The Lottery, By Janet M. Ball 's Analysis Of Shirley Jackson Essays

The Lottery, By Janet M. Ball 's Analysis Of Shirley Jackson Essays

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An author’s contributions to the world of literature are many times welcomed as a brilliant piece of work or a genius accomplishment. However, during the life of Shirley Jackson, her stories were many times received poorly due to their dark nature or their pedestrian humor. Even her most famous work, “The Lottery”, was met with outrage and criticism by Americans and literary critics. During her time, horror and humor were seen as minor writings that no one took much notice of. In Janet M. Ball’s analysis of Shirley Jackson, she states that, “Because Jackson chose to handle unusual topics, such as psychosis and ghostly apparitions, some literary critics relegated her to minor status.” (1). Even though she was disregarded during her own time, “The Lottery” remains a staple in her career and continues to be a prominent example of her horror legacy.
Her life is one way you can start formulating theories behind the themes and subjects in her works. She dropped out of college due to depression that would affect her for her entire life. This contributed to her agoraphobia and consistent depressive state. Many would say that these afflictions darkened her thinking and influenced her literary works. Along with her husband’s affair, asthma, and arthritis, it is no surprise that many of her most notable works contain a dark and depressive element. Despite her physical and mental conditions, her husband and four children provided her with a somewhat stable family unit that also had an influence on her writings. Her humorous stories were many times based on her own family. While those stories aren’t valued now like her horror stories, they reflected the joy she found in her family and were enjoyed by many during her time. Referring to her ...


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...eflect her own polarized life and her struggled with depression and ailments. While humor wasn’t what made her famous, but it allows her readers to witness another side to her writing. Opposite to her humorous family stories, her accomplishments and legacy of subtle horror and psychological suspense continue to seep into modern stories, movies, and media. While her themes have long been expressed through literature, she brought a new perspective to horror, especially through “The Lottery”, which was as famous as it was controversial. The use of subtle shock, unimaginable twists, and an incomplete ending allowed her to provoke a severe reaction from her readers. Despite the criticisms and questionable popularity of her works during her lifetime, we can appreciate Shirley Jackson’s additions of psychological suspense and the faults of human nature to the horror genre.

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