Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Home - Studyworld Studynotes - Quotes - Reports & Essays 

 

STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES:

CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

STUDYWORLD REPORTS & ESSAYS

RESEARCH AND IDEA DATABASE




Oakwood Publishing Company:

SAT; ACT; GRE

Study Material


xx

 


History

Science

Biography

Creative Writing

Literature

Social Issues

Music and Art
Reports & Essays: Literature - Novels

"AND""OR"

The Lottery
by Shirley Jackson The idea of winning a lottery is associated with luck, happiness and anticipation of good things. In Shirley Jackson's story, " The Lottery", this is not the case. The irony of the story is that the winner of the lottery gets stoned to death by everyone else in the town. The story is very effective because it examines certain aspects of human nature. One aspect of human nature that is examined, and that adds to the effectiveness of the story, is man's tendency to resist change. This is shown in more than one way. The first way is the way some villagers tolerate the lottery even though they know it is wrong, and it serves no purpose. They talk about how other towns have already stopped having lotteries, but they allow it to continue year after year. Old man Warner even says "there's nothing but trouble" in quitting lotteries. Townsfolk listen to him because he has been in the lottery seventy-seven years. The townsfolk feel helpless to change things because they have been going on for so long. The fact that the box is old and needs to be replaced but no one takes on the job of making a new one because that would be an alteration of the way things had been done for many years, also shows man's resistance to change. Another aspect of human nature that we see in the story, and that adds to the effectiveness of the story, is the ability of man to hide his fear by joking about danger. When Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late, her husband jokes about "getting along without her," and she jokes back about leaving dishes in the sink. The whole town laughs. They must joke because someone they know will die very soon, and they have to cover their fear. This adds to the effectiveness of the story because we have all seen people act this way. The next aspect of human nature that the author looks at, and that adds to the effectiveness of the story, is denial. As soon as her husband has drawn the black dot, Mrs. Hutchinson begins to complain that her husband wasn't given enough time to choose. She was content to allow someone else to die, but when it was going to be someone in her family she began to complain about procedure. This is something almost everyone would do. Denial is typical of humans, and the author uses it to make the story more effective. The "crowd mentality" is another facet of human nature that we see in the story, and that adds to the potency of the story. In a crowd the stoning can be justified by each person present because they can tell themselves that they didn't kill Mrs. Hutchinson. They only threw one or two rocks. Everyone else killed her. This kind of phenomenon accounts for deaths in British soccer matches every year. People fall and are trampled to death by other human beings. Since we are familiar with this side of human nature, its appearance adds to the effectiveness of the story. The story is made more effective because the victim in the story is one of the more developed characters. Mrs. Hutchinson and her husband are two of the people we meet early in the story. We identify with them because most of the other 300 townsfolk are faceless to us. The story is too short to develop too many characters, so we identify with those characters that are more developed. She becomes like a friend to us, and then she dies. We empathize with her and her husband, and this adds to the effectiveness of the story. Shirley Jackson's story, " The Lottery", is effective because it examines certain aspects of human nature, and because the victim is one of the more developed characters and one with whom we can empathize. We feel shock and disgust at her death, but we are forced to look at ourselves and our society. We are forced to look for answers.

"For complete summary and analysis of literary works, please visit NovelGuide.com

 



Teacher Ratings: See what

others think

of your teachers



Copy Right