When people first read Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” they are often shocked. Of course, people today are perhaps not nearly as shocked as those readers in Jackson’s time who essentially were angered and confused by her story from a social perspective:
While the letters were almost wholly, negative, none suggested that the story should not be available to the public. Up until 1982 it was only a character in fiction who suggested “the Lottery” be removed from a school’s curriculum, a candidate for school board in Elizabeth Peter’s 1977 novel, Devil May care, who says people do not “want their children to read a book that shows kids stoning their mothers to death. ( Bogert 45)
The following paper examines Jackson’s story as it involves the theme of violence and how that violence has clearly shaped culture, all based on the belief of traditions that follow a culture. While there is perhaps some critics who would argue that perhaps Jackson had a different theme in mind, when pointedly asked for a response she noted it was probably about violence: “’I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to chock the story 's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives’” (Jackson, Shirley Hardie). Quite obviously she is not saying such obvious rituals exist, but they did and they are a very powerful part of who we are. The setting, irony and symbolism contribute to the horror of the climax, which reveals the tradition of violence within a culture which negatively impacts the citizens and most likely will lead to the breakdown of tradition.
The violence and the irony are highli...
... middle of paper ...
... of this ritual, and lots of places have stopped doing it because they have to know that doing this ritual thing makes the society depressive and violent.
In the Lottery people might change the tradition of violence because people are frustrated from the lottery. The matter of fact, people started to dislike and not enjoying the lottery: “They stood together; away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed” (Jackson 223). Because people were not enjoying the jokes and rather than laughing at the jokes they were smiling which shows how people in the village are getting frustrated. The message of the story the tradition is not always a good thing to have in culture. The tradition of violence within a culture which negatively impacts the citizens and most likely it will lead to breakdown the violence tradition.
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