The Lottery’ Theme: Critical Analysis Essay

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“Winning a lottery may prove to be bad luck,” once said the famous James Cook. The notorious, Shirley Jackson certainly places Cook's words into action in her short story, 'The Lottery'. Composed following World War II, it investigates thoughts, such as communal violence, individual vulnerability, and the perils of indiscriminately following tradition. Set in an anecdotal town in mid-20th-century New England, the story starts as a straightforward tale about a community's annual lottery. By the end, it develops into a ghastliness story featuring the public stoning of the lottery’s winner. Told from an objective, third-person point of view, the plot is progressed essentially by dialogue but is also filled with tone and symbolism that enhances its theme. Shirley Jackson uncovers in her short story the threats of aimlessly following traditions as they can lead to great harm.

The town lottery comes full circle in a savage murder every year, an unusual custom that recommends how perilous tradition can be when individuals tail it aimlessly. Before we realize what sort of lottery they're directing, the townspeople and their arrangements appear to be innocuous, even curious: they've named a fairly disgraceful man to lead the lottery, and children run about collecting stones in the town square. Shirley even includes how the kids, men, and ladies engage in 'normal' sorts of action; 'the men swap [swapped] jokes,' the ladies 'exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands,' (1). Those sentences present tone as it seems to demonstrate that nothing especially disturbing will happen to indicate the tradition of this custom with a laid-back persona. Jackson likewise communicates the lottery is occurring 'The morning of June 27th,' with a 'clear and sunny [day] with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day,' deluding the reader into speculation that this is a positive occasion by including a joyful and vivacious sort of tone (1). As the reader proceeds, one can discover that the lottery shows up as some type of town fete or a celebration.

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Tradition is endemic to communities, it's a method to connect families and ages. Jackson, in any case, jabs openings in the respect that individuals have for custom. She composes that the villagers don't generally think a lot about the lottery's cause, however, attempt to protect the tradition nevertheless. Symbolically, in 'The Lottery' the lottery box is a major attribute in characterizing the theme. The box is a symbol for those in the town since it is one of the main associations with the cause of the lottery. 'The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago' it has been utilized for whatever length of time that anybody can recall, yet isn't the first box (7). Rather, they accept that a portion of the 'pieces from the original lottery box' may have been utilized to make 'the new box', however that is not certain (3). This clarifies that any real connection to the original meaning of the lottery has vanished. In any case, the lost meanings of the tradition have from multiple points of view made the tradition all the more dominant, since you can't scrutinize a tradition once it has moved ridiculously to the way things are done.

The townspeople's blind acknowledgment of the lottery has enabled custom murder to become part of their town rituals. As they have illustrated, they feel powerless to change or even attempt to transform anything, in spite of the fact that there is nobody compelling them to keep things the same. These standard individuals, who have quite recently originated from work or from their homes and will before long come all the way back for lunch, can without much of a stretch slaughter somebody when they are advised to. What's more, they don't have an explanation behind doing it other than the way that they've constantly held a lottery to slaughter somebody. On the off chance that the townspeople halted to address it, they would be compelled to wonder why they are submitting murder; however, nobody stops to address it. For them, the way this is a tradition is reason enough and gives them all the defense they need.

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The Lottery’ Theme: Critical Analysis Essay. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
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