The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

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The story of “The Lottery” is a dark tale that gives the reader a window into a community blighted by an tradition propagated by ignorance; sending a message that reverberates with many events, ideas, and observations throughout the annals of time. Written by the great Shirley Jackson, this fable exemplifies how delusion and illogical thinking led to the terrifying and morose ending of Tessie Hutchinson's existence. Shirley Jackson was well known in her lifetime, but not necessarily as the literary master she is hailed as today. Jackson had great interest in the culture of witchcraft, and deeply incorporated this knowledge into one of her first short stories: “The Lottery.” While this influence greatly improved the haunted tone of the story, it also spawned various rumors regarding Shirley Jackson herself, being a reclusive bookish woman interested in the dark arts. However, just as the “witches” of Salem were mercilessly murdered for ambiguous reasons, so too was Tessie Hutchinson. Shirley Jackson saw the reflection of these poor souls within our very lives, and channeled their sorrowful essence into a meticulous story that is as moving as it is disturbing.
This simple short story bleeds into the minds of its readers, and mixes into our perception of the world we know today. Eventually, the reader begins to connect the thought process and ideologies of the mentally deranged villagers within the story to those who exist or existed within the real world. We begin to peel away at our own society, and see that the same way of thinking which spawned these lotteries, held within the fictional world, may have counterparts in the real world, which is the truly perturbing fragment of this story. While each person who reads this tale...


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...st impact, since the ultimate way to persuade is to allow them to persuade themselves. In fact, the very core of this story is that: think for yourself.







Works Cited
Bhob. "Potrzebie: Shirley Jackson's The Lottery." Potrzebie. N.p., 1 June 2008. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .
Jackson, Shirley. Life among the Savages. New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953. Print.
Joshi, S. T. The Modern Weird Tale. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001. Print.
Leyshon, Cressida. "This Week in Fiction: Shirley Jackson." The New Yorker. JULY 29, 2013, 29 July 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .
Murphy, Bernice M. Shirley Jackson: Essays on the Literary Legacy. Jefferson, NC: McFarland &, 2005. Print.

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