The Lottery

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“The girls stood aside (Jackson).”The short story “The Lottery” was written by Shirley Jackson in 1949. Shirley has been writing since she was a young teenager. When she entered Syracuse University she wrote her first story in 1937. Jackson wrote novels that were made into films and won a poetry contest in college (Jackson). The Lottery was in a small town where the head of each house hold was to pick a paper. The person that picked the paper with the mark on it was stoned to death. The people in the town took it seriously and everyone in the town was made to do it. 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 being with, many people in this short story had a lot of power within their family. Throughout the town “Daughters draw with their husbands’ families, Tessie, You know that as well as anyone else (Jackson).” This shows that the husband was head of each house hold because he got to pick for the entire family. After Bill picked for his family his entire family had to pick a piece of paper to determine who was going to get stoned. The men clearly have the power in the family since they have to have the responsibility to pick for their family. In the beginning, “There was a proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster (Jackson).” Mr. Summers had a lot of power in his hands since he was the one in charge of the entire lottery. Also it was a big deal when he arrived and stood up in front of everyone to have a proper swearing-in since no one else got to be. So in the end Mr. Summers and the men had the most power in the short story The Lottery. Syracuse University


Next, the people in the city that had power affected the ones with little or no power. The people screamed, “Show us her paper Bill (Jackson).”Bill had to no choice but to take the paper from her and show everyone. Bill didn’t want to sacrifice his family but had to since he was the one given control to pick for his family. Tessie said “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, Mrs. Huchinson screamed, and then they were upon her (Jackson).”She was upset that she got chosen to get stoned by the entire town. She had no control over getting stoned because Mr. Summers doesn’t get second chances and plays by the rules. She had to die in front of everyone since she had no power to change what happened like Mr. Summers has.

To sum it all up, in the short story The Lottery is shows what character have the power and what characters were affected by it. This story shows that having too much power cannot always be a good thing. Having no power can also be a bad thing since someone’s life got taken when she didn’t deserve it. This is a great example of how people can take things serious when it’s not necessary to. Also how people do some crazy things and think it is alright.









Work Citied
Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. 18 November 2011
Jackson, Shirley. 2005. Twayne Publishers 18 November 2011<http://shirleyjackson.org/>





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