottery is conducted every year in the spring. The flowers are blooming and the birds are singing, but this warm town quickly becomes a gloomy, overcast setting for a satanic event. This horrifying ritual ends in bloodshed and death. In our society today, there are large cities which have beautiful parks and people usually keep them clean and pretty th...

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...lottery, and that could lead to many more deaths of innocent people. The fact that there are places in the world today that immoral actions occur, means that we, as responsible citizens, are not doing our job. The people of America must wake up and learn to stand up for what they believe in.

Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed Sylvan Barnet. New York: HarperCollins, 1986. 862-868

McQuain, Michelle. "Change Only When Affected." Ode to Friendship & Other Essays. Connie Bellamy, Virginia Beach: VWC, 1997.

Walden, John. "Critical Essays by John Walden." Electric Library. http://www.elibrary.com/id/230/270/lid, 1996.
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