“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
In “The Hunger Games,” the district really never has a say so on that is selected, but yet everyone gathers to watch. Similarly in “The Lottery” villagers gather to select a ticket to find one villager to be stoned to death. In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the events of the narrative seem to suggest that traditions are a normal part of society. However a close look at the use of irony and foreshadowing demonstrate the lack of normalcy in the community. The tension in these readings ultimately indicates complacency in our society with the status quo until we become the victims. Are the things our ancestors have taught us, always right? Growing up one learns traditions that seem normal to the community or society, but yet are they actually always true, or is it just something they are used to. During “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson shows how the villagers thought that stoning someone was entirely normal and just a part of their everyday routine. As they all gathered for the occasion, no one expressed how they thought that stoning was harmful. Even Tessie never said anything until it was her turn (265). As she was late showing up that day from doing her dishes while calling out the ticket numbers, she then realized she was the “lucky” person (264-265). This is when Tessie stood “in the center or a cleared space” (265) as she “held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her,” (256) she then began saying “this isn’t fair” as stones “hit her on the side of the head” (265). “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, as they were upon her” (265). As Tessie pleaded for her life, she realized there was not much she could do. As many villagers probably seemed to believe this act of violence was wrong, they did not seem to stop it or speak up. The title, “The Lottery,” has a great deal of irony. The title makes the reader assume that the story will be about someone winning the lottery or in yet someone...
Cited: Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 4th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2010. Print.
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Kennedy 258-265.
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