Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 11th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth, 2012] 278-285) is quite ironic in its presentation. The nameless narrator in the story leads the reader into making an observation that supports the title; however, the story ends up in a turmoil that baffles the reader; leading to a change in ideas that were developed earlier. The story gives a false sense of harmony by its setting and how Jackson describes the preparation for the lottery, this leads to a misconception that the tradition is jovial.
In this short story, written by Shirley Jackson, the townspeople have somewhat of violent “tradition”. The people participate in this process called stoning where someone is randomly beaten to death by stones. Shirley doesn't specifically say why they do this or why it is still happening but she does drop hints. Now, here are some theories why.
In this short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson we can see the theme of the duality of human nature. Tessie Hutchinson thinks the lottery is unfair. She claims that they didn't get through time. But everybody had the same chance and time. Everybody actually did get enough time and they all thought it was fair. But Tessie still disagrees. The scene shows Tessie is actually afraid for her life, since they all understand that the drawing was random and unbiased. Most of the characters who have not been picked feel differently and act differently too. Old man Warner said lots of bad things as people were coming up and said “Things are not the way they used to be!”. Maybe everyone is used to to the lottery every year because they
Jackson The Lottery By: Yarmove, Jay A. Explicator. Summer94, Vol. 52 Issue 4, p242. 4p. Reading Level (Lexile): 1230. , Database: MasterFILE Premier
Can you imagine going to a town meeting once a year, with all of your friends, family, and loved ones. At this meeting one person is selected to be stoned to death, not only that but EVERYONE has to help. This brutal event is known as, The Lottery. Shirley Jackson describes the villagers that come to this event in her short story, The Lottery. The feelings of the villagers are often confusing, since they appear to want to keep this terrifying event going, even though they dread it. Some villagers show enthusiasm about this tradition, yet, the majority of the villagers are reluctant to participate in this incredible game of chance. Surprisingly, it appears that most villagers want the drawings to remain in tact.
The story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a short story of horror and realism. On June 27th on a late summer morning, the villagers of a small New England village gatherd together in the town square to conduct their annual lottery. There is a black box on a stool and in the box there is pieces of paper in the box. Each person from a family get one paper from the black box even the children get a piece of paper and every stayed quiet and nervouse. Then Bill Hutchinson looked at the paper and notice that he got the black dot. So then Tessie starts to complain that the drawing was not set up properly (Jackson). In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses the symbolism, characterization, and theme to develop this short story.
“The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson is a very suspenseful, yet very shocking short story. This story is set in a small village, on a hot summers day in June. Flowers are blooming, and the towns people are gathering for the lottery, which is a tradition the town does every year. As the reader reads the first paragraph they think this is a happy story. The title also says, “The Lottery” which is a word often used for winning something or receiving a prize. It’s a beautiful summer day and everything seems perfect, but as the reader keeps reading they come to realize that this story is not as simple and straight forward as the title suggest, rather it is a horrifying and dark tale. Shirley Jackson is forwarding the theme on tragic it can be to blindly follow traditions by using foreshowing, symbolism, and dialog.
The short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson proposes an annual lottery drawing in a little village set in New England. However, unlike any usual lottery, the winner is stoned to death by their fellow townsmen, women and children included. The lottery seems to have been a custom around the area for over seventy years. While other towns are starting to go away from this method, this village continues the tradition. Although it may seem like a simple story, Shirley Jackson implemented various symbols incorporated into the names, objects, and scenario in the story to hide the meaning and intention behind the lottery.
“The Lottery” is an realism/horror story written by Shirley Jackson. The story is about some villagers of a small New England town who follow the tradition of making a lottery every year. When it comes, they like to celebrate it with the correct rules and the correct objects so they can feel more comfortable. Everyone need to take a slip of paper from a small black box, and the paper with a black dot in it means that the family is the winner, then they raffle again; Bill Hutchinson, who was the husband of the protagonist Tessie Hutchinson picked a paper with a black dot in it, that meant that Tessie was the winner of the lottery, then she starts complaining because the drawing was not conducted properly. At the end, the townspeople moved off to a cleared spot outside the town and they begin stoning her to death (Jackson). In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson uses characterization, symbolism and themes to develop the action of the short story.
By incorporating dramatic irony into “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson is able to convey a sense of understanding and compassion towards the character. This first instance of dramatic irony is where Tessie is pleading to the town’s people that they were unfair to her husband. “People began to look around to see the Hutchinsons. Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand. Suddenly. Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. ‘You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair’” (Jackson 5)! The readers can see that Bill was not treated unfairly, he was simply unfortunate. Even though it was the luck of the draw, it is still discouraging to pick the marked paper knowing that you have put your family in
In the story “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, it tells of a story in which a town murders one person a year in order for them to have a good harvest. Some townies don’t all believe in doing the act but they continue doing it because they truly believe in continuing tradition. In the story Shirley Jackson manages to convey her ideas through the story in many ways.
Human nature can be characterized as being positive, capable of altruism and goodness which sets humankind apart from savage animals; however, human nature possesses a dark side, namely cruelty, and it is capable of barbarism like any beast. In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, cruelty is part of human nature, and the participants of the lottery demonstrate human cruelty through violence towards one another; markedly, by exhibiting desensitization to violence and the acceptance of violence resulting in internal dysfunction which is perpetuated yearly.
“The Lottery” is a short story by Shirley Jackson. The story commences with a vivid description of the summer day in the town, giving us the idea that the day will be good. When the lottery begins, families begin to draw slips of paper from the black box. Finally, when Bill Hutchinson withdrew the slip of paper with the black dot, his wife Tessie starts yelling that it wasn 't fair. When the second drawing was held only among the Hutchinson’s family, Tessie gets the same piece of paper with the dot and is stoned to death. Jackson uses imagery and irony, as well as symbolism to make us aware of the custom, and violence and tradition as the themes of this short story.
The extreme tradition in Shirley Jackson's, "The Lottery," produces no positive difference, but rather only a negative difference. The traditional belief upheld by the agrarian village in Jackson's story is human sacrifice, which aims at satisfying their gods so that they may have a copious harvest. When the lottery session determined that Tessie Hutchinson won the lottery, she said in response, "it isn't fair." (Reading Literature and Writing Argument) Tessie believed prior to winning the lottery that she was going to lose; however, she became a victim of her overconfidence. I contend that Tessie believed the lottery was a fair system until she became its victim, which is probably true for all the other villagers. A majority thinks they are right until they are able realize they are wrong; and only on the outside, are they able to see it all for what it really is on the inside. In "The Lottery," tradition continues to exist, because those who have the fortune of seeing why it's wrong, are unfortunately killed before they can spread their discovery; similarly, majorities squelch the ideas of minorities to prolong their
The short story “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson is full of literary elements. The old and innocent, small town atmosphere creates the perfect stage for this ironic tale. Several literary elements are evident throughout the composition but three specific elements stand out the most. Jackson’s unique ability to use tone and style, symbolism, and theme are what makes this story so fascinating.