Women In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Although the purpose might be to warn against the dangers of conformity, the purpose of Jackson writing “The Lottery” is to showcase the subordination of women and their struggles in a patriarchal society through the questioning of a woman’s role in the domestic sphere, the communal preference of a teenage boy to be head of household in preference to a woman, and the reluctance of women to assume a leadership role in the household if given the opportunity. Despite the expected characteristics of women in the society of Jackson’s “The Lottery”, one woman defies her predestined role and tries to fight the enshrouded system of oppression. Tessie Hutchinson is known for her disapproval against tradition and subtly retaliates in the beginning…show more content…
They reluctantly agree to draw for their husbands, arrive to ceremonies with punctuality, and remain docile in the company of men. In particular, Mrs. Dunbar substitutes in for her husband, who has a broken leg, to draw a slip but “said regretfully, ‘Guess I gotta fill in for the old man this year,’” externalizing her disinclination to assume the role of a man despite her obvious capability (Jackson 3). The diction Jackson utilizes, “regretfully”, unveils Mrs. Dunbar’s uncertainty in assuming the role of her husband. Her uneasiness can be traced to the absence of women in leadership roles. In addition, Mrs. Dunbar reluctantly accepts her role to show the other villagers that she is only in a position of importance because of the circumstances she finds herself in. Also contributing to the belief that women are menial to men is the reinforcement from other women. Notably, when Tessie Hutchinson protests against the tradition of women’s maltreatment, Mrs. Delacroix calls, “Be a good sport, Tessie”, reinforcing the notion that women are destined to live under the shadow of man (Jackson 5). Jackson uses the name Delacroix to symbolize the influence of Christianity in the village. In the beginning of the story, Mrs. Delacroix and Tessie have a close relationship suggesting Tessie’s close relationship with God. However, once Tessie voices her thought about women’s subordination, Mrs. Delacroix is the first to reprimand her revealing the restrictions Christian tradition places on women. Altogether, the tradition of patriarchy debase women and their confidence with Christianity as the main
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