Essay on The Horror of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Essay on The Horror of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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Winning vast amounts of money can make anyone slaphappy, but unfortunately this type of wager won’t be discussed in Shirley Jacksons “The Lottery.” Jackson catches the reader’s attention by describing a typical day by using words such as “blossoming, clear and sunny skies” to attract the reader into believing a calm and hopeful setting which eventually turns dark. In this short story Jackson tells a tale of a sinister and malevolent town in America that conforms to the treacherous acts of murder in order to keep their annual harvest tradition alive. Jackson exposes the monstrosity of people within this society in this chilling tale. She allows the reader’s to ponder and lead them to believe that the lottery is actually a good thing; till she implements foreshadowing, to hint at the dreadfulness behind the lottery and its meaning. My goal in this paper is to discuss why Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a portrayed as a horror story, and the importance the townspeople used to glorify ritualistic killings, to appease to an unseeable force in return of good harvest for the upcoming year.
To follow through I will discuss the importance Jackson placed on the protagonist Tessie Hutchinson. She was seen as someone who is consumed by hypocrisy and weakness. Mrs. Hutchinson is aware that the lottery is wrong but does nothing to eradicate it or stand on her own. To her demise the lottery’s lesson is that the more artificial you are, the more of a target you become. Sadly the lottery became the death of Mrs. Hutchinson, when she was chosen as the winner of the annual event.
To start, Shirley Jackson speaks about the importance of the black box and the relevance it has on the townspeople. The black box is seen as a symbol of fear and subserv...


... middle of paper ...


... short story as a town filled with hardworking people who contribute to the community and their families. But once a year these kind and lovely towns people turn into complete monsters. It points out the dangers of following a tradition that is set out to kill their fellow citizens, even though they themselves have spend time getting to know one another and creating relationships. This ritual in this society favors no one and allows villagers to pick apart and kill without having any remorse. Unfortunately blindly following along can have you killed in the end, giving life to the all time quote, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you will be criticized [for it] anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt.


Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E. Gardner. Boston: New York: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2013. 242-249. Print.



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