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The Irony in 'The Lottery'Shirley Jackson wrote the story 'The Lottery.' A lottery is typically thought of assomething good because it usually involves winning something such as money or prizes. Inthis lottery it is not what they win but it is what is lost. Point of views, situations, and thetitle are all ironic to the story 'The Lottery.'The point of view in 'The Lottery' is ironic to the outcome. Jackson used thirdperson dramatic...
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Irony in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
“The Lottery” is full of irony. Shirley Jackson most likely intended to use this amount of irony to make the over all story funny in its twisted theme. Each layer of irony used, prepared the reader to have the most dramatic reaction to the last and final blow that wrapped the whole story up.
I would say the most major and obvious type of irony used here was situational irony. Jackson knew that what most peoples’ impression of the lottery is winning money or something good. She played on that and turned it into something completely opposite. Giving her story kick and uniqueness.
However, there was other more minor but...
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In Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery", she uses many literary devices. However the most prevalent are irony and symbolism. Jackson uses irony and symbolism to illustrate the underlying darker theme not evident in the beginning of the short story. The use of irony is in almost every paragraph. Even the title of the story is ironic because it represents something positive but in the end the reader finds the true meaning of the title to be negative. "Part of the horrific effect of Jackson's writing stems from the author's...
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When you hear the word "Lottery' an association is made with luck and reward. In Shirley Jackson's story, "The Lottery", an ironic ending shifts the reader's positive association of a lottery into one of misfortune and horror. The irony of the story is that the winner of the lottery gets stoned to death by the others in the village. Throughout the story, Jackson uses irony to reinforce the theme of this work, suffering masked by the idea of fortune.Initially, the setting creates an image of a typical small town...
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“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, is a short story about a once a year lottery that is performed in a small town. The story takes place in a town in New England. In this particular village during the lottery, one person is chosen at random to be stoned to death by the people. For nearly a century the lottery has been performed. This reoccurring event is not looked down upon and is accepted by the townspeople. By using symbolism, Jackson uses names, objects and the setting to mask irony of the lottery.
The names of each character hold significant meanings in the lottery. Jackson uses symbolic names to specify and suggest what will come to be after the lottery is played out. Yarmove states …...
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Irony of The Setting in The LotteryThe setting set forth by Shirley Jackson in the beginning of The Lottery creates a mood of peacefulness and tranquillity. This setting also creates an image in the mind of the reader, the image of a typical town on a normal summer day. Furthermore, Shirley Jackson uses the setting in The Lottery to foreshadow an ironic ending.First, Shirley Jackson begins The Lottery by establishing the setting. To begin, she tells the reader what time of day and what time of year the story takes place. This is important to get the reader...
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In the stories “Story of an Hour”, “Everyday Use”, “The Necklace”, and “The Lottery” it is evident that irony was quite a large part of the short story. There is situational irony, which is when the situation turns out differently than expected. Also, dramatic irony is present, which is when you as a reader knows more than the character. The authors seem to base their whole story around irony to surprise their readers.
There are a couple of examples of situational irony that is apparent throughout “Story of an Hour“. Mr. Mallard being dead is one. The messenger comes and says that there was a train crash and Mr. Mallard was in it. Mr. Mallard is indeed not dead but we think he is...
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A lottery has always provided a sense of hope and adventure to people, but the lottery takes on an entirely different significance in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. The story takes place in a village of roughly three hundred people. Everyone in the village gathers at the center to take part. One representative from each family comes up, to take a piece of paper from an old, black, wooden box. The Hutchinson family has the black dot; each family Hutchinson member then comes up to pick another piece of paper. Mrs. Hutchinson has the second black dot; she is made to come to the center of the circle, and she is stoned to death by the crowd. Shirley Jackson illustrates clearly the brutality in...
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Foreshadowing in The Lottery In the short story The Lottery, (reprinted in Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 7th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 1998] 421) Shirley Jackson depicts a special day, June 27, in the lives of the inhabitants of a small, apparently serene village. The use of foreshadowing is applied extensively to hint to the reader that despite the seemingly festive occasion, there is something morbid about the lottery that causes the people of the town to be uneasy. Jackson foreshadows the ironic conclusion with specific examples and both ominous and tense...
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In "The Guest" Albert Camus uses irony to convey the existential theme of making what you believe to be the moral choice regardless of the consequences. This theme reflects Camus' existential philosophies, stressing free choice and responsibility for one's actions in addition to the inevitability of death. This philosophy plays a major role in the theme and structure of this story, and stresses the individual's unique position as a self determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices. In...
