The Dark Society in “The Lottery” A Lottery symbolizes wealth and fortune for many people; however, “The Lottery,” written by Shirley Jackson, is a pathetic story that reflects the humanity. It was about a ritual held in a village on june27th, every year. During that day, the villagers had to come together; then, every head of the family had to pick a piece of paper. If the men picked a paper with a black spot, he and his family were going to pick the paper in the second time. Then, the person who picked the paper with a black spot in the second time was stoned to death by the villagers. “The Lottery” reveals a dark and vicious society where people are superstitious about the power of ritual, lacking of moral sense to respect their surrounding people, and social inequality in gender. To begin with, the villagers were extremely superstitious in terms of the lottery rights. They grouped together in the morning to wait for the lottery, and they stopped their work also to be able to come to the square on time. However, “the men stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed” (Jackson 2). This showed that they paid a great deal of respect to the lottery even though they knew what would happen after that. Likewise, Mr. Summers wanted to change a new box to replace the old black one, which is “made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here” (2). Mr. Summers’s plan had never passed through because the villagers thought that the old black box had remained the power from the traditional box, and they did not want to change it. Still, The Lottery had been held for at least seventy years, and it increased the likelihood of a good harvest. When MR. Adam revealed that they north village was thinking of quitting the lottery, old Man Warner believed that it would be bad for the village because it might mean poor harvest(Jackson 4). For this reason, the villagers held the lottery for a long period time. On the contrary, there is no evidence to prove that the ritual can bring a good harvest; it just reveals that many people become victims under the superstition of ritual. In addition, the villagers lack care for the well-being of their surrounding people. To illustrate, Old Man Warner said that he had been to the lottery for seventy-seven year (5). This means he had seen many bloody and terrible scenes where the victims were stoned to death because of the lottery, but he did not show any guilt for participating in many murders. Furthermore, when Tessie (Mrs. Hutchinson) was picked as the victim of the lottery, he urged everyone to kill her (6). This action was extremely cold-blooded because he was encouraging the other villagers to commit the murder. Moreover, Tessie’s husband Bill and their children did not take any action to protect her. When Tessie knew her husband picked the paper with the black spot, she was trying to get support from her husband by saying the lottery was unfair. On the other hand, her husband just told her to shut up instead of agreeing what she had addressed (5). Her children did not say any word either. When Tessie picked the paper with the black spot and became the victim of the ritual, nobody stood for her, and her husband and children kept silent. At that time, the villagers just wanted to finish the ritual as soon as possible. Mrs. Delacroix, who talked to Tessie before the lottery started, chose a big stone and picked it with two hands (Jackson 6). This is a heartless behavior because one small stone can already kill a person. Mrs. Delacroix does not have to pick that heavy stone; she could choose a smaller one instead. In the last part of the text, “someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.” (5) The villagers wanted Tessie’s little son to participate into the murder and kill his mother. These actions indicate that the
ENGL 202: Literature and Composition
Thesis: Death is the main theme of both short stories and both authors portrayed this dark and dreary idea as a game the characters are playing.
Outline: “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson vs. “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
a. Traditional acts and survival instincts is the key to win or lose the game of death
b. Will one allow society or your own reasoning decided if one survives…
By: Wayne Gillard II
Professor C. Givens
Essay 1 Outline
Thesis: The literary works of “The Lottery” and “Young Goodman Brown” both appear to show the fallibleness of human behavior and judgment.
I. Introduction/Statement of Thesis
II. Themes and Author’s Purpose
a. The Lottery
i. The hazards of following tradition or living according to society norms; doing things just because society accepts…
The short story called The Lottery by Shirley Jackson incorporates many symbols to emphasize the theme throughout the story. One of the symbols that is mentioned in the short story is the lottery, which represents tradition and how a group uses violence to conform to society. The author also utilizes the names of the villagers as symbols to depict contradictory characteristics of each personage. In addition to these symbols, Jackson also uses the black box, the three-legged stool,…
Character Comparison of “Young Goodman Brown” and the “Lottery”
Professor Katie Robinson
July 15, 2012
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's “Young Goodman Brown” and Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery”, we are given a picture of seemingly normal people who are capable of incredible evil.
Opening mood in both stories
a. Goodman Brown's sets out on a walk in the forest, but knows that evil awaits him.
Shirley Jackson’s short story ‘The Lottery’ is a very well known story to most. Due to it’s disturbing content and violent situations, most people would be rather scared to continue their read. But, throughout the story, Jackson portrays many aspects of what tradition consisted of and the horrors behind many of our ancestors. The term ‘lottery’ usually, in our opinions at least, sounds to be something good, but as readers know, it is quite the opposite in this story. The characters in the story who…
29 March 2012
“The Lottery,” A Literary Analysis
Although fiction, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” accurately examines humanity’s strikingly realistic capacity for evil within a contemporary, familiar American setting. The story explores how a modern society follows a deadly ritual obediently and in uniformity, with the same fervor and joy as in the past. Through her alarming imagery in the story, Jackson…
Comparison and Contrast of The Lottery and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
The differences between "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "The Ones
Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin seem relatively minor when
compared to the striking similarities they contain in setting, symbols, and
Each of the stories begin with a description of a beautiful summer day.
"The flowers were blooming profusely and the grass was richly green"(para 1) in
"The Lottery" is quite comparable to "old…
There are two major themes of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. These include the dangers of thoughtlessly following traditions, the unjust and inhumanity of violent persecutions. This story intrigued me not only for its message, but because of the author’s background. Jackson suffered from severe depression, and struggled with it throughout her life, this may have had some relevance as to why she wrote this story. Her unique and twisted foreshadowing tone shows the reader a glimpse…
While he could see reality, the other men would insist “that up he went and down he came without his eyes” (Plato).
It is with similar effects that we see the subject of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and Robert Frost’s “The Fear” are in a distorted reality that purposely mirrors ideals in today’s world. Despite each story having a distinct scenario and impression, all are comprised with analogous elements of paranoia that thicken the potency…
and often remind the individual of the pitfalls that come with newfound independence.
The first time that an American becomes an adult is when the Earth has passed around the Sun 18 times since his birth. At this time, the American affirms to society that he is an adult by getting a sheet of processed fuel with his name and picture on it. The American can then do many things to show his independence. He can trade green pieces of paper (commonly traded for goods and services) for other brightly…