Marxist Critcism Expressed in the story "The Lottery"

“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” (Jackson). On December 14th, 1919 Jackson was born in San Francisco California. In 1933 her family moved to Rochester, New York which was very hard for her. Jackson published her first story “My life with R.H. Macy”, in 1941. This pretty much started off the career of this author which followed by the writing of many other great stories. Jackson died on August 8th in 1965 in Bennington which ended her career at a high point. 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.
First, Jackson shows that position of power is important to the characters that possess them. For example, “There was the proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster, as the official of the lottery” (Jackson). This quote explains that he has so much power that he is in charge of running the lottery. Every other person in the town looks up to him, and he has control over everybody that lives in the town. The people in the town need to learn to work together and dethrone in from his high superiority set apart from everyone else. Another example of this is, “A sudden hush fell on the crowed as Mr. Summers cleared his throat and looked at the list” (Jackson). This quote explains that Mr. Summers is aware that everybody knows that he is in charge of the town. So during this time he decides to take advantage of that knowledge and make everybody listen to him. Clearing his throat just gave him an idea of how much the crowd of people in the town would silence themselves.
Finally, Jackson also shows that there are consequences for other characters when they allow someone to take control of their power. For example, “Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her” (Jackson). This quote explains that Tessie was low in power and had no say in the matter of getting stoned to death. Everyone else allowed people like Mr. Summers to have control and allow this to happen. The people in the town don’t realize that they could be the next person getting stoned to death if they keep allowing this lottery to happen. Another example of this is “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her” (Jackson). This quote is explaining how Tessie feels that she has control of the fact that she is getting stoned. She thinks that she can beg to the people and make them stop stoning her, like she feels she has the power Mr. Summers has. The truth is that she doesn’t though because she is a lower class person in town with no true meaning to live, as some people would believe.

Jackson shows positions of power and the consequences that other characters are given for it in the short story “The Lottery”. This story teaches people that they need to control their taste for power and make everyone be treated as equals. Being powerful may be great, but it can also be very cruel to people under them. This story truly explains that people need to take control of themselves and try to stop the idea of overpowering each other. If everyone was treated equally there would be no need for some terrible events that occur in result of their power.










Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. n.d.





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