"The Lottery" By Shirley Jackson Essay

1625 words - 7 pages

In her story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson tells the story of evil blind rituals of a society in a small village. Villagers gather together in the central square for the annual lottery. There is much excitement and interest as the rituals of the event proceeds. Mr. Summers has a small box where small pieces of paper are folded and stored. The box is placed in a specific place. In the first round, the names of heads of families are called one at a time to come up and get a piece of paper. When all of the families have come up and taken a folded piece of paper, then they can look at their paper. Only one piece of paper has a black mark on it, which represents death. Hutchinson's family wins the lottery. In the second round, members of the Hutchinson's family come up and take a folded piece of paper. Mrs. Hutchinson becomes the victim of the lottery. Mrs. Hutchinson is then stoned by the villagers, along with her family members. "The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson, explores mankind's evil nature hiding behind traditions and rituals.The village's most powerful man, Mr. Summers owns a coal company and has more "time and energy to devote to civic activities" (474) than others. Mr. Summers is a complex character who wants to replace the black box and use paper instead of "chips of woods" (475). Mr. Summers is a lottery official, sworn in yearly by Mr. Graves. He is very responsible and authoritative in conducting the lottery. "His clean white shirt and blue jeans" (475) represents his strong and bold personality. Mr. Graves, the postmaster, helps Mr. Summers make up the lottery slips. He seems to be an aggressive man as he "removed the folded paper from the tight fist" (479) of Davy. And beneath Mr. Graves is Mr. Martin, who has the economically advantageous position of being the grocer in a village of three hundred. Mr. Martin steadies the lottery box as the slips are "stirred" (475). These three most powerful men who control the town, economically as well as politically, also happen to administer the lottery. Tessie Hutchinson, protagonist, arrives late for the lottery. It is significant that she has just come from washing the dishes, one of the most basic jobs of housework. Wiping her hands on her apron and apologizing for being late by saying, "Wouldn't have me leave m'dishes in the sink, now would you. Joe?" (476) help us to establish Tessie's status in this society. She is a housewife. She raises children and takes care of the home. As Tessie's fate is announced when she wins the lottery, she rebels against her role. That Tessie's rebellion is entirely unconscious is revealed by her cry while being stoned, "It isn't fair" (480).Conflict in the story starts during the first round of the lottery, when heads of the families open the folded paper. Hutchinson's family has a black spot in his slip, which symbolizes their death. Mrs. Hutchinson struggles to reverse the conflict by saying: "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw...

Find Another Essay On "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

707 words - 3 pages In ancient time, tradition usually helped people to find their way and to develop their personalities. However, tradition could blind people by being destructive and creating victims through social pressure. Shirley Jackson's story ''The Lottery'' portrays an ordinary New England village with average citizens engaged in a deadly rite, the annual selection of sacrificial a victim by means of a public lottery. Jackson proves her point by Miss

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

1317 words - 5 pages The Lottery by Shirley Jackson I was watching an episode of “The Simpsons” on TV the other day, and there was a craze around town because the Springfield Lottery was up to 130 million dollars. Bookstores were selling out of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. Homer quickly threw the book into the fireplace when he realized that the book could not tell him how to win the lottery, that it was a book about time old traditions, barbaric, but

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

2133 words - 9 pages The 1940s in America sparked a new era in history concerning violence and warfare. The end of World War II brought the most horrific event in all of modern history to be witnessed by the world; the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, and further, the Holocaust. Born at the end of the Great War and living through this second World War, graphic imagery of the violence existing throughout her world filled the life of Shirley Jackson. Jackson’s husband

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

1077 words - 4 pages The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Analyzation encompasses the application of given criteria to a literary work to determine how efficiently that work employs the given criteria. In the analyzation of short stories, the reader uses a brief imaginative narrative unfolding a single incident and a chief character by means of a plot, the details so compresses and the whole treatment so organized, a single impression results. To expose that

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

614 words - 2 pages because we didn't see any signs of violence throughout the story until the end. Bibliography: Works Cited Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." The Bedord Guide for College Writers, with Reader, Research Manual, and Handbook. 5th ed. By X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Sylvia A. Holladay. Boston: Bedford, 1999.

