After reading and watching The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson (Jackson) and a YouTube video directed by Augustine Kennedy (Kennedy), I wonder if society needs to revisit a tradition’s origin and objectives before we continue them. In this intriguing story about a small village and its behavior, is an account of one year’s lottery, its purpose, and its winner.
As the author and director relate the story, we learn that the lottery continues because it is tradition. Forgotten are the original formalities, history, objects, reasons, and symbols. Today (i.e., 1948), the lottery is a simple drawing with little fanfare. A winner’s family, including her young son, gives the winner the prize. Unlike what I am feeling, the reality of the village people’s actions do not faze them; they are taken in the proverbial name of tradition.
The author, Jackson, draws me into this life of a small village, where the villagers flock to the town square for the lottery. While Jackson’s writing (as I read) imbues a sense of drama, Kennedy’s video adds the sense of anticipation permeated with apprehension and obligation. Both Jackson and Kennedy invite me to believe the lottery is like Power Ball®. However, the unexpected twist in the ending has more impact, offense, and surprise in the black and white video than the written story. Now I understand that traditions need review before continuance.
What is her claim?
• Tradition, with its rituals, can continue mindlessly, regardless of reality.
o For the village people, the lottery is something to win.
The lottery is tradition and everyone accepts it must continue
The lottery brings change and a corn harvest (i.e., feeds the village).
o The reality: wi...
... middle of paper ...
...ry is flat in this format.
o The short story is too long for the tale. In fairness, a story needs to describe events and a video or movie presents the same information through a few filming moments.
o The writing did not capture my interest immediately; and I was unsure of what I was reading until further into the short story.
o The short story took time to describe things like the black box history, disrupting the story instead of making it a part of the story.
o I did not feel the same sense that the lottery mesmerized the community into behaving as one organism, as I did in the video.
o I learned a new use of the word scold; noun for a person who constantly scolds in a loud and abusive tone.
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” The New Yorker. 26 June 1948: 22 May 2016 .
Kennedy, Augustine. “The Lottery.” YouTube video. 21 Aug 2009. 22 May 2016 .
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