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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson


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Shirley Jackson once said, “I never was a person who wanted a handout. I was a cafeteria worker. I'm not too proud to ask the Best Western manager to give me a job. I have cleaned homes” (brainyquote.com). This quote is saying that Shirley Jackson once worked as a maid before where the owners of the house are the rulers in a way connecting to this story. This short story “The Lottery” is about two higher class people are the leaders of the village and need to limit the population by killing off their villagers. In the short story The Lottery, Jackson shows how positions of power are important to the characters that possess them and have consequences for other characters.

To begin with, in the first few paragraphs of the story, it tells the readers the positions of powers. “The lottery was conducted—as were the square dances, the teen club, and the Halloween program—by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities” (Jackson). This quote represents how a male is in charge of the village and how devoted he was to his citizens. Also, the males of the families are in charge and have the most power. “Wife draws for her husband.” Mr. Summers said. “Don’t you have a grown boy to do it for you, Janey” (Jackson)? This quote shows the dominance of the male gender and how the male picks the fate of their family and who dies. The positions of power in this story show a society just like a Dictatorship where there are one or two higher powers. With the positions of power there come consequences that everyone does not agree too.

To end with, “The Lottery” has some consequences in the end but inklings that foreshadow one of the consequences. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix—the villagers pronounced this name “Dellacroy”—eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys” (Jackson). This quote is a foreshadow of how Marxism plays a role in this story and the limits of their population. In this Marxism story, the rulers created a life or death situation and one villager has to accept the consequence of their family and name getting picked. “It’s Tessie, Mr. Summers said, and his voice was hushed. Show us her paper, Bill. Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office. Bill Hutchinson held it up and there was a stir in the crowd” (Jackson). In a Dictatorship their citizens suffer involuntary consequences.

To conclude, in the short story The Lottery, Jackson interprets how other characters have consequences due to the positions of power that certain characters possess. This story shows how Marxism is still around in other countries and how it is so different from the United States. It is important because Marxism is about how different social classes struggle in a society and how one person, or two, should not be in charge of a country due to different consequences.
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Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. Print.
"Shirley Jackson Quotes." Brainyquote.com. Web. 12 Apr. 2011. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/shirley_jackson.html>.




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