Show MoreCritical Analysis for “The Lottery”
Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery", aroused much controversy and criticism in 1948, following its debut publication, in the New Yorker. Jackson uses irony and comedy to suggest an underlying evil, hypocrisy, and weakness of human kind.
The story takes place in a small village, where the people are close and tradition is paramount. A yearly event, called the lottery, is one in which one person in the town is randomly chosen, by a drawing, to be violently stoned by friends and family. The drawing has been around over seventy-seven years and is practiced by every member of the town.
The surrealness of this idea is most evident through Jackson's tone. Her use of friendly language among the…show more content…
"Mr. Summers was very good at all this; in his clean white shirt and blue jeans, with one hand resting carelessly on the black box, he seemed very proper and important as he talked interminably to Mr. Graves and the Martins (122). The name Summers subtly identifies the mood of the short story as well as the administrator himself, "jovial" (121), auspicious, and bright. Mr. Summers is the man in front, the representative of the lottery, as his name symbolizes the up front, apparent, tone of the event. Mr. Graves, on the other hand, symbolizes the story's underlying theme and final outcome. Mr. Graves is Mr. Summer's assistant, always present but not necessarily in the spotlight. The unobvious threat of his name and character foreshadows the wickedness of the ordinary people, that again, is always present but not in the spotlight.
Along with hypocrisy, "the Lottery" presents a weakness in human individuals. This town, having performed such a terrible act for so many years, continues on with the lottery, with no objections or questions asked, and the main purpose being to carry on the tradition. "There's always been a lottery" (123), says Old Man Warner. "Nothing but trouble in that," he says of quitting the event. However, the villagers show some anxiety toward the event. Comments such as "Don't be nervous Jack" (123), "Get up there Bill" and Mrs. Delacroix's
Name of Student Name of Professor English 102 (7721) Date Critical Analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course. Life is a gift to be treasured and not to be sacrificed. In the short story, “The Lottery” author Shirley Jackson create a very shocking and horrifying theme of the power of society over individual; to reveal to the readers how the society could persecute the innocent people for unreasonable reasons. The Lottery is a gripping tale of a small town occurrence and everyday problem. It is ultimately a kind of fable or story which keeps the reader in suspense due to the style the author, Ms. Jackson used in presenting the whole situation. Besides, the lottery is actually just an ironic name for barbaric rituals that takes place every June 27 th , when each family draws a paper and the paper with a black dot on it must have their entire family draw again to pick for the black dotted paper. The rest of the town people must stone whoever draws it. In the lottery, right from the beginning of the story we are introduced to this village multiple traditions. Some of these traditions are directly related to the lottery while others would be simply seen as normal traditions of that time period. “The Lottery” is completely driven by how the will of the group can overtake the power of the individual. However, Shirley Jackson create a very shocking and