Essay PreviewMore ↓
The orderly plot structure allows readers to experience the story as if they were witnessing actual events. The unsettling familiarity of these events suggests to readers that their community, too, may be clinging thoughtlessly to outdated traditions in spite of negative consequences. Because it does not evaluate or explain the savage events of the story, the objective, detached point of view used in "The Lottery" forces readers to ask the question, "why do people often get stuck on outdated traditions in spite of not only negative, but tragic consequences?" Shirley Jackson sets the savage ritual events of her story in a bland, unremarkable setting, suggesting that this disturbing scenario can occur anywhere, and no one in society is excluded.
The short story "The Lottery" presents conflict on more than one level. The most important conflict in the story is between the subject matter and the way the story is told. From the beginning, Jackson goes to great lengths to present the reader with the picture of an average American town which fills all societal roles. Slowly the horrific outcome of the story begins to unfold.
The very first sentence of the story states, "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." This paints the picture of the ideal rural community. Jackson even throws in many gender roles. Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late and jokingly says, "Wouldn't have me leave m'dishes in the sink, now, would you. Joe?" This conveys to the reader that Mrs. Hutchinson is a housewife who takes care of her family. The narrator also speaks of the little boys guarding the pile of stones in the town square, and describes the towns-people interacting with each other as if they are at a county fair. There seems to be a strong sense of community in this seemingly perfect town. By setting the mood with this All-American town, Jackson is commenting on the hidden horrors of our every day life.
It is also apparent that Jackson chooses a female character to signify the sacrificial role that is inherent to women in American society. Tessie arrives late after doing the dishes. It seems she has accepted her role in society and until this day had not questioned or resented this role.
How to Cite this Page
"A Summary of The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The short story that this paper will look at is The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in The New Yorker on 26 June 1948. It is one of the most famous short stories in the history of United States literature history. This paper is a summary of the story from my point of view. The Lottery is a work of fiction that demonstrates rebellion and conformity while insinuating that a lottery is part of a ritualistic ceremony. The author was born in 1919. She struggled with depression throughout her life.... [tags: Shirley Jackson, short story, village]
880 words (2.5 pages)
- Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Thesis: The short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson found in Perrine's Literature written by Thomas R. Arp is a story full of symbolism. I. Names are used to represent different aspects of the story. a. Mr. Summers is a bright and cheerful man. His attitude, demeanor, and name represent the summer. Mr.Graves' name represents what is about to happen. They are sending someone to their grave. These names are obvious as to what they mean. b. Mrs. Delacroix's name comes from the Latin word for crucifix.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
494 words (1.4 pages)
- In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the theme of the story is dramatically illustrated by Jackson’s unique tone. Once a year the villagers gather together in the central square for the lottery. The villagers await the arrival of Mr. Summers and the black box. Within the black box are folded slips of paper, one piece having a black dot on it. All the villagers then draw a piece of paper out of the box. Whoever gets the paper with the black dot wins. Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery. Everyone then closes in on her and stones her to death.... [tags: Shirley Jackson, The Lottery]
506 words (1.4 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- One of the leaders and important man of the town is Mr. Summers. Summer is a season of the year. It is the season of growing, the season of life. His name represents partly the old pagan fertility ritual because the harvest that is being sacrificed to is being grown in the summer. This is supposedly, according to Old Man Warner, what the lottery held each year was all about. But, in this case, the harvest should be fine because the setting of the story tells us that “the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green” (74). Mr.... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
826 words (2.4 pages)
- Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948. The story takes place in a village square of a town on June 27th. The author does not use much emotion in the writing to show how the barbaric act that is going on is look at as normal. This story is about a town that has a lottery once a year to choose who should be sacrificed, so that the town will have a plentiful year for growing crops. Jackson has many messages about human nature in this short story.... [tags: The Lottery Shirley Jackson Sacrifices Essays]
696 words (2 pages)
- Why would a civilized and peaceful town would ever suggest the horrifying acts of violence can take place anywhere at anytime and the most ordinary people can commit them. Jackson's fiction is noted for exploring incongruities in everyday life, and “The Lottery”, perhaps her most exemplary work in this respect, examines humanity's capacity for evil within a contemporary, familiar, American setting. Noting that the story’s characters, physical environment, and even its climactic action lacks significant individuating detail, most critics view “The Lottery.” As a modern-day parable or fable, which obliquely addresses a variety of themes, including the dark side of human nature, the dange... [tags: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson]
906 words (2.6 pages)
- Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery' The setting in a story helps to form the story and it makes the characters become more interesting. There are three main types of setting. The first is nature and the outdoors, second is objects of human manufacture and construction and the third is cultural conditions and assumptions. These three things help the reader to understand the characters better in Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery';. 'The Lottery'; is started out by being described as 'The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day.'; The flowers are blooming and the children have just gotten out of school for the summer.... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
932 words (2.7 pages)
She suddenly sees the immediate danger that now awaits her. Everything she has worked for, no longer matters. She has filled her societal role and now it means nothing. The inherent unfairness of the position she is now in hits her like a slap in the face. She protests, but she has spoken up too late of the injustice the town is committing. At this point everybody else is content that they were not the innocent victim. They are more then happy to go on with their ritual as they do every year. After all it is a tradition and traditions can not be broken.
Tessie is now no longer considered an asset to the community. The towns-people's only need for her now lies in sacrificing her to ensure a good harvest. The human sacrifice is something the towns-people have always done and Old Man Warner responds to Tessie's pleas by saying, "People ain't the way they used to be." He presumably is commenting on how people use to complain about their fate of dying, not about the unfairness of the lottery.
Tessie's death and repeated accusations of unfairness mirror the sacrifice women have been making in society and the unfair nature of their sacrifice. Tessie is speaking of the unfairness of the entire ritual until her last breath, yet if given the choice she would return back to her life as before and never again question her role in society. Many horrors and secrets are suppressed and hidden cleverly beneath the mask an ideal American society. Traditions, ceremonies and other practices done out of mere habit can be detrimental to the improvement of society and road blocks preventing our society to move ahead.