Lottery Essay

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Shirley Jackson wrote many different books all with different themes and different meanings. One style she liked to write about a lot was of the ritualistic nature, and about very bone chilling stories that she would come up with. Some examples of this are the books “The Haunting”, “The Witch”, “The Possibility of Evil”, etc. all written by Shirley Jackson herself. One story in particular that uses a sense of ritualistic nature is the short story “The Lottery” also written by Shirley Jackson. This story is about a village that is subject to around 300 villagers that have a certain tradition which is a special type of “lottery” that happens every year; the “winner” is to be stoned to death by their fellow neighbours. Jackson also stresses the importance of human nature, which is that humans are conditioned to do what is taught since birth. Jackson also uses Ritualistic features that are not just the lottery itself but actions and the way the lottery is done is very ritualistic in a sense.

It was the same thing every year when the lottery came into play in the summer time, nothing has ever changed, and the villagers have done everything the way their elders did it and so forth. In a sense it was a ritualistic “tradition”. Jackson shows use of ritualistic nature in the very first paragraph about how the lottery was always on a specific date which was June 27th, except “in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th” (293), this shows the reader how dedicated the towns people are to a tradition that has been with them for as long as they can remember, and how the villagers would all meet in the same place every time which was always between the post office and the bank around 10am. In many opinions “The Lottery” could be considered as a “ritual” the way the towns people follow specific procedures. The way that Shirley Jackson starts off the story it’s like she’s telling us about a great town with very happy...
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