Shirley Jackson Influence

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Award winning author, Shirley Jackson’s controversial short story, “The Lottery” is a fictional account of brutality underlying in traditions. For the reader, fiction can be fantasy; however, art can also be a reflection of life. Life is filled with events: some positive and some negative. At time writers use these events, personal and historical, as inspiration for their work, or a reader may connect similarities from a work of fiction to a historical event. World War II has ended and Jackson’s short story is released three years later. Influenced from the recent events of the Holocaust Jackson portrays individuals turning against each other for what they believe to be a justified reason. Jackson eerily draws similarities to Hitler and Nazi…show more content…
Thus, the ritual of stoning an individual to death, as in the instance of Tessie Hutchinson, has been practiced as far back as ancient Greece; the stoning of Lycidas who thought it was best to receive the offer brought to them by Murychides and lay it before the People (Blackwell). The stoning of a local shares similarities with the Salem Witch Trails where individuals were condemned by an entire village solely based on the belief that they are witches; the kind of outlandish belief that if someone is not stoned every summer then the village will not yield crops. Such traditions and beliefs seem absurd in today’s society due in part to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted in 1948 by the United Nations. The senseless murder of individuals grounded in tradition no longer suffices However, Some people hold to the old mumpsimous that tradition should be preserved: “Pack of crazy fools… There's always been a lottery” (Jackson 4). The locals believe that it is ludicrous to abolish the tradition: “Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves” (Jackson 4). Nevertheless, a group of people seeking change can eradicate a primitive way of thinking as achieved during the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Similarly, the Protestant Reformation, where reformers moved to the New World of America and questioned ancient beliefs and lead life with a scientific approach, share similarities with “The Lottery” where citizens reveal that "[s]ome places have already quit lotteries” (Jackson 4). In the end, the reader may connect the similarities of a story to historical events that took place before or after the publication to get a better understanding of the stories
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