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How to Start Writing Shirley Jackson Lottery Essay?


A Brief Introduction of Lottery by Shirley Jackson


The Lottery written by Shirley Jackson was published in 1948 in the New Yorker and it generated the most amount of letters than any work of fiction in the magazine and ever received. All the readers were extremely furious and shocked and they were also curious and bewildered by the storyline. There was a huge public outcry over the story and it was mostly because the New Yorker published different works without mentioning whether they were fact or fiction. Several readers would also reading as well as still experiencing the horrors of World War II. Even though through all the times have changed and even win at present, every don’t know is that the story is the fiction, the lottery still has maintained the shocking Ripon readers for centuries. The lottery takes place on June 27 in a beautiful and pleasant summer day in a small town in New England where all the residents are seen together for a traditional annual lottery. The event at first appears to be very festive and happy but eventually it comes to clarity that no one has any wish of winning the lottery. Tessie seems to be ignorant about the tradition until her own family draws their name from the lottery. She protests and also quarrels the fact that the process of the lottery was not fair. This is done because in this lottery the winner would be stoned to death by all the remaining people. Tessie wins the lottery and the story concludes as the villagers who include her own family members threw rocks at her reaction.

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Story of the Lottery


The story definitely fulfils its terrifying purpose through the author is skilful use of complex contrast through which she has kept the expectation of the reader at a contradiction with the action of the story. The environment of the story which is very picturesque contrast extremely sharply with the very horrifying violence of the conclusion of the story. The story takes place during a beautiful summer day with flowers which are blossoming everywhere and the glass which is last green. At first when the little boy start gathering stones, it seems very harmless and it seems to be a very playful behaviour and the readers don’t expect anything grave out of this scenario. It would seem to the readers that the residents of the village have gathered for a day of parade. But just as the pleasant weather and the playful children would lead the readers to expect something very positive, the word lottery as well also implies something good for the winner. After understanding of the winner would actually get in the story, it becomes extremely horrifying because the readers have expected an opposite scenario then what is written in the story. The casual and ignorant attitude of the villagers who were busy making small talk also contradict the huge violence that is about to come at the end of the story. The perspective of the narrator seems to be much aligned with the villagers and therefore the events in the studio narrated in the same casual manner that the villagers are using.




The narrator also emphasises the fact that the town is very small and it is so small that the lottery can be concluded by the end of dinner. The people of the village were busy talking about the ordinary problems such as farming or  taxes. The lottery seems to be just like any other festive and see the activities, which was conducted by Mr Summers. This is the biggest contradiction in the story because the readers would expect the lottery to be a harmless game of the festivity where the winner would get a prize but when the reader launch that the price is their own life then the lottery is perceived in a different way by the readers.

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In the story the villagers keep the distance from the black box we just kept on a stool and also hesitate when Mr Summers asks for their help. This is the first doubt that the readers might have because it is not a normal reaction that an individual would have from looking forward to a lottery. It is also not expected that the villagers talk in a way as if taking out the tickets is the most difficult work and requires a man to do it. The story can be a commentary on World War II or it can also be commented on the Marxist critique of a social order. It can be interpreted as the aspects of dictatorship and also the aspects of violence that were perpetrated in both the World wars. The lottery at its very core is a tale about the human capacity for unhinged violence and destruction especially when the violence is thrust upon the aspect of a tradition or a social order which is used as a scapegoat to justify the violence because the tradition of the social order as an appeal to it. The narrator of the story tells the readers that nobody had any intentions to upset the tradition that was represented by the blackbox. The villagers were obsessed with preserving this particular tradition and that made them deny the truth. Even when none of the villagers knew the origin of the tradition they still decided to abide by it because it was ancient. The only thing that was consistent in this tradition was violence because even the black box was not the same box that was used hundred years ago. Even when the villagers had lost the original black box they still did not forget about the stones.




All the villagers take part in this murder and therefore one particular individual does not take responsibility for the murder. This becomes the author‘s most compelling description and explanation of why any form of barbarous tradition manages to continue. It is because of the mob mentality that people have and the fact that the fear that their identity will be omitted along with the tradition if they do not abide by the tradition anymore even if it is violent. Therefore people still keep on doing the violent aspects without seeing the moral and the ethical grounds to eat and even if they know that it is violent the steel abide by the tradition out of here and ignorance.

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