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The lottery by Shirley Jackson

“It has long been my belief that in times of great stress, such as a 4-day vacation, the thin veneer of family wears off almost at once, and we are revealed in our true personalities (Shirley Jackson).” Shirley Jackson was an influenced American author and very popular in her time. She is best known for her short story, “The Lottery”, which suggested a secret, threatening underside to a rural small-town America (Wiki). The Lottery was about a small town consisting of three-hundred people. The drawing of the lottery is a tradition that has been practiced to ensure a good harvest. The head of each family draws a slip of paper, and the Hutchinson gets the one with the black dot meaning they’re the chosen one. Next, each of the Hutchinson family members draw a slip of paper and Tessie the unlucky one gets the marked one. In keeping with tradition, they stoned Tessie to death, while she bemoans how unfair it was. Jackson shows how the fictional events in the town can be connected to factual historical events or current events.
“Soon the men began to gather, surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes (The Lottery).” Shirley meant to say that men were mostly important back in the day, and that women are the second most important in a family. The fathers try to teach their children about life and the town traditions in which America once used to be. “Because so much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations (The Lottery).” From this specific quote about the most powerful man of the town in which this story took place, it is trying to state that the people of the town did not care about what he used for the lottery because of the fact that they felt sorry for him. And from that Shirley wants to show that from pity begins power.
"Wife draws for her husband." Mr. Summers said. "Don't you have a grown boy to do it for you, Janey?" Although Mr. Summers and everyone else in the village knew the answer perfectly well (The Lottery)…" Shirley tries to show how disrespectful it was to ask that because of the inequality between men and women around the Salem’s witch trial years. It was always said a long time before that women were created from a man’s ribs, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal, under the arm to be protected and by the heart to be loved. "I think we ought to start," Mrs. Hutchinson said, as quietly as she could. "I tell you it wasn't fair. You didn't give him time (The Lottery)..." In the short story, this is the part where Tessie complains about how this draw was fixed by Mr. Summers and that he wouldn't give them another chance to draw again. From Marxist criticism, Jackson shows how Mr. Summers is the ruler of their economic environment and also doesn't want to have the possibility of getting the marked slip of paper.
"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 (The Lottery)." This comes to show that this lottery event this year must have been fixed by the hints that Tessie caught onto from the weird attitude and vibe from Mr. Summers about not wanting to have a do-over in favors of Tessie, a woman. Mr. Summers will always have the time and energy for civil activities in the town even if it means someone has got to go." Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones (The Lottery)." the town was so anxious to get on with it to stone the chosen one in order to not be able to go back to "retrial". The people of the town seemed pretty satisfied with the results because it is not the people whose getting stoned it's the chosen one that is and that they don't need to accede or deal with it.
In the short story The Lottery, Jackson shows how the fictional events in the town can be connected to factual historical events and/or current events. Any response to this story can be negative but the point is for Shirley Jackson to get the message straight across out there.





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