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In the story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, we are introduced to a small New England Town, which is not named. In the opening of the story, we are given a picture of summer. The beginning of the summer for most is usually a time of great expectations, planting of gardens, school getting out and the smell of the sweet flowers, carried by the breeze. In the short story “ The Lottery” it welcomes the reader with that image, it paints a picture that we are all familiar with. Within in this small New England town, there exists a sense of tradition; rebelliousness and conformity are just a few central themes that carry this story. One person speaks out about this savage tradition, others may...
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Shirley Jackson's, "The Lottery", is a short story that is filled with a great amount of representation. It's very effective in raising many questions in the back of someone's mind toward the pointless nature of humanity. Without symbolism, the story would amount to a little more than an odd tale about stoning. However, because of what each character represented and the way the setting helped to expand those representations, it became a short story that...
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Tessie Hutchinson may not be meant as the metaphor for every human being; but she does represent the victim. She is chosen for this unciivil act just as a murder victim is chosen: at random. The difference lies with Tessie's attitude before and after she is selected as the "winner" of the lottery. Tessie questions the tradition and correctness of the lottery as well as her humble status as a wife. It might as well be this insubordination that leads to her selection by the lottery and lynching by the angry mob of villagers. It is human nature to cling on to the past. Unfortunately, clinging on to the past leaves no room for progress even when it is necessary.The townspeople have...
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The Irony in the Title Nothing's Changed
In my opinion nothings changed is a tragic and revengeful poem, which
reveals the veracity of the way nothing has changed even after
The poem is set in District six, Cape Town, South Africa and was
written by Tatamkhulu Afrika. A man who once witnessed the solace and
recreation of district six.
There is an ample of irony in the title nothings changed. District six
has changed physically but in no other way.
For starters in stanza one the man is walking through district six
which has been evicted of the ethnic cultures and instead been
inhabited by whites. Through this stanza we discovered that district
six is kept a...
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Analysis of Setting in "The Lottery"� Setting, the time, location, and objects in which the events of a literary work occur. This important factor is needed to help the reader familiarize himself with what he is reading. Many writers use setting to "establish a realistic background, transport us to strange and exotic places, or even to create a certain mood"� (Paschal 4). For example, setting as described in "The Lottery"� is a small present day town on a clear and sunny summer day. Shirley Jackson makes this known because it sets the mood in the beginning for the ironic turnaround at...
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Religious Tradition in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
While 'The Lottery' is a fictitious story it can be argued that it mirrors the attitude of American culture in how it addresses religious tradition in its major holidays and celebrations.
Two of the biggest holidays in the United States are Christmas and Easter. Both of which are derived from Christian beliefs. Even though 'The Lottery' is apparently a pagan ritual, violent and horrific, it is appropriate, only by the fact that the participants no longer remember, or seem to care, what the original intent of the ritual or the significance of its traditions.
When we are introduced to the lottery, we see the...
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On the Desensitization of Murder in The Lottery
When someone is a part of or witnesses any one thing enough times, that person will become desensitized to it, whether it is gradually accepting abortion, homosexuality or anything else for that matter. People can even become accustomed to violent murder if it is ingrained into their lives enough. Take the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Officers that were partly responsible for the death of millions) The Lithuanians showed them how to murder women and children, and they became accustomed to it (Cesarani 165). Shirley Jackson most certainly takes this "desensitization" into account when she writes "The Lottery." The characters in Shirley Jackson's "The...
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Dramatic Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. Sophocles knowing that his audience is aware of the outcome of the play utilizes that knowledge to create various situations in which dramatic irony play key roles. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows the tragic truth before the characters do. Through his use of irony Sophocles manages to avoid retelling an old tale, though the audience is cognizant of the story's end they are intrigued by the irony present in the story. Sophocles made liberal use of irony. By doing this he tantalized the viewer into wanting to see how the events that occurred later would mentally affect...
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Throughout many works of literature, authors have used allusions for the reader to be able to make multiple connects between many different important works of art. In all types of literature, whether it is a poem, novel, or part of a casual/scintillating conversation, allusions are between the lines of most readings, connecting dots immediately due to their hidden, yet obvious meanings. Once one takes a closer look, the reader can observe that Jackson uses biblical allusions in her short story to create many references to different stories and facts in the Bible: such as sin, Jesus saving Mary, Jesus dying on the cross, and more. Making each statement count in her short story to touch the...
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Irony is the general name given to literary techniques that involvesurprising, interesting,or amusing contradictions. 1 Two stories thatserve as excellent demonstrations of irony are "The Pardoners Tale" and"The Nun's Priest's Tale," both from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.Although these two stories are very different, they both use irony to teacha lesson.Of the stories, "The Pardoners Tale" displays the most irony. Firstand...
