ENGL 1302- 03
16 September 2011
Gambling With Stones
It is sad that in reality and in literature, love and cherish thy neighbor is only a fantasy. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a prime example of violence and cruelty as a major theme. Also take note in the cruelty of the citizens by their unwillingness to stand up and oppose “The Lottery.” Then, in Robert Frost’s Mending Wall, one learns of hermetical neighbors who are obsessed with keeping a wall of privacy at their property line. Do “good fences make good neighbors”, or are people’s views on “love thy neighbor” truly jaded? Jackson's fiction is noted for exploring incongruities in everyday life, and “The Lottery”, perhaps her most exemplary work in this respect, examines humanity's capacity for evil within a contemporary, familiar, American setting. Noting that the story’s characters, physical environment, and even its climactic action lacks significant individuating detail, most critics view “The Lottery.” As a modern-day parable or fable, which obliquely addresses a variety of themes, including the dark side of human nature, the danger of ritualized behavior, and the potential for cruelty when the individual submits to the mass will. The theme in “The Lottery” is violence and cruelty. Violence and cruelty is a major theme because there is a lot of violence and cruelty in the world. 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. The title of the story "The Lottery" is ironic. By reading the title of the story the reader may think that someone is going to win something. In actuality when the reader gets to the end of the story, he finds just the opposite to be true. Jackson shows every day as if it is any other summer day. Jackson foreshadows the events to come by writing: School was recently over for the...
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