Interpretation Of "The Lottery" By Shirly Jackson A Tale Of Pointless Violence, Inhumanity, And Senseless Adherence, While Unintentionally Enlightening The Readers With A Morality Lesson.

1093 words - 4 pages

My scholarly interpretation of The LotteryA lottery: the word lightly rings a blissful tone through out the ears of most American citizens. Yet, in the small town that Shirley Jackson writes about in her short story The Lottery, the word unknowingly stings the ears of these quiet townspeople. Jackson writes about a town that is blinded by an adherence to a tradition. While the actual lottery in the story may seem as an exaggeration, in reality there are many things in today's society that are blindly adhered to because they have been traditions for so long, such as fraternities, sororities, religion, political traditions, academic traditions, and even war. Many people follow these traditions blindly, never questioning why they do them; they just do them because they have always been done that way. People are socialized to follow such societal traditions without asking why. Consequently those that ask "why" are often criticized or ostracized. By Jackson's successful exaggeration of the situation, she shows the absurdity of doing something just because its always been done. Obviously, Shirley Jackson effectively reveals a chilling tale of pointless violence, inhumanity, and senseless adherence, while unintentionally enlightening the readers with a morality lesson about not always following the crowd.This masterful short story initially deceives the reader then shocks the reader into a realization of the dynamics of diction. This basic narrative technique dramatically engages the reader in the textual process such that the reader participates in the action through identification with the townspeople due to simple, yet strong language references. Jackson uses a keen sense of powerful repetition when she continually writes that the characters are laughingly talking and discussing to each other in the crowd, such as when Mrs. Hutchinson and Mrs. Delacroix "both laughed softly" when Mrs. Hutchinson claimed she forgot what day it was. Also after Mrs. Hutchinson humorously explains to her husband why she was late, "a soft laughter ran through the crowd." The use of constant positive and blissful verbs and adjectives shows the authors idea that the people in this town were blindly participating in a senseless, vicious tradition. On the other hand, a reader, such as myself, felt manipulated by the text and ultimately I related with Mrs. Hutchinson's cry, "It isn't fair." Further more, the use of positive sentences to describe the setting of the story and the characters thoughts and actions suggests that the authors intention was to be uncomplicated, straight forward, and to reach a natural language use that ordinary people use in everyday life."The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." Jackson creates a beautiful and delightful setting, while withholding no clues of the extraordinary and critically shocking ending. The reader's first...

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