Comparing Punishment And Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Mohammed Tabbakh ENGL 103 (k) Dr. Alan F. Hickman Paper I, Poetry Paper 2 Oct. 2014 A Comparative Analysis of Rabindranath Tagore’s “Punishment” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” Rabindranath Tagore’s “Punishment” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” are two fictional stories with the same outcome. Tessie Hutchinson and Chandara are both sentenced to death by their own people when neither of them has done anything to deserve this sentence. Tagore’s story ends with the death of Chandara as she was forced to falsely confess the murder of her sister-in-law by her husband. Likewise, Tessie Hutchinson was sentenced to be stoned to death because of the village’s traditions. Both stories have many similar elements in common. Three elements will…show more content…
“Punishment” and “The Lottery” both took place in a village where people’s daily activities and lives are driven by tradition. Tagore describes the first day when the story began and talks about nature. Outside (the house), too, it was extremely salty. There had been a sharp shower in the afternoon, and clouds were still massing. There was not a breath of wind. Weeds and scrub rounded the house had shot up after the rain: the heavy scent of damp vegetation, from these and from the waterlogged jute-fields, formed a solid wall all around. Frogs croaked from the milkman’s pond behind the house, and the buzz of crickets filled the leaden sky (Tagore, 15). Similarly, Jackson starts the story describing the atmosphere and the scenery of the village. She also talks about the square where the lottery is going to take palace. In addition, the villages in both stories work in agriculture field. Dukhiram and his brother, Chidam, go out every morning with “their heavy farm-knives to work in the fields” (Tagore, 15). Furthermore, Mr. Hutchinson was “stacking wood” (Jackson, 818) while Mrs. Hutchinson was doing the diches. Additionally, a line that supports this point is when Old Man Warner was speaking about the traditions of the lottery. He says,” Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” This implies that the village sacrifices a person every year in order to have a good season at work (Jackson,…show more content…
In “Punishment”, Tagore foreshadows the death of Chandara by describing the atmosphere when both brothers where on their way home “wading through mud and water.” The reader can sense a gloomy environment. The weather suddenly changes. The clouds starts raining heavily. This sudden change in the atmosphere foreshadows a dark event; the death of Chandara. Likewise, Jackson foretells of an eccentric event possibly in the future, when she discusses the children collecting sharp stones before the lottery begins. Furthermore, she also names the characters of the story in a unique way. Mr.Summers’ assistant is named “Mr.Graves” which suggests the presence of graves, or in other words, death. The Lottery and Punishment are fictional stories that have very similar literature components. One should read both stories more than once to see these similarities. The reader can quickly notice an obvious similarity that is death. Both stories end with the death if a character. Three elements were compared between these stories: theme, setting, and foreshadowing. Each element was analysed and compared between the stories. Works Cited Kalpana, Bardhan. "Of Women, Outcastes, Peasants, and Rebels." A Selection of Bengali Short (1990): 330. JSTOR. Web. Tagore, Rabindranath. Punishment. 15-18. Print. Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. 817-823.
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