The Significance Of Controversy In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Controversy has surrounded the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson since the first publication in 1948. The story begins on the beautiful morning of June 27th as the entire 300 residents of the village gather in the square for the yearly lottery. The children arrive first and some of the younger boys start gathering stones. After the adults arrive, the crowd gathers into family units. Mr. Summers, owner of the coal mine, officiates the lottery as he does most civic events. Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves prepare for the lottery by making white slips of paper the evening before then placing the slips in an old, black box. The box is brought to the square and placed on a stool while Mr. Summers ensures everything is in order to begin the lottery. Mrs. Hutchinson arrives last and states the date slipped her mind. The lottery starts, and the male head of the house draws the slip while the women only draw if a male is unavailable. The initial drawing determines the family unit to…show more content…
Jay A. Yarmove finds great significance in the characters (243). Mr. Summers is the rich, male leader in the village who talks yearly of making a new box. Mr. Summers represents the powerful of society capable of eliciting change but who desire no change thereby allowing prejudices to continue. Mrs. Hutchinson is a woman in a patriarchal society who only questions the event after realizing the event directly affects her. Mrs. Hutchinson represents the powerless of society unable to decree change but who never think to desire change for others thereby allowing prejudices to continue unchecked. Mr. Warner is the oldest man in the village, and when Mrs. Adams speaks of other cities eliminating the lottery, Warner immediately warns that if the lottery ceases, society will fall into chaos. Mr. Warner represents the section of society who fear change and hold on to old prejudices out of a sense of
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