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A Literary Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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Each member of Bill's family then draws a slip from the box. Tessie selects the paper with the black mark on it, and she vigorously protests the unfairness of the drawing. The townspeople refuse to listen to her, and as the story ends they begin to pelt her with the stones they have gathered. The principal themes of "The Lottery" rely on the incongruous union of decency and evil in human nature.

Frazer's anthropological study of primitive societies, The Golden Bough , many critics observe that the story reflects humankind's ancient need for a scapegoat, a figure upon which it can project its most undesirable qualities, and which can be destroyed in a ritually absolving sacrifice. Unlike primitive peoples, however, the townspeople in "The Lottery"—insofar as they repre-sent contemporary Western society—should possess social, religious, and moral prohibitions against annual lethal stonings.

Commentators variously argue that it is the very ritualization that makes the murder palatable to otherwise decent people; the ritual, and fulfilling its tradition, justifies and masks the brutality. As a modern parable on the dualism of human nature, "The Lottery" has been read as addressing such issues as the public's fascination with salacious and scandalizing journalism, McCarthyism, and the complicity of the general public in the victimization of minority groups, epitomized by the Holocaust of World War II.

According to Lenemaja Friedman, three "main characteristics dominated the letters: Those critics who read the story as a traditional narrative tend to fault its surprise ending and lack of character development as unrealistic, unbelievable, and making reader identification difficult. Other commentators, however, view "The Lottery" as a modern-day parable; they argue that the elements of the story often disparaged by its critics are actually consistent with the style and structure of New Testament parables and to stories from the Old Testament.

Generally, critics agree only that the story's meaning cannot be determined with exactitude. While most critics concede that it was Jackson's intention to avoid specific meaning, some cite flatly drawn characters, unrevealing dialogue, and the shocking ending as evidence of literary infertility.

The majority of commentators, though, argue that the story's art lies in its provocativeness and that with its parable-like structure Jackson is able to address a variety of timeless issues with contemporary resonance, and thereby stir her readers to reflective thought and debate. Comment," in Modern Short Stories: A Critical Anthology , edited by Robert B. Heilman, Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, , pp.

In the following essay on "The Lottery," Heilman discusses how Jackson's shift "from a realistic to a symbolic technique" intensifies the shock value of the story's ending. Miss Jackson's story ["The Lottery"] is remarkable for the tremendous shock produced by the ending. Let us ignore the problem of meaning for the moment and see how the shock is created.

In general, the method is quite easily recognized. If they had not been shocked they would likely not have done this, and they were proba In ten pages this research paper analyzes the famous short story in terms of its conflict between minority or individual rights ve New to eCheat Create an Account! Professionally written essays on this topic: Analyzing 'A Rose for Emily' by William Faulkner and 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson at the center of the town square, and to emphasize its importance, the narrator notes, "The villagers kept their distance" Jackso Oppression of Women in Shirley Jackson's 'The Tooth' and 'The Lottery' In five pages this paper discusses how women are subjected to oppression by men in these 2 short stories by Shirley Jackson.

Representation of Community in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown' and Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery' In five pages these short stories are compared in terms of the community importance that exists in each of them. Uses of Symbolism Throughout 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson an undercurrent of evil present which is about erupt for all to see. Individual, the Majority, and Evil in 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson In ten pages this research paper analyzes the famous short story in terms of its conflict between minority or individual rights ve The documents downloaded from eCheat.

Learn how the author uses foreshadowing, irony and deep themes. A modern parable, this story is often classified as a horror story. It tells the story of a small town that holds a lottery each year.

The person picked by this lottery is then stoned to death by the town. Considered by many to be one of the best short stories of the 20 th century and banned by many others, this is not an easy story to understand because it leaves so many questions unanswered.

For example, the reason that the lottery exists is never explained. This forces the reader to think more carefully about the story and supply many of the answers. Because the story of "The Lottery" holds back on revelation of what is happening so long it is vital that it uses foreshadowing to prepare the reader.

The reader has to feel the cohesion of the story in ways that are easy to miss in the first reading. Without this, the end of the story will feel far more like being blindsided than it does a twist. The first example of foreshadowing in "The Lottery" takes place in the second paragraph. There are many signs of the tension of the day throughout the story, but most of them more subtle than piles of rocks.

The men smile rather than laugh and moments of hesitation fill this story. This creates an undercurrent of dread which is the core of this story and becomes even more powerful when the reader feels those reactions without knowing he or she is feeling it.

The choice of the author to not explain this is one of the most important choices in the story. Perhaps the most interesting of the theories on the lottery's meaning is the simple idea of the scapegoat.

The basic idea of the scapegoat has existed since the early days of Judaism.

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The basic idea of the lottery as something, which in our society is generally a good thing, being evil is the chief irony of the story. This helps to strengthen both the surprise and horror of the story.

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A Literary Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson A Literary Analysis of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery", ironically gives the lottery a bad meaning.

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Lizzy Williamson A Block April 30, Literary Analysis essay: The Lottery “The Lottery” published in the New York Yorker on June 29, by Shirley Jackson was the first short story that she wrote that received widespread attention by readers. Essay on The Lottery by Shirley Jackson: an Analysis Words | 7 Pages Kouyialis EN Composition II Professor Eklund The Lottery by Shirley Jackson: An Analysis The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson was written in and takes place in a small town, on the 27th of June.

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Critical analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Essay. A+. Pages:3 Words This is just a sample. To get a unique essay. We will write a custom essay sample on Critical analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson specifically for you Literary Analysis on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. Literary Analysis: “The Lottery: by Shirley Jackson Essay Sample. To a first time reader, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” seems simply as a curious tale with a shocking ending. After repetitive reading of Jackson’s tale, it is clear that each sentence is written with a unique purpose often using symbolism.