Violence And Foreshadowing In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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The violence of human nature constantly shows throughout literature. In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the stoning of young women resembles the witch trials of the 1700s. The town in the story seems to be normal, friendly place where everybody knows everybody. However, it is a place where a barbaric ritual of stoning takes place. Throughout the story, Shirley Jackson creates a sense of normality, ending with a conclusion that has both suspense and foreshadowing. The secrets, traditions and immoral behaviors in the town prove the point that society's basest instincts are ones of compulsion and destruction place. The violence and suspense littered throughout the story prove that human nature is one of fight or flight. Secrecy is one of the prevailing themes in the story. The town keeps the lottery hidden and does not let the outside world see their terrible secret. “Summers was very good at all this; in his clean white shirt and blue jeans” (Jackson 10). In this quote, Jackson describes Summers, who runs the Lottery. This description portrays false normalcy -- a person appearing perfectly normal who runs the completely abnormal lottery. This illustrates the secretive nature of the human race. Secrets seem to protect the well-being of…show more content…
These themes are excellent examples of the autonomic human reaction fight or flight. The secrets, lies, and betrayal showed throughout The Lottery all contribute to the point that the people of The Lottery have a belief that they have a direct link to God, in which they feel that they are executing God’s will. The Lottery brings to light the darkest and basest instincts of the human race. Humans, in general, need to take a critical look at themselves, in order to change and understand the barbaric traditions of the past. People take too much enjoyment in the abuse of others and are lying to society and the world about the real
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