(Title and author)
First of all, I would like to do an introduction about the author. Shirley Jackson was born December 14, 1919, into an affluent family in San Francisco, California, Jackson wanted to be a writer from an early age. She wrote poetry and kept journals throughout her childhood, and these writings have revealed her interest in the supernatural and superstition. A few years after that, as a student, Jackson regularly published fiction and nonfiction in campus magazines. Additionally, her editorials denounced prejudice at Syracuse, particularly against Jews and blacks. It is in North Bennington where she wrote "The Lottery," and Jackson has admitted that the village served as a model for the setting of the story.
(intro & summary of the story)
Next, let’s talk about something about the story. “The Lottery” is first published in The New Yorker on June , 1948. It is considered one of the most haunting and shocking stortes of modern American fiction and is one of the most frequently anthologizes. The story takes place on a June morning in the town square of a small village. Amidst laughter and gossip, families draw slips of paper from a ballot box until housewife Tessie Hutchinson receives a slip with a black mark on it. The villagers then stone her to death as a ritual sacrifice despite her protests about the unfairness of the drawing.
Obviously, Tessie is the main character of the story. Tessie Hutchinson is a middle-aged housewife and mother of four children, Tessie Hutchinson "wins" the lottery and is stoned to death by her fellow villagers. Tessie arrives late at the event, stating that she forgot what day it was. She questions Joe Summers, the administrator of the lottery, about the fairness of the drawing after her family draws the unlucky slip. She also questions the tradition of married daughters drawing with their husband's family. When she draws the paper with the black mark on it, Tessie does not show it to the crowd; instead her husband Bill forces it from her hand and holds it up. Tessie's last words as she is being stoned are, "It isn't fair, it isn't right." By challenging the results of the lottery, Tessie represents one of the few voices of rebellion in a village controlled by tradition and complacency. Her low status as a woman has also led many critics to state that Tessie's fate illustrates the authority of men over women.
(Plot of the story)
Now I would like to analyse the plot of the story. First, exposition, which involves characters, settings, and background information. The most important one is the background information. “Every year, this small town of about 300 people have a lottery. This has been a tradition for many years and the people won’t ever give it up. Which ever family wins the lottery loses a family member.” The rising action is villagers arrive they stand away from the stones, joke quietly, and smile instead of laugh. The climax is when the sacrifice to a worn and faded tradition is selected in the lottery; Tessie is the one selected. The falling action is the Hutchinson family wins the lottery, and Tessie is stoned to death by her friends and family. The resolution is the story ends by Tessie being surrouded by all the town people, throwing stones to kill her.
(Conflict of the story)
Then we can move on to the conflic. The main conflict in the book “The Lottery” is Man versus Society. In this type of conflict the main character have no trouble with other character in the story, but mainly society. Tessie was the main character of the story; she made an obvious that she was different than other women in the village. First of all, Tessie was the only woman who doesn’t show up at gathering. In fact, she arrived right before the lottery began. Second, it was obvious that other people think that lottery is the most important thing during the year, but Tessie was at home, cleaning and has no idea today is the day for lottery. During the lottery, when her husband pick the paper with big black dot, Tessie is trying to protect their rights, because she thinks her husband doesn’t have enough time to choose the paper that he wants, but her husband tells her to shut up. After she becomes the chosen person of the lottery, she yells at everyone “it isn’t fair, it isn’t right”, the people who used to be friendly to her is now getting rock and trying to kill her without mercy. Her behavior before, during and after the lottery is the evidences that she cannot fit in to the society that she lives in.
