Thesis the lottery shirley jackson

Language & Lit

She created the story after she had been pelted with stones by some school children while she had been going home. What is more, Lynette Carpenter makes the interesting remark that Jackson had a tendency to bestow her own features of character on her heroines. The themes themselves are not new: evil cloaked in seeming good; prejudice and hypocrisy; loneliness and frustration; psychological studies of minds that have slipped the bonds of reality. Friedman The author uses numerous symbols in order to portray the worst flaws of human nature.

The names of her characters are deliberately chosen.

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As a result, she was banned from Massachusetts in The use of this surname indicates that Tessie lives in a community which is totally deprived of tolerance. There are also another names, distinctly symbolic, used by Jackson to show the ignorance of the sacrificial lottery, which the small village holds every year. These sacrifices, which used to be held to appease the god of harvest, have become meaningless in their culture.

One of the most important men in the town is Mr Summers.


Summer is the season of year. It is the season of growing, the season of life. His name partly represents the old pagan fertility ritual because the harvest that is being sacrificed to is grown in summer. The fact that the villagers stick to such primitive rituals is the indication of their worst instincts.

What is the lottery and what function does it fulfil in this community?

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The lottery mentioned above is the essential part of the village tradition. It is also an essential element of the social order. It serves to instil an unconscious fear in the villagers that if they rebel against the social rules, they might be selected in the next lottery.

There are no direct attempts of abolishing the lottery. The only citizens whose behaviour shows rebellious impulses are the Adams and Tessie Hutchinson. Mr and Mrs Adams, whose last name suggests a humanity that has not been entirely effaced, briefly mention other villages that are either talking about giving up the lottery or have already done it. Because of the subconscious fear, they do not suggest that their village should give it up.

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Their reservation may indicate a vague sense of guilt concerning what they are about to do. She would not have had anything against the fact that someone else had been chosen.

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Stoning Tessie is the only way in which the villagers may express their dissatisfaction with the social rules and repress their own temptations to rebel. As far as the nervous laughter of the crowd is concerned, it expresses uncertainty about the validity of the taboos that Tessie breaks. This quite evident in the way such evils presented in this short story are happening in just friendly atmosphere, reflecting the camouflaging nature of humans. Looking for essay on american literature?

Let's see if we can help you! Despite the short story being not insidious until near its end, the author seems to be foreshadowing this notion of deadliness as brought out through M.

Summers, who is in charge of lottery, and his colleague Mr. The picture brought out of Mr. Summers in this short story makes him seem a respected man as he coordinates various social activities. This humble nature of Mr. Summers was very good at all this …..

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Such activities may seem normal with regard to the village norms, but they reflect high degree of human rights violation. The main characters used in this short story depict the mood of the actual events in this short story. Further, the name of Mr. Graves, who happens to be his assistant in activities of lottery, prefigures iniquity of ordinary people. Basically, imagery is clearly brought out in this short story by having the author give the names of the main characters portray the entire theme.

Considering that this act of lottery had been a routine in this village for many years, no one seems to question its negative impacts in the general human welfare. According to Hyman 35 no one had expressed fear of disgust of the act, despite it being depriving human nature of their human rights for survival.

The kind of evil and malevolence presented in this short story goes beyond human violence since all is done calmly and in unity. As Marshall 3 suggests, the use of protagonism in this short story is a real reflection of how people are deeply engraved in hypocrisy and wickedness.

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Ironically, Mrs. Hutchinson, who emerges to protest and rebel against lottery, emerges as the victim of the act of lottery the day she was going to protest against it. This retracts all acts of rebellion against the act of lottery, and everything goes on as usual. Though before drawing from her fellow women to face her fate she seems happy, Mrs.

Hutchison she is brought out to be happy to leave to see the way her fellow humans are mistreated Hyman This reveals the way oppressive norms and cultures deem hopes of liberalization from such oppressive cultures.

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