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Emely EstevezProfessor EspositoNovember 6 2014English 101There are many types of irony such as basic irony which is the use of word to convey a meaning that is opposite of its literal meaning. Situational irony which is the moment a characters actions have the opposite of their intended effect. Finally there is dramatic irony which occurs when there is a contrast between the readers knowledge and the knowledge of the characters in the work. However situational irony is what mostly transpires in Kate Chopin short story "The Story of an Hour"Situational irony is...
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Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Thesis: The short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson found in Perrine's Literature written by Thomas R. Arp is a story full of symbolism.
I. Names are used to represent different aspects of the story.
a. Mr. Summers is a bright and cheerful man. His attitude, demeanor, and name represent the summer. Mr.Graves' name represents what is about to happen. They are sending someone to their grave. These names are obvious as to what they mean.
b. Mrs. Delacroix's name comes from the Latin word for crucifix. Mr. And Mrs. Adams' name is used to represent humanity. These names you have to look a little more deeply into.
II. The items used to hide...
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Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
"The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about a disturbing social practice. The setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred denizens. On June twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate. Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and their annual practice. Not until the end does he or she gets to know what the lottery is about. Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible...
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Traditions are passed on, from previous generations in Shirley Jackson’s “The
Lottery”. Traditions, which have been lost in time, but seemingly enough the stones have
not been discarded. Set on a village in a warm summer day, the story begins with several
boys gathering stones for the lottery. The rest of the villagers gather in the square. The
fate of the villagers is determined by a slip of paper chosen from the black box.
Symbolism and characterization, from the beginning to the end, work together to reveal
the story’s theme: that people blindly follow tradition even if it leads to their own
In the beginning, the villagers clearly show how the...
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Irony in "Top of the Food Chain" by T. Coraghessan Boyle10th Grade EnglishMs. DeAnna BridgesVeronica PantinT. Coraghessan Boyle's "On Top of the Food Chain" is more than just a narration of a selfish person's mistakes. The narrator's tone is a literary element used to show man's...
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Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is a story about a small town’s tradition. Every summer the
town’s people gather in the square for a ritualistic drawing of names, however, the winner of the
drawing will lose their life. No one in the village questions the sadistic ceremony, everyone
simply complies. Jackson suggest that the tradition is as old as the town and thus many portions
of the ceremony have long been forgotten yet the villagers are faithful to the portions that have
been remembered without question. Jackson cleverly demonstrates how dangerous tradition can
be when blindly followed. There are many reasons why people follow others, however, it can
have devastating results (McMahan, Day,...
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When Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” was first published in The New Yorker in 1948, it
struck a nerve with readers. “The story was incendiary; readers acted as if a bomb had blown up
in their faces . . . Shirley struck a nerve in mid-twentieth-century America . . . She had told
people a painful truth about themselves” (Oppenheimer 129). Interestingly, the story strikes that
same nerve with readers today. When my English class recently viewed the video, those students
who had not previously read the story reacted quite strongly to the ending. I recall this same
reaction when I was in high school. Our English teacher chose to show the video before any
student had read the story....
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The Lottery: Symbolism
In her story “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson manages to catch the readers’ attention and ultimately shock them with an unexpected ending; all of which help her emphasize her critique toward the dark side of human nature and the evil that resides, sometimes, in those who we less expect it from. Jackson uses symbolism throughout the story that helps her set the mood and also makes the readers wonder and analyze the senseless violence and cruelty in their own lives.
It all starts with the setting of the story. As Jackson describes “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...
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Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus
In the play "Oedipus," irony is used frequently as and as eloquently by Sophocles to the reveal theme of seeking knowledge. Not knowing the King of Thebes, Oedipus, gives speeches on finding the murderer of the King of Laias and how wretched the poor soil will be when the truth is revealed. " Then once more I must bring what is dark to light…, whoever killed King Laios might- who knows?-might decide at any moment to kill me as well. By avenging the murder of the King, I protect myself, (Sophocles 1109). The speech shows how dedicated Oedipus in the pursuit of the murderer and not only the avenge of the King but to save himself. He will not be saving but...
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"The Irony of McCarthy's Use of Title"
In the novel All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, the author shows how important the roles of the horses are in the story and how they relate to John Grady, the protagonist of the novel. The horse has played an important role in the development of America. It has been a form of transportation, easy muscle, and companionship. In the Wild West, it was an essential resource for a cowboy to do his daily chores. McCarthy describes horses as spiritual and as resembling the human soul; meaning that horses came in many different forms. Horses are pretty, ugly, wild, tame, etc. in the story, they have so many different descriptions and different...
