Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” describes a quaint town with perfect, homely citizens that nonchalantly participate in an annual, gruesome tradition. The short story deceives the reader through ironic descriptions of the characters, the character names, and the setting in order to heighten the dramatic effect of the horrific conclusion. The nature of tradition also occurs in the short story by focusing on the superstitious nature of people and the fear of changing the customs. Through the use of ironic descriptions and the overlying nature of tradition, Shirley Jackson creates an engaging story with relatable characters and personal beliefs to maintain culture only to shock the reader once the grim reality of the lottery. Shirley Jackson utilizes irony in her descriptions of people and the village in order to
Imagine a society where killing somebody for the sake of a tradition is acceptable.In the short story “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson describes an ordinary village with normal people, but as the story progress the details of their yearly practice known as “the lottery” unravels to be more disturbing.The author subverts the readers’ expiations by persuading the reader into assuming “the lottery” is a ordinary tradition until unusual details and the behavior of the characters come into place. In her short story “The Lottery,” Jackson seemingly uses ordinary details about the setting and the townspeople to characterize her theme that although society claims to be civilized, and may appear so, it is inherently barbaric. Through her use of setting,
Shirley Jackson’s famous story, “The Lottery” is a brutally descriptive story about how a small village participates in the annual lottery. All throughout the story, Jackson uses several literary devices to convey the meaning behind this town’s tradition. Normally when individuals think about a tradition, they visualize something positive. However, in “The Lottery”, tradition is illustrated as something unfortunate and deadly. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson shows the theme of the violence within a small village through symbolism to show that even the most ordinary people can commit violence, which can eventually lead to killing innocent individuals.
He cannot even question the witches first, it is banquo who interrogates them. Banquo not only gives a proof of his bravery with such interrogation, he also demonstrates his clarity for the concept of truth. He looks at the world in black and white and knows at the very instance that the witches never prophesize for someone’s good [the instruments of darkness tell us truths/win us in honest trifles to betray’s in deepest consequence (131-134)]. He believes that the instruments of darkness exist as was believed in his day. Not even for a moment he hesitates to establish his belief as the only truth.
In the parable "The Minister 's Black Veil,” Nathaniel Hawthorne aims to expose the deceitful pretense that members of society base their lives on. Hawthorne discloses the way people hastily judge one another based on looks, appearances, and behavior. He unveils the hypocrisy of society and the way it alienates whoever defy the norms or risk to uncover the covert. He reveals the moral of his allegory in a very ambiguous way through Reverend Hooper belief that everyone has a secret sin that he keeps to himself hidden from others, but certainly not from God. He uses The Black Veil on Reverend Hooper’s face as an emblem to provide evidence to support the notion that all humans are sinners in disguise.
In “The Lottery,” author Shirley Jackson employs a detached point of view to demonstrate how a seemingly regular event masks the senseless violence cause by a group in order to warn about the dangers of conforming to traditions without thinking. Until the end of the short story, it is not clear what the annual event is. In fact, it seems like an average gathering that can potentially happen in real life. Children stack stones, and there is a friendly atmosphere among the adults. However, the objectiveness of the narration leads to no indication that a killing is just about to take place.
In the ironic plot twist of a conclusion, “The Storm” by Kate Chopin and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson demonstrates a similar case in terms of situational irony by concluding the story with an unusual reaction after partaking in a behavior that does not conform to generally accepted standards of the behavior of a “normal” society. Within the setting of “The Lottery” as part of their “normal” society by which some of the other towns have already ceased, the drawing of the lottery. One town in particular however continues to gather in the square to conduct the deep-rooted, ghastly tradition, which has always been a tradition they do not dare to question or change in the slightest including the box used for holding the name of the villagers despite its timeworn appearance. “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.
Despite their deeply religious values, the members of the Puritan Society in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are equally as sinful as the rest of the world. The Puritans, known for coming to God when given any matter at hand, lay blame on the Devil, regardless of their contradictory values. By putting blame on him for their wrongdoings, the Devil earns power by the Puritans resorting to involving him in a situation whenever any one thing goes wrong. Power is defined by one’s reputation, status, wealth, gender, and age. Although the natural decider of one’s power in the Puritan society is land, the Devil, himself, holds ultimate power; despite the fact that he does not appear as a human figure, he controls the thoughts and actions of the Puritan
Witches are secret enemies within, who look the same as everyone else until they are exposed, and this need to uncover hidden malice is what distinguishes witch-hunting from other forms of communal persecution. Once identified, witches are either brought back into the body politic through a process of confession and expiation, or expelled completely. Either way, the magical cause of misfortune is removed and the social balance restored. (Armstrong 224) This explanation covers all the bases. How witch hunts come about (through enemies or threats), the process of a witch hunt (trials of a sort), the conclusion (the removal of the accused), and finally, the end goal of returning to normal.
People can justify their evil by claiming to protect people from others evil. In The Possibility of Evil, Miss Strangeworth’s idealistic evil keeps the townspeople from being happy. Miss Strangeworth’s idea of a utopian society requires that the townspeople are protected from the “possible evil lurking nearby” (Jackson 226), and she does this by writing dishonest letters to the townspeople believing that “the town where she lived hat to be kept clean and sweet” (Jackson 226). However, this causes the townspeople to be miserable because of Miss Strangeworth’s letters, and although people did not show their disdain for Miss Strangeworth at first, they do when they realize that she was the person
Another major example of this engraved deception are the Ministry of peace, plenty, love, and truth. Each of these is a contradiction to its true purpose all though the most influential is the ministry of love. On the outside especially to the Proles they seem perfectly normal but the more that you learn about their true natures it is discovered that these ministries are very evil and show the true villainous intentions of the Party. The Ministry of love is not only the prison of the nation but a torture brainwashing center. It is described in the beginning as a guarded place where you can only enter if invited though it’s true purpose is later discovered.
This means that the sinners have to be born again to be in the kingdom. Moreover, Edwards had a powerful impact on his puritan audience of his puritan audience because of his use of a complex figurative language in the passage. In paragraph 2, it states that “They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, which is expressed in the torments of hell”. It also states that “Is not at present very angry with them as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell”. Theses quotes reveal that God power is fear so that it can shut the sinners down and destroy sinners who made him angry.
In 1692 the beginning of the Salem witch trials began. A few decades later a similar occurrence happened in 1950 with the spread of McCarthyism. What started both the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism was the spread of fear and mass hysteria. Puritans during 1692 believed that the new world should be a holy place with freedom to practice your own personal religion. When witchcraft came around the puritans noticed strange behavior between the young teenage girls for example being choked by an invisible force or falling out on the floor as if possessed.
The theme of injustice is illustrated in Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Margaret Atwood’s “Half-Hanged Mary,” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” through the cruel ways people were being treated by others and themselves. God has a right to be angry at the human world. Humans make mistakes left and right, but we don’t sin in purpose. God forgives us for our sins, but the Author of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” said something different. Jonathan Edwards told many that even the smallest sin, even a sin that can easily be set right, deserves the same punishment as killing someone.
However, Anderson refuses to neglect the truth: they are the villains. Slamming any pre-existing admirable outlook readers may have had, Anderson inquires, based on his observations, “the authorities, particularly the police, paid scant attention and sometimes abused the victims themselves” (Anderson, 27). Philadelphia is notorious for its high crime rate, marking the police as almost a necessity to the function of everyday life. However, due to the mistreatment of citizens, people began to refer to the police as “ineffective” and “unworthy of trust.” The safeness of an area is key to the number of individuals using that public space, ultimately deeming the police a negative factor. In addition to the negative safety element, policemen also partake in plain acts of racism.