Sociological/Pyschological Criticism in Shirley Jackson's the Lottery

Topics: The Lottery, Short story, Religion Pages: 2 (729 words) Published: November 29, 2012
Sociological/Psychological criticism on Jackson’s “The Lottery”
The villagers in Jackson’s “The Lottery” are crazy and the story itself is annoying. The people in Jackson’s short story have strange religious beliefs and at times seem heartless. Shirley Jackson adds way too many specific details in the story. All of the unneeded details made this story much longer than it needed to be. Reading Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” made me want to slam my computer into a brick wall.

The townspeople in Jackson’s “The Lottery” had an odd religious belief. They believed that they had to sacrifice a person once a year in order for their crops to be successful. The villagers are extremely ignorant for thinking that is true. The narrator says it has been a tradition of their culture for many years, but they should have already figured out that this belief is in fact a myth. Not only are they ignorant for believing in this tradition, they are cruel for stoning the victim to death. If they are going to sacrifice on of their people, they could at least hang the person or shoot them in the head so they won’t have to suffer for long.

Though the villagers think of this day just as normal as any other, June 27th is the day that they perform this messed up ritual. For example, Mrs. Hutchinson arrived late to the lottery because she forgot about it. “Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you Joe?” was her excuse. Mrs. Hutchinson is obviously a crazy and careless individual because she can’t even remember what day one of the people in her society is going to be murdered. The narrator states that “the lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at 10 o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner.” This statement shows that the villagers are more worried about how long this ritual will last rather than the fact that one of their people is going to be brutally killed. Another statement that proves that...
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