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Tradition in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
Shirley Jackson?s insights and observations about society are reflected in her shocking and disturbing short story The Lottery. Jackson reveals two general attitudes in this story: first is the shocking tendency for societies to select a scapegoat and second is the idea that communities are victims of social tradition and rituals.
Anyone with knowledge of current events must be aware of times when society has seized upon a scapegoat as means of resolution. Countless politicians, military leaders, corporate executives and school administrators frequently use this proven technique. The people of the small village were very similar to...
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Hidden Horrors in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" presents conflict on more than one level. The most important conflict in the story is between the subject matter and the way the story is told. From the beginning Jackson takes great pains to present her short story as a folksy piece of Americana. Slowly it dawns on us, the terrible outcome of what she describes.
From the first sentence of the story,
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.
We are given the feeling of being in an idyllic, rural world. She enhances this...
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Tradition is the Guide of the Ignorant in The Lottery
In "The Lottery" author Shirley Jackson takes us to a place in which a tradition is passed down generation after generation. However, over the years, the "lottery" has lost any significant meaning and the villagers follow tradition without even knowing why the tradition exists. In this short story, a lottery is held every June 26th of each year. The lottery consists of every man of each household to pick a piece of paper out of a box. One family will be the "chosen" family, which means that each member of the family will then choose another piece of paper from the box. In the end, only one person will be the ultimate "winner." ...
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An obsession exists in the world today based solely upon the use of scapegoats. According to the dictionary, a scapegoat consists of a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. Some of the most influential scapegoats consist of Jesus Christ taking suffering for the sins of civilization, the Jewish population being punished for the problems in Germany, and more recently the U.S. citizens who perished in 9/11 being punished for the sins of America. Scapegoats have come in many forms over time and have been very destructive. The usage of scapegoats in our society, such as in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, has proved to be damaging, and an...
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The dangers of Following Traditions BlindlySymbolism is the application of symbols to signify things or bring them to mind. In her story "The Lottery", Shirley Jackson expresses her emotions towards man's carelessness and violent practices of traditions. This is shown when the lottery takes place in the story and the "winner" is stoned to death to help crop growth in the village. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to represent a sequence of events that occur throughout the story. She uses symbolism in the...
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On the surface, Chanda’s Secret, by Allan Stratton, is a mind-altering story about the tough life of a girl who lives in a world of disease and death. However, under the surface, is a story about a power struggle within Chanda’s life. “The Lottery” is a story that appears innocent as the town holds its annual lottery to ensure successful agriculture. However, the book soon takes a deep turn as the reader slowly realizes that the “winner” of the lottery is stoned to death in the end. Chanda’s Secrets and “The Lottery” have similar examples of power because a governmental power starts a huge problem, social power keeps it going, and social power prevents it from being resolved.
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The Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
In "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make us aware of the
pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. The story starts off
on a beautiful summer day in a small town. The author describes the day as very
euphoric but strikes a contrast between the atmosphere of the town and the
atmosphere of the people gathered in the square. The atmosphere is subdued,
where the children are "gathered around quietly."
The black box is the central theme or idea in the story. It symbolizes at
first some type of mystery, but as we read the ending we realize that it is
synonymous with doom....
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The Unalterable Human Condition Exposed in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
The short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, managed to capture various human tendencies stemming from the very heart of the unalterable human condition. The willingness to follow tradition blindly, the inherent cruelty of humans, and the unwillingness to change were the primary negative behaviors depicted in the story.
The unalterable human condition is one of the truths of human existence. Throughout the course of history, humans tend to act in the same ways, repeat the same mistakes, and end up little better than they were a century before. Although technology has changed, increasing the quality of...
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Human RightsHuman rights are something that everyone deserves. Unfortunately, in various parts of the world, basic human rights are denied. That is why it is important to defend the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. Two pieces of literature that demonstrate how people should defend themselves are The Hangman, a poem by Maurice Ogden and The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson.In The Lottery, a small town somewhere in the country gathers on a warm, early-summer morning to carry out their annual lottery....
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Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" is situational ironywritten in 1884. The story was written in a time when there were verydistinct social classes primarily determined by one's birth. It is abouta woman who can not come to terms with her position in the middleclass. Although she knows she can not escape her class, sherefuses to accept it gracefully. It is through Matilde that Maupassantdevelops the story's irony. This is reflected through...
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The Use of Dramatic Irony in Sophocle's Oedipus the King
Tragedy as an element of the human experience has been the subject of many of the great works of literature written in the Western tradition. For some, tragedy embodies the highest form of humanity. It is through suffering that we are able to reveal ourselves most completely. Others see tragedy as an element of morality where we are to learn well the lessons of those who tempt the gods. The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, outlined a theory of tragedy as archetypal drama in his classic work, the Poetics. He uses the play by Sophocles, Oedipus the King (hereafter "Oedipus"), as the standard model by which all other...
