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Analysis of “The Lottery” Story by Shirley Jackson

This paper analyses the short story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson (1916-1965). Shirley Jackson is one of the most influential American authors of the twentieth century, mostly known for her short stories and novels excitingly describing different supernatural events. “The Lottery” tells about the annual lottery in a small village, the final result of which was the stoning of a “winner” to death. The story’s narration is based on the events’ gradual change. Initially, the residents’ meeting seemed similar to festival events like a fair or a picnic. In the end, the author turns the reader’s feelings 180 degrees – readers see the evilness and cruelty of the people living in the village.

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This story can be characterized as the author’s manifesto against the inner evilness of people. Although any fiction has many interpretations, Jackson seems to raise the Christian problem of internal common sin, which humankind must confront. To remain decent in any situation, the individual must follow the moral values of kindness and sincerity. Otherwise, a person will turn into a cruel beast, like Old Man Warner, who shouted menacingly throwing stones at Mrs. Hutchinson: “come on, come on, everyone!” (Jackson, 1949, p. 8). Nevertheless, Jackson’s story can cause different kinds of feelings in every person.

The atmosphere of the story is constructed around the ordinary life of an American rural village. Initially, the atmosphere was calming and pleasant. The author achieves this effect through a lengthy description of the beauty of nature and the countryside at the story’s beginning. However, at the end of the story, the peaceful setting is changed by the ominous atmosphere of village residents’ brutality. The reader wants to immediately forget the experience of reading this story, as Jackson reveals the most profound features of modern humanity.

All in all, the short story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson presents the analysis of the hidden character traits of humanity. The story’s ending is the part that makes the author one of the most profound and sensitive writers. In the end, Tessie Hutchinson “won” the lottery to the relief of others. The crowd began throwing stones at Mrs. Hutchinson, even though she screamed through pain: “it isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (Jackson, 1949, p. 8). Although this story is not based on actual events, Jackson makes the reader ponder the themes of mercy, love for others, and kindness.

Reference

Jackson, S. (1949). The lottery. The Lottery and Other Stories, 291-302.

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 11). Analysis of “The Lottery” Story by Shirley Jackson. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-story-by-shirley-jackson-essay-examples/

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 11). Analysis of “The Lottery” Story by Shirley Jackson. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-story-by-shirley-jackson-essay-examples/

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StudyCorgi. "Analysis of “The Lottery” Story by Shirley Jackson." January 11, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-story-by-shirley-jackson-essay-examples/.

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StudyCorgi. 2023. "Analysis of “The Lottery” Story by Shirley Jackson." January 11, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-the-lottery-story-by-shirley-jackson-essay-examples/.

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StudyCorgi. (2023) 'Analysis of “The Lottery” Story by Shirley Jackson'. 11 January.

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