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Analysis of The Lottery, a Story about a Happy Winner

The story was published in 1948 in The New Yorker. The population was still trying to recover from World War II, 1939-1945. The name The Lottery tricks readers who expect a story about a happy winner. The audience was not yet ready for new manifestations of inhumanity, and the publication caused many criticism. Nevertheless, the story, exploring the boundaries of human cruelty can be seen as an attempt to analyze what happened during the war, particularly the Holocaust.

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  1. Tone and Word Choice
    1. Tone: Calm and Detached
    2. Beginning of the story:
  • Lottery
  • clear and sunny
  • abundantly blooming
  • dense green
  • people of the village

As the plot progresses:

  • nervous
  • breathless pause
  • the crowd of villagers
  1. Symbols
    1. Lottery. Hiding cruelty behind outdated traditions.
    2. Black box. Relic that connects present and past.
    3. Stones. The primitive murder weapon.
    4. Black spot on the paper. The omen of death.
  2. Themes
    1. The contrast between peace and cruelty
    2. Traditions and customs
    3. Family and its structure
    4. Human nature
    5. The collective act of violence linked to impunity and lack of personal responsibility
    6. The choice of a certain person (people) for whom cruelty will be directed
    7. Selecting “suitable” and “unsuitable” people
    8. Satisfying blood thirst by choosing a method of killing

Shirley Jackson, in the story The Lottery, explores human cruelty. The development of the topic connects the story with World War II events, particularly with Holocaust. The mass murders allow characters to relinquish personal responsibility for their actions, which will enable them to continue the bloody tradition from year to year. At the same time, the author shocks readers using a detached tone, only alluding a little to a cruel denouement.

Reference

Jackson, S. (1948). The lottery. The New Yorker. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 31). Analysis of The Lottery, a Story about a Happy Winner. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-a-story-about-a-happy-winner/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 31). Analysis of The Lottery, a Story about a Happy Winner. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-a-story-about-a-happy-winner/

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StudyCorgi. "Analysis of The Lottery, a Story about a Happy Winner." May 31, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-a-story-about-a-happy-winner/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Analysis of The Lottery, a Story about a Happy Winner." May 31, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-a-story-about-a-happy-winner/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Analysis of The Lottery, a Story about a Happy Winner'. 31 May.

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