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The Use of Irony in The Farming of BonesThe Farming of Bones is a fictitious narrative based on historic events - the 1937 massacre of Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic. The plot unfolds through the words of Amabelle Desir, a servant to a military official's wife. We learn her story and her dreams; how she lost her parents, how she became a servant; the life of sugar cane workers i.e. the poverty, the physical...
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“The Unknown Citizen,” a poem written by W.H. Auden, alludes to a time of great change in American history, where the poem is meant to mock the government’s viewpoint of the perfect role model for an unrealistic, impractical citizen. The author, W.H. Auden, writes and intends for the historical context of his poem to be in the late 1930’s, when America was going through the Great Depression. Citizens were losing a sense of nationalism for America and had begun to negatively view the government. During this time period, the government had also begun to distribute Social Security cards with personalized federal numbers to American citizens, which was the mark of depersonalization in America’s...
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“Stop!” the German soldier called. The young boy stood stunned in his tracks. He couldn't breathe, couldn't see clearly, couldn't move for fear of being shot. The German too, was young and confused. His leaders had told him to do away with anyone that wasn't Aryan. His finger trembled uncertainly on the trigger. There was no other option, and yet there was no reason to hurt the petrified boy who paled before him. The boy, doomed to death from a variable he could not control, gazed into the German's eyes, and saw the same confusion and helplessness echoed there. The boy attempted to voice his fears, his desire to run unscathed. The soldier's eyes widened at the Jew's gaping mouth and made...
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A clear sunny day immediately turns dark with a glimpse of a sinister surprise. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a twisted tale that takes place midsummer in the early twentieth century. A small village of three hundred conducts a heinous ritual once a year which in consequence results in a loss of their community. Members of the village are reluctant to let go of the tradition of the lottery. Symbolism within “The Lottery” illustrates a transformation of the community values.
There are several glimpses of the future that are represented by symbols such as the black box. The black wooden box represents the darkness of death, and the condition of the box suggests a transition in thought...
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Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" satirizes barbaric traditions in a supposedly civilized village. As the story begins, the villagers appear to be fairly civilized and carry on fairly modern lifestyles. This is assumed by the men's discussion of planting, rain, tractors, and taxes. The lottery was outdated to such a degree that some may think that the tradition is primal competition of anthropoid beasts. On the other hand, some think that carrying on the tradition was necessary. The question that must be answered is: Was this a barbaric tradition or was this ritual an honest attempt to better other villager's lives?
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In our society we have many traditions. These traditions all have certain meanings behind them; however, many of those meanings tend to be lost or forgotten. The holiday of Thanksgiving was originally a celebration to commemorate the arrival of the pilgrims in the new world and their first interactions with the Native Americans. So then why is it still celebrated today? There is no actual purpose in today’s society to observe this custom. It has just continued to be observed because of past traditions. There is no logical reason to continue this fête, as it holds little or no value. With the passage of time the actual reasons have been lost or distorted, such as in the case of...
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Usually when someone hears the word “lottery” the first thing that comes to mind is a large sum of cash that people compete against highly impractical odds to win. Shirley Jackson’s story The Lottery might imply a similar conception based on the title alone, but the story is filled with unknowns never revealing exactly when and where the story takes place, or why the lottery exists; even what the lottery is isn’t revealed until the very end. Yet despite Jackson’s omission of details in The Lottery, she manages to create an overtone of mystery that compels the reader to grasp the world of the story rather than define it in terms of the physical world and form their own opinions.
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There are many instances in which William Shakespeare shapes our modern works of art and literature, doing so by remaining the most spoken playwright of his century. Besides his many privileges, he had used some literary elements that have great discussion in the present day, such as his usage of irony, foreshadowing, unconscious hypocrisy and other literary elements. They are used today as well, but in the past centuries, the combination of those elements was the technique which was the most appealing to the audience, the one, actually, used by Shakespeare. One of those elements is
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When Shirley Jackson first published her short story “The Lottery,” it caused a great deal of controversy. It warranted high critical acclaim, but it also brought threats to Jackson’s life. The public was outraged that she would write such a violent story, which ended with the unmerciful killing of an innocent woman. The violence in response to the story ironically reflects the violence within, and reveals a darker, yet necessary, part of the human psyche. The characters in “The Lottery” require the violent ritual to live peaceful and happy lives. The violent tradition is beneficial to the town’s people because it supports a healthy group psychology, is a conditioned behavioral norm for...