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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
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.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 5th ed. Ed. Laurence Perrine. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Publishers 1998. 180-186
"The Lottery", a short story, by Shirley Jackson is a very suspenseful yet shocking read, which focus on how tragic it can be to blindly follow a tradition. The story is set in a small town, on the summer morning of June 27th. The story begins with the towns people gathering in the town square to carry out a lottery. The author explains that this is a long standing tradition in the local towns, where people gather every year to conduct a lottery. However, as the story progresses the reader come to realize that this story is not as simple and straight forward as the title suggests. Rather, it is dark and horrifying cautionary tale about repercussions of blindly following traditions and how this problem is exacerbated due to societal pressures.
A lottery has always provided a sense of hope and adventure to people, but the lottery takes on an entirely different significance in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. The story takes place in a village of roughly three hundred people. Everyone in the village gathers at the center to take part. One representative from each family comes up, to take a piece of paper from an old, black, wooden box. The Hutchinson family has the black dot; each family Hutchinson member then comes up to pick another piece of paper. Mrs. Hutchinson has the second black dot; she is made to come to the center of the circle, and she is stoned to death by the crowd. Shirley Jackson illustrates clearly the brutality in human nature. By using creative symbolism, irony and a dark, mysterious mood, the author creates an excellent reading environment and completes the story with an unanticipated twist.
However, I find those elements of the story to be consistent with the structure and style used in many Old and New Testament parables. It was Jackson's intention to avoid specific meaning, allowing her to address a variety of timeless issues with her parable-like structure. This is not an easy story to understand because it leaves so many unanswered questions such as: Why does the lottery exist? Is the “winner” merely stoned or stoned to death? This forces the reader to think carefully about the story and reach their own conclusions. "The Lottery" is a modern-day fable addressing a variety of themes, including the danger of blindly following tradition and the dark side of human nature. This story demands a reaction from its readers and usually gets one, which is why this story must continue to be studied in college English
Winning the lottery can be rewarding with money, gifts, and more. However, in the short story, 'The Lottery', written by Shirley Jackson, the lottery is something that people shouldn’t participate in. The short story takes place in a small town with an approximate number of three hundred residents. The lottery takes place every year on June 27 where the townspeople gather up in the middle of the town in order to participate in the lottery. We do not find out until the end of the story that the winning family member is sentenced to death in an unusual way. Jackson creates a story filled with symbolism, irony, grim reality, and a ritualized tradition that masks evil, which ultimately demonstrated how people blindly follow tradition.
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is an unconventional story about a village annual tradition. The story narrates how villagers gather to celebrate the lottery. Although “The Lottery” is a yearly custom, the way it is setup, carried out, and the grand prize makes “The Lottery” unrealistic.
The idea of winning a lottery connected with luck, happiness, and anticipation of good things. In Shirley Jackson’s story, “The Lottery” this is not the case. The irony of the story is that the winner of the lottery gets stoned to death by everyone else in the town. The story is very effective because it examines certain aspects of human nature. Jackson illustrates how human troubles and evils are expected to grow far worse in this age. Attached to a tradition so firmly and blindly the townspeople decide whether they will choose humanity and love, between an overwhelming culture laced with fear, and selfishness. Jackson has portrayed a message in “The Lottery” which, is following tradition blindly. Every year, the town’s people gather in the
Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery, is about an annual lottery that happens in a small town in New England. The story is an American classic that deals with the realities of living in a traditional rural society. This community depends on nature (rain) to ensure an adequate life and the beliefs and attitudes of people who live and die by things outside their control. A salient theme throughout this story is the repercussion of traditions and customs. Jackson’s writing style is effective through her use of an outside point of view as well as symbolism that exposes relationships between people in different communities. Jackson’s stories present her personal opinions on how she views society.
The story, ‘The Lottery’ written by Shirley Jack is one of the most shocking and poignant stories ever in the history of current American fiction. Generally, the word lottery can be expressed as something which is positive with an exciting reward (Jackson, 2008). However, according to the author, a lottery is a barbaric ritual whose outcome is a death by the villagers. Fiddled by the nature of the topic, the reader is shocked by Jackson’s expression of violence and inhumanity in the current society. Despite the story’s drawback, the tale has attracted the attention with author’s portray of structure, description style, themes and organization and prescribe for study in different colleges and schools (Jackson, 2008). The author portrays a unique way to pass his message to the society, examine real challenges and entertaining as well.
Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: HarperCollins, 989.