English composition II
A Patriarchal society
Elements in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, work together to reveal a theme of a Patriarchal Society through character traits and traditional customs. Paralleling the society during which time the story was written. It is my argument that Shirley Jackson was trying to show the gender roles of that time zone and the repercussions women suffered for seeking equality in the workforce, such as how women were perceived during the time the story was written. Outline
I) Introductory paragraph
A) Children of the village and gender socialization
B) Wives and their husbands
C) Male preference
I) Children of the village and gender socialization
A) Boys and girls gender roles
B) Children responding to their fathers
A) Wifely duties
C) Anne Hutchinson
D) Mrs. Delacroix
E) Mrs. Dunbar
III) Male preference
A) Male representatives
B) Mr. Summers & Mr. Graves
C) Dunbar’s son
D) The Watson boy
Much can be said about Shirley Jackson's chilling tale, The Lottery, and considering how it's on nearly every school reading list, much usually is. The common themes mentioned in essays concerning The Lottery generally consist of old traditions, violence, and the village's lack of morale. However, one concept I find highly overlooked is how the village is painted out quite similarly to the social occurrences happening in America at the time at which it was written. Women and men struggled to find equal ground to share, and the tradition of gender roles affected such considerations. First, the children of the village and gender socialization. The story starts out in the cutest manner; a clear and sunny morning filled with rainbows, butterflies, and every other bubbly detail that can be found in the beginning of horror movies that cause the audience to sleep with the lights on and walk in groups to go to the bathroom for the next week. Not literally, the story –although it’s bubbly- begins with a description of June 27th, which is a clear and sunny summer day. The flowers are rich in blooming, and the grass is brilliantly green. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blooming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (Jackson 1) In the following paragraph the children arrive at the town square, where the boys proceed collecting smooth stones and placing them in a pile. Meanwhile, all the girls stand off to the side talking amongst themselves and watching the boys. “The children assembled first, of course.” (Jackson 2)
“Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix –the villagers pronounced his name “Dellacroy”- eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of other boys. The girls stood aside, among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys-” (Jackson 2) As seemingly harmless as this scene may appear, it is my belief that this gives a clear insight to the upbringing of the children in the village, where the boys are brought up to be action taking influences for the lottery itself, while the girls are brought up to be more docile and unassertive, taking on the disposition of a dutiful wife. Controversy to this theory, readers believe that the boys in the story are simply rambunctious and eager for the soon to come violence while the girls take to gossip as girls often do. This is actually true, though it’s to an extent. This controversial belief supports gender socialization, which starts at an early age when children face the norms that differentiate between masculine and feminine roles. Boys are told to "toughen up" while girls are told to "act like a lady" "Gender socialization is the process by which people learn to...
Cited: Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Mandell, Kirszner &. LIT Student Edition. Ed. Karen Mauk. Wadsworth: Michael Rosenberg, 2012. 251-255. Text book. 10 October 2014.
UNICEF. UNICEF- Early Childhood- Early Gender Socilization. 29 August 2007. Web. 21 September 2014. .
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