shirley jackson the lottery

Topics: Socialism, Marxism, Short story Pages: 1 (301 words) Published: October 29, 2014
“All history has been a history of class struggles between dominated classes at various stages of social development.” Friedrich Engles says it best when he says this because at some point one social class is always at the top or the bottom of the hierarchy. However each groups fights, either to hold their place of move up. In the short story “The Lottery,” Jackson shows how the events can be connected to socialism because the characters are supposed to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the community. Politics and economics are contributing factors to the sacrificing for the community because powerful positions and social classes feed from the towns’ peoples’ feelings and emotions.

Firstly, the amount of politics involved with the story leads a Marxist critic to conclude that tradition and formality are very important to this society. Tradition is a priority to this town. The black box represents this tradition. “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new black box but no one like to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box” (Jackson2). This quote represents the significance of tradition, which is what the box represents. Mr. Summers was in charge of the lottery, he held the power in town for as long as he holds the black box. People in the story feared the box which means they feared him and the consequences within the box. “Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office…” (7). This quote shows the amount of authority that Mr. Summers shows because people fear the black dot, which he creates.
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