Mental Illness In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

1100 Words5 Pages

There seems to be a connection to cruelty and beauty in some degree. The two compliment, create, and destroy one another. Without cruelty and suffering, there could not be a beautiful and admirable existence. Shirley Jackson, author of “The Lottery”, suffered from mental illnesses called agoraphobia and depression (Heller, 2012). In spite of her struggles with these incurable diseases, Jackson channeled her dark thoughts into her writing; one out of 75 short stories, “The Lottery” was published in 1948 (Jackson, 1948). Many women, specifically in her time, suffered with agoraphobia, which was later named “the panic” disorder (Callard, 2002). Her experience with the panic disorder takes place in “The Lottery”, which gave viewers an idea of …show more content…

Jackson plans on taking the audience's’ assumptions to her advantage toward the end of the story, which lures viewers to continue reading her story. Also, another hint in the beginning of the short story indicates the boys in the town filling their pockets with stones. Jackson also signifies the importance to these stones when she informs the readers the boys are protecting a pile of rocks. At first, readers would not notice the significance of these stones, but these stones will return into the reader’s thoughts when the climax arises. Jackson also adds the fact the girls are not participating in the boys’ activity, which could draw lines between men and women in the village. Additionally, the black box Old Man Warner brings to the square holds more than the “original paraphernalia for the lottery”, which was lost long ago (Jackson, 1948). The box shows importance and unknown powers that gives the reader a hint that its use draws the supposedly winning lottery. Then there was Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson, a woman who was late to the sacred meeting, which set her apart from the other families gathered at the square on time. The fact she was late isolated the character and possibly foreshadowed her secluded fate (Marshall, 2014). The use of foreshadowing builds up an unforthcoming tension throughout the story, leaving the reader searching for relief. The tension also comes from the unanswered question about the purpose of “The Lottery”. The main focus about this disturbing short story is the purpose of the villager’s culture, which Jackson withholds the answer from the audience to portray the strain of her anxiety. Jackson’s idea of foreshadowing that supports the ongoing tradition is vacuous goes hand in and with the role of

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