(Themes of the story)
Okay, here comes the themes. One of the major themes of the lottery is violence and cruelty. Jackson enhances the stoning’s emotion impact by setting the story in a society which is seemingly civilized, while the stoning is cruel. This warns the readers that violence can happen anywhere at anytime, and it can be permitted by some people. Jackson also addresses the psychology behind mass cruelty by presenting a community whose citizens refuse to stand as individuals and oppose the lottery and who instead unquestioningly take part in the killing of an innocent and accepted member of their village with no apparent grief or remorse. Another theme of "The Lottery" concerns the blind following of tradition and the negative consequences of such an action. The people of the village continue to take part in the lottery even though they cannot remember certain aspects of the ritual, simply because the event has been held for so long that these aspects have been lost to time. Old Man Warner, the oldest man in the village, also represents the theme of tradition. When Mr. and Mrs. Adams suggest to Warner that some other villages have already given up the lottery or are thinking about doing so, he replies with, "Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves . There's always been a lottery." Finally, I want to talk a little bit about the theme of women’s role. In the story, men draw for their family, and women are treated as possessions or subordinates. For example, when Tessie dares to question the method of drawing, her husband tells her to shut up. Some critics have also noted that the method of the ritual itself helps guarantee the traditional role of women as mothers in the village.
(how the story relate to a current event)
Let’s talk about how the story is relevant to the current issue. Like what did coco mentioned about the themes of tradition, women’s role and violence&cruelty, those are 3 of the most important themes in the story. One of the most famous tribes in Africa would be the tribe who lives in the border of Kenya and Tanzania; they were named as Marseille. I would like to introduce the women role and tradition in Marseille. In their tradition, circumcision is a ritual for girls at ages 4 to 8, and the purpose of this ritual is to ensure the girl is still a virgin before the marriage, and loyal to their husband after the marriage. (自己说这个手术怎么样怎么样 The people who are doing this ritual must be girl’s mother or female relatives. They cut off part of the girl’s virginal, and make sure girls get away from sexual pleasure, the only thing left is pain. ) That was the tradition of the Marseille; Even today, the man in Marseille is still willing to married with the woman who had circumcision before. When the girls who get married and become their daughter’s mother, they are willing to do the same thing to their daughter even though they know how painful it would be, and how unfair it is. (我会说like the story of lottery, at the end, even her own son is getting a rock, trying to kill her, and it just shows how people blindly follow the tradition, how violence appears, and the disrespect to women’s humanity and bodies.)
(One example of a literary)
1[irony] One of the most direct examples of irony in "The Lottery" comes from the connotation associated with the word 'lottery.' Most people would associate winning a lottery with receiving a fabulous prize or millions of dollars in cash; the term 'lottery' usually has a very positive connotation. The end of the short story strikes the reader as being very ironic, because in this instance, winning the lottery does not equate a grand prize, but rather a gruesome death by stoning. Shirley Jackson's story is all about the unexpected; she lulls the reader into a false sense of security with the seemingly positive setting, the quaint small town with its farmers discussing plows and the wives in their "house dresses with sweaters." The setting makes the reader feel comfortable and relaxed, never supposing that this seemingly sweet town could host such a brutal tradition. The setting is definitely another ironic twist in the story, driving home the point that even seemingly good people can contribute to something horrible for the mere sake of tradition. 2[Foreshadowing] Many details had foreshow the violence conclusion, in the second paragraph, children play with the stones, putting their stones in to their pocket and putting amount of stone to town square. And when Tessie arrived late, Mr. Summer had told her “Thought we were going to have to get on without you” This words had determine Tessie’s dead at the end. The lottery will over north of the town, someone is willing to stop the lottery. And the rules is change when the time pass by.
And the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner(The Lottery, paragraph 5, middle)
Outgrown the tradition by the slips of the paper, wood chips were used but it was replaced by the paper because the black box cannot hold that many wood chips since the population was outgrown.
The Black Box: It represents the tradition and illogic of the villager’s loyalty to it. The box was almost broken, but no one is willing to find a new one to replace it, the only time it had been made new was made from pieces of another older black box.
The lottery: The Villager was fully loyal to it, even though they don’t know about this tradition, but they still choose to follow it blindly. It is example that tradition is not questioned.
Family: All families can be represented by one person, family relationships are essential to how the actions of lottery carry out. However from begin to end they didn’t show any respect or love once in the row of family.
Rules: Some rules had been disappear during the time, in some days I this tradition of lottery will be replaced
(Point of view)
The point of view in the book “The Lottery” is Omniscient Objective. The narrator is an “invisible crew” that can hear and see what is happening and how people are responding. Sometimes, this narrator seems close enough to the people hear and report what are they are saying. At other time, narrator is at distance report the action and reaction from people.