Tradition is a central theme in Shirley Jackon's short story The Lottery. Images such as the black box and characters such as Old Man Warner, Mrs. Adams, and Mrs. Hutchinson display to the reader not only the tenacity with which the townspeople cling to the tradition of the lottery, but also the wavering support of it by others. In just a few pages, Jackson manages to examine the sometimes long forgotten purpose of rituals, as well as the inevitable questioning of the necessity for such customs.
The black box represents virtually the only part of the original ritual that has been preserved since the lottery began. It is there not only to hold the papers that will be drawn, but also to represent to the townsfolk the tradition. The black box is constructed of pieces of the original box, a link to the time when the purpose of the lottery was clear. Most of the old custom has been forgotten: wood chips have been replaced with paper slips, and on one can remember the recital and ritual salute that had previously been part of the lottery; but the o...
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- The Message of Social Responsibility in The Lottery Often, we paint a fairytale view of life for ourselves and our children. Sometimes, an author paints a frightfully realistic picture of life and forces us to reconsider the fairytale. In Shirley Jackson’s story, "The Lottery," a town each year conducts a lottery in which the winner or looser, in this case, is stoned to death by his or her own neighbors. The tradition is supposed to uphold social structure within the town, but in order to comprehend the true meaning of the story you must be able to read between the lines.... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
898 words (2.6 pages)
- In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the people of the small community reveal the psychological effects of participating in public executions and how these effects lead to social conformity. The main characters Tessie Hutchinson and Old Man Warner reveal the varying psychological reactions one would have from participating in a public execution. Other townspeople have developed dissociative symptoms that explain their conformity to the lottery. Jackson herself shows psychological symptoms because of the way readers treated her after the 1948 publication of “The Lottery.” The psychological effects of participating in public executions lead people to conform to societal norms to avoid becomin... [tags: Humanization, Dissociative Symptoms]
1595 words (4.6 pages)
- “The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson,was published in 1948. The story centers around a social gathering holding every resident in attendance. It is an annual tradition to have this gathering and all of the town’s people have to participate in a lottery in the belief that it will help bring a prosperous harvest. A slip of paper is made for everyone who lives in the town and one special slip is marked with a black spot. The one who draws the marked paper is proclaimed the winner of the lottery and receives the honor of getting stoned to death by the rest of the participants.... [tags: social gathering, the box]
763 words (2.2 pages)
- Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery "The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about a disturbing social practice. The setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred denizens. On June twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate. Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and their annual practice. Not until the end does he or she gets to know what the lottery is about. Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
1142 words (3.3 pages)
- ... Summers is the great one to conduct the lottery. The lottery is run by Joe Summers, with his assistant Mr. Graves. Joe Summers seems to have some power in the village because he conducts all of the social events. “The lottery was conducted as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities” (Jackson 373). Joe Summers almost completely controls the lottery. Before he comes to the lottery, children run, joke, and collect the stones.... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
1227 words (3.5 pages)
- “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson is a short story about a disturbing social practice in a village. Besides, there were about three hundred citizens in the small village where the setting took place. The introduction of “the lottery” is about an event that takes place every year on 27th in the month of June, where the community members of this tradition organize a lottery. Everyone in the village including small children to adults is expected to participate. Besides, when this story was introduced at the very first in 1948 by Shirley Jackson, many people were upset.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
2026 words (5.8 pages)
- Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, “The Lottery,” was published in 1948 and remains to this day one of the most enduring and affecting American works in the literary canon. “The Lottery” tells the story of a farming community that holds a ritualistic lottery among its citizens each year. Although the text initially presents audiences with a close-knit community participating in a social event together on a special day, the shocking twist at the work’s end—with the death of the lottery’s “winner” by public stoning—has led to its widespread popularity, public outcry and discussion, and continued examination in modern times (Jackson).... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery 2014]
4600 words (13.1 pages)
- Tradition in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Shirley Jackson?s insights and observations about society are reflected in her shocking and disturbing short story The Lottery. Jackson reveals two general attitudes in this story: first is the shocking tendency for societies to select a scapegoat and second is the idea that communities are victims of social tradition and rituals. Anyone with knowledge of current events must be aware of times when society has seized upon a scapegoat as means of resolution.... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
799 words (2.3 pages)
- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" portrays a small town in which the citizens gather for a yearly lottery. Unlike the "typical" lottery, this is not one you would want to win. Throughout "The Lottery," Jackson focuses on families from the village in order to demonstrate the role of separation of genders. Gender is defined as the sexual identity of a person, especially in relation to society or culture. Gender divisions exist within the community in "The Lottery" and issues of gender help to explain the characters action and thoughts.... [tags: Papers Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
951 words (2.7 pages)
- When Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” was first published in The New Yorker in 1948, it struck a nerve with readers. “The story was incendiary; readers acted as if a bomb had blown up in their faces . . . Shirley struck a nerve in mid-twentieth-century America . . . She had told people a painful truth about themselves” (Oppenheimer 129). Interestingly, the story strikes that same nerve with readers today. When my English class recently viewed the video, those students who had not previously read the story reacted quite strongly to the ending.... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery 2014]
2500 words (7.1 pages)