The Evil Of Human Nature In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is about a small town that conducts an annual lottery. The entire town gathers to participate in the sacrificial stoning of the so-called winner. Jackson’s aim for this story was to show the general evil of human nature and the unnecessary violence in the world. Jackson uses the third person point of view and a lot of characters to help convey the purpose of the story by distancing the reader from the characters. This shocks the reader at the ending and allows them to view the story from an outside perspective and see the reality of the situation.
Shirley Jackson’s use of many characters creates distance between the reader and the story. On June 27th, the day of the lottery, the entire village gathers in the
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Mr. Summers initiates the beginning of the lottery when he starts to list of the names of the families, calling them up to draw from the box. “‘Allen,’ Mr. Summers said, ‘Anderson….Bentham,’” (p 3). He continues to go through the list, with only minor interruptions of commentary from some of the villagers. The way that this story is written makes it increasingly difficult to focus on any character long enough to create any sort of bond. The fact that no character is really mentioned long enough to have any description or individuality distances the reader from the story. Again, this works very well in Jackson’s favor as the reader cannot grasp onto any character and root for them or empathize with them. So when it comes to the ending, the reader is shocked by the pain that the ‘winner’ feels and the pure evil that seems to resonate from every other villager, supporting Jackson’s idea of the unnecessary violence in the world.
Jackson also uses third person objective point of view to effectively convey her view of the world. The entire story is told not through the minds of the characters but as if the narrator is just recounting the details of the event. “ The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters,
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