An analysis of the theme of violence and tradition in the novel the lottery by shirley jackson

Irony There are a number of excellent examples of dramatic irony in the story. Ancient civilizations often conducted a ceremony in which the evils of an entire society were symbolically transferred to one member of the group, either human or animal, and that member was killed or banished.

And why aren't they fearful that any one of them might be chosen? Stoning takes place and it's "business as usual. The basic idea of the lottery as something, which in our society is generally a good thing, being evil is the chief irony of the story. It is also interesting that Tessie not only forgot it was the day of the lottery but that she was washing the dishes before she arrived.

The method of execution is also clearly symbolic. Themes The Danger of Blindly Following Tradition The village lottery culminates in a violent murder each year, a bizarre ritual that suggests how dangerous tradition can be when people follow it blindly.

Analysis of the Tradition in Shirley Jackson's

The lottery, in itself, is clearly pointless: This forces the reader to think more carefully about the story and supply many of the answers. Tradition is endemic to small towns, a way to link families and generations.

The men smile rather than laugh and moments of hesitation fill this story. In this way, the story captures the circular logic that gives tradition its strength.

Also it is left to the boys at the beginning of the story to collect the stones. Casually one neighbor calls, "Be a good sport, Tessie.

One aspect of the story that shows the violent nature of people is the casual way they go about passing their time until the process—the lottery—begins. The stones that the young boys are collecting and placing in a pile, though this appears to be relatively harmless, they are in fact to be used in the stoning of Tessie Hutchinson at the end of the story.

The lottery was conducted—as were the square dances, the teenage clubs, the Halloween program—by Mr. The most basic of these symbols being the lottery itself. These can range from harmless traditions such as easter egg hunts and Christmas trees to far more harmful traditions such as racism, sexism, and even war.

The instant that Tessie Hutchinson chooses the marked slip of paper, she loses her identity as a popular housewife. In addition, it helps to keep the reader from catching onto the basic idea of the story.

The Lottery Themes

In the lottery, not even the children are spared. Knowing the end of the story, readers who consider themselves to be non-violent might well find this behavior repulsive: A modern parable, this story is often classified as a horror story.

By removing us from our own comfortable traditions we can see the dangers easier. For them, the fact that this is tradition is reason enough and gives them all the justification they need. In that tradition it was literally a goat, but the idea is to sacrifice a single person for the sins of the society is generally how it has been used metaphorically.

The elaborate ritual of the lottery is designed so that all villagers have the same chance of becoming the victim—even children are at risk.

A Literary Analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Old Man Warner is so faithful to the tradition that he fears the villagers will return to primitive times if they stop holding the lottery. The men smile rather than laugh and moments of hesitation fill this story. Each year, someone new is chosen and killed, and no family is safe.

Though they appear to be sane, sensible individuals, when the time of the lottery comes, they abandon their rational nature and revert to the instincts of the herd.

The children, when they are being called by their mothers, have to be called four or five times. Even in this very dark story though, the author does hold out some hope.

In addition, it helps to keep the reader from catching onto the basic idea of the story. Her friends and family participate in the killing with as much enthusiasm as everyone else.

Little Dave isn't even old enough to open his own paper, indicating he wouldn't be old enough to understand what is being done to him if he were chosen to die. The basic idea of the scapegoat has existed since the early days of Judaism."The Lottery" is a haunting short story by Shirley Jackson, and its central theme involves the perils of following tradition blindly; another theme has to do with the unpredictability of mob behavior.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Follow the link below for an excellent explanation of the major themes involved in Shirley Jackson's short story. One of the first themes to emerge from this story is the one of senseless Some themes that describe "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson are violence, tradition, and sexism.

Certainly, one of the themes of "The Lottery" is tradition. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Lottery, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. The Juxtaposition of Peace and Violence “The Lottery” begins with a description of a particular day, the 27th of June, which is marked by beautiful details and a warm tone that strongly contrast with the violent and dark.

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of The Power of Tradition appears in each chapter of The Lottery. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.

"The Lottery" is available to subscribers of The New Yorker and is also available in The Lottery and Other Stories, a collection of Jackson's work with an introduction by the writer A. M. Homes. You can hear Homes read and discuss the story with fiction editor Deborah Treisman at The New Yorker for free.

"The Lottery" is available to subscribers of The New Yorker and is also available in The Lottery and Other Stories, a collection of Jackson's work with an introduction by the writer A. M. Homes.

You can hear Homes read and discuss the story with fiction editor Deborah Treisman at The New Yorker for free.

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An analysis of the theme of violence and tradition in the novel the lottery by shirley jackson
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