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The Duality Of Human Nature In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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The Duality Of Human Nature In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson
The Lottery is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948, yet still, leaves a mark on any person who gets their hands on it today. The story starts out by setting an enjoyable atmosphere at the beginning of summer. The community gathers and the story almost fulfills the reader’s idea of a perfect town activity. However, the story has a sharp twist at the end that leaves the reader in shock. Jackson wrote the story to leave an impact and whom how quickly human nature can change. Shirley Jackson shows the duality of human nature in the characters of the children, Tessie Hutchinson, and Mr. Summers.
The story begins, “clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day” (Jackson 1). The author sets the bright, joyful mood for the lottery, an annual tradition held in the village. “The children assembled first,” (1) gathering to play together. Jackson describes the children “selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” (1) for what the reader might think could be any children’s game. The excited nature of the children encourages the reader to read with ease and happiness, although, further on in the story, the author completely changes the perspective of the reader. When the reader is introduced to the “prize” of the lottery, the reason the children were collecting
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Summers is the last character to be analyzed because his change is slight. “The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program--by Mr. Summers” (Jackson 1). The town all knew that “Mr. Summers was very good at all this” (2) because he had been the one in charge of the ritual for such a long time. Although he may not enjoy the ritual of stoning a member of the community each year, he became indifferent to it. This very obvious when after Tessie was selected he says “"All right, folks." Mr. Summers said. "Let's finish quickly."”(7). When something happens often, society tends to become desensitized and begins to accept it as normal even when it is

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