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

1551 words - 6 pages Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a story littered with warnings and subtext about the dangers a submissive society can pose. While the opening is deceptively cheery and light Jackson uses an array of symbols and ominous syntax to help create the apprehensive and grim tone the story ends with. Her portrayal of the town folk as blindly following tradition represents the world during World War II when people’s failure to not mindlessly accept

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson - 822 words

822 words - 3 pages , the narrator does not interject moral judgment when reporting, so the tone is undisturbed. This is demonstrated by the following, “. . . , the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’ clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner” (Jackson 137). The narrator does not stop to interpret or draw assumptions about the lottery. If told from any other perspective, the

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson - 983 words

983 words - 4 pages "The Lottery" In "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson presents us with a shocking story guaranteed to outrage the reader. The author brings together the residents of a small village as they are gathered for an annual event referred to as the lottery. The families of the village are represented by their names on small pieces of paper, which are placed in a black box. The appointed townsperson oversees the drawing to determine who pulls the slip

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.

691 words - 3 pages The Lottery is such a complex work that even the author, Shirley Jackson couldn't explain it when questioned of its meaning. Division of Labor and Capitalism are huge themes in this story. And there is also the position that man is not yet so advanced that he still won't hesitate to perform acts of violence if it is acceptable to the general populace. There is the "monkey see monkey do" complex, which is also illustrated. And I could go on for

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson - 1261 words

1261 words - 5 pages Having read Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1948) several times now; the biggest thing I've learned is that just because something is tradition, that doesn't make it right. In our lives it's easy to get in the habit of doing things because that's how our parent's or grandparent's did it. It is important to make sure we are in God's word, examining our actions to make sure that they line up with what God wants of us. The Lottery is a story

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.

727 words - 3 pages Shirley Jackson's short story is one of suspense and mystery. The story starts in a very sunny tone and this happiness quickly ebbs away into mounting anxiety and the finally to death as the story closes in on the climax and the end of the story. The village is our world today shrunk into a population of about 300. This essay will talk about the relation to the world today and to Mrs Hutchinson's death by stoning.The women in The Lottery are

Similar Essays

The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay 636 Words

636 words - 3 pages December 14, 1916. Her family moved East when she was seventeen, and she attended the University of Rochester. In 1948 The New Yorker published Jackson’s “The Lottery,” which brought forth the largest volume of mail ever received by the magazine, almost all hateful ( Shirley Jackson's Bio). “The Lottery” was published at a time when America was scrambling for conformity. Following World War II, the general public wanted to leave behind the horrors

"The Lottery" By Shirley Jackson Essay

620 words - 2 pages The various changes of environment always affect people’s life. Human being tended to select the best life styles to fit the nature, and to better adapted to the world. Darwin’s idea of adaptive changes applied to the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. In the story, the small town kept holding the lottery, while other towns refused to continue the lottery. The towns’ refusal illustrated that the villagers in

The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay 2292 Words

2292 words - 9 pages upset because it was as if “The Lottery” really hit home (Hicks 146). In an attempt to portray the graphic realities of life during this time period, Shirley Jackson cleverly expresses the grim facts with her use of literary techniques. Though greatly criticized for its inhumane pictorial of callous brutality, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” illustrates through the characterization of Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson, the use of atmosphere, and allegorical

The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay 1711 Words

1711 words - 7 pages Shirley Jackson, born on December 14, 1916, devotes much of her life to the writing of short stories and novels. Some of these include The Sundial, The Haunting of Hill House, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Jackson's stories, inspiring and influential to most, are also controversial to some. Her most controversial story, published in 1948 in The New Yorker, is "The Lottery." The purpose for the writing of the story varies depending