Social Pressures In The Necklace And The Lottery

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Have you ever felt like the black sheep in your circle of friends because you either dress differently or you don’t have all the trending articles that everybody else has? Or you’ve felt like you couldn’t be who you truly were because the fear of standing out was preventing you from doing so? Although there are some who will answer “yes” and some who will answer “no,” society’s social pressures will influence individuals on different levels, regardless of the influence being small or big. In modern day’s society, with the use of social media, we follow what everybody else is wearing and what everybody else is doing. Luckily, short stories such as Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” (1884) and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (1984) remind us…show more content…
Right from the start, Maupassant states that “she was one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, as if by a mistake of destiny, born into a family of clerks.” Discreetly, this sentence let the readers know that destiny will play its part in Madame Loisel’s life. Although she does not have the appearance of a clerk at the beginning of the story, because she was born into a family of clerks, with destiny’s help she will ultimately look like a clerk by the end of the story. Madame Loisel wanted everything the wealthy had – delicacies, luxuries, boudoirs, dresses, jewelries – but couldn’t because her husband, Monsieur Loisel, couldn’t afford them. Maupassant mentions, “She had no dresses, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that […].” This is obviously an exaggeration, as she does have a dress, and, although it’s not jewelry made of stone, she can accessorize with flowers. However, the statement, “[…] no dresses, no jewelries, nothing” (Maupassant) foreshadows the end where Madame Loisel will be “dressed like the woman of the people” (Maupassant). Plainly, the need to look like someone of wealth in order to attend a party caused Madame Loisel to look like the women of her…show more content…
“The Lottery” takes place in a small village of three hundred people where everyone knows each other. School was over for the summer so the kids were already together. Jackson reveals the kids having the “feeling of liberty [sit] uneasily on most of them,” which shows they’re not used to it. Shortly after, the men came together. Although they all know each other, “their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed.” Normally, if everyone is familiar with one another, it should be easy to strike up a conversation and generate some jokes. Having the men stand together with only smiles on their faces indicate a sense of nervousness. Soon thereafter, the women came together and “greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossips as they went to join their husbands.” Generally, women know how to start a conversation and keep it going, regardless of the topic. However, because the women only greet each other and gossips slightly, it shows that events to come are of importance. The gathering of the children and adults with miniscule conversations show that what’s to happen next will be uncomfortable, but willingly participate because everyone else is doing
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