analysis the lottery

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Shirley Jackson wrote many books in her life, but she was well known by people for her story “The Lottery” (Hicks). “The Lottery” was published on June 28, 1948, in the New Yorker magazine (Schilb). The story sets in the morning of June 27th in a small town. The townspeople gather in the square to conduct their annual tradition, the Lottery. The winner of the lottery will stoned to death by the society. Although there is no main character in the story, the story develops within other important elements. There are some important elements of the story that develop the theme of the story: narrator and its point of view, symbolism, and main conflict. The story “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, argues practicing a tradition without understanding the meaning of the practice is meaningless and dangerous.
The narrator of the story and its point of view are important to understand the theme of the story. Jackson does not mention who is the narrator of the story, but it seems the narrator is a woman who is Jackson herself, and she is part of the society because she knows the townspeople’s character and the event that happens in the town. Although the narrator is part of the society, she seems to be a trustworthy narrator. She tells the story in third point of view with an objective omniscience. She does not bias to any character and describes the story based on what she sees. The point of view in the story is important because it leads the reader to think the reason why the townspeople conduct such a horrible tradition which is one part of the theme of the story. The theme might change if the narrator tells the story in different point of view because she will not tell the story in objective view.
There are two important symbols in the s...

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...onflict connects the narration and the symbolism to establish the theme of “The Lottery.” A tradition that is empty inside can be dangerous if people still continue practicing it like in Jackson’s story. The townspeople have been practicing the tradition, yet they do not understand the meaning of the tradition, and it leads them to practice a dangerous tradition.

Works Cited

Hicks, Jennifer. "Overview of 'The Lottery'." Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy, and Dana Gioia. 4th ed. Boston: Longman, 2012. 643-54. Print.
Schilb, John, and John Clifford, eds. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012. 866. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the black box for the lottery symbolizes the loyalty of the townspeople to their tradition and death.
  • Analyzes how shirley jackson's "the lottery" argues that practicing a tradition without understanding the meaning of the practice is meaningless and dangerous.
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