The short story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948 three years set back from the end of World War II which ended in September of 1945. Jackson known for her estranged stories of death and supernatural horrors. At the end of World War II no one really knew what could come next for the world and neither did Jackson, so The Lottery does a great job of representing the uncertainty and distress felt after the second great war. Jackson sets up a deceiving scene on a clear sunny day in June and instantly makes you rethink your warm feelings after realizing what the lottery system really is. Jackson pushes the envelope by telling a story of a village that blindly follows social normalities and conforms to a system that is in all reality completely backwards and shows how a modern society can appropriate and conform to ideas that do not seem logical,right, or justifiable.
Louisiana in the 1800s was riddled with slavery, and it was necessary to push an image into popularity in order to hide the immorality of the slave owner’s actions. This is explored in Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin. In her story, she writes about Armand’s emotions toward Désirée, “Moreover he no longer loved her, because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name” (Chopin, 3). As a social elite, the need to hold his status and keep his family in favor of others had Armand ostracizing his love for Désirée. As was expected of the time, plantation owner’s had to broadcast certain opinions about people of color.
Conformity is a powerful and influential behavior that can drastically affect a society’s circumstances. The morality and wellbeing of the individuals’ in a society are shaped by the everyday traditions and customs of that culture. Shirley Jackson, an award-winning author for her works in horror and mystery, unveils the perturbing effect of conformity on a society and its people in her short story “The Lottery.” In her thought-provoking story, a village situated in a warm area of England prepares to partake in a traditional crop fertility ritual that involves a paper drawing to elect a ‘winner’ who will be stoned to death. The societal conformity to continue this brutal tradition causes the life of a person to be insensitively taken away each
It is often difficult for the common person to be individualistic by disregarding the social norms that are built so deep into society’s foundations. However, in the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain, the author is able to effectively exploit the dangers of these normal societal ways of thinking. Throughout the novel, Huck is able to experience the immorality of society through his adventures to the South with Jim, a runaway slave, who he help sto free. Due to his terrible upbringing, many people including Widow Douglas and Judge Thatcher try to gain custody of Huck and transform him into a civilized person, but Huck is very independent and has no interest in changing or conforming. In order to escape his abusive, drunk father Huck fakes his own death, escapes, and subsequently meets up with Jim who has just run away from his owner.
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.
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
In the story “The Lottery”, the lottery tradition keeps society stable for the people of the village. I believe the story is a universal statement about dangerous tendencies in human nature. Jackson's "The Lottery" reveals that human beings in society are capable of committing cruel acts. Humans are often influenced by society, tradition, and even peer pressure. Cruel acts will be portrayed in society if humans are reflected by those elements.
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,
The title also says, “The Lottery” which is a word often used for winning something or receiving a prize. It’s a beautiful summer day and everything seems perfect, but as the reader keeps reading they come to realize that this story is not as simple and straight forward as the title suggest, rather it is a horrifying and dark tale. Shirley Jackson is forwarding the theme on tragic it can be to blindly follow traditions by using foreshowing, symbolism, and dialog. The first literary device Shirley Jackson uses to forward the theme blindly following traditions, is foreshowing. The first example I am going to us I talked about in my introduction.
The person that got the paper with the black dot would get stoned to death. In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson uses irony, symbolism, and tone to develop the plot of the story. The word irony is use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning (Irony 1). Dramatic irony is when a character in the play or story thinks one thing is true, but the audience or reader knows better (Research 2). It occurs when Tessie objects