Zachary Snyder 10/09/05Dr. Dean Mendell English Comp 1The Lottery"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson was published in the June 28, 1948 issue of the New Yorker. It was written as a cynical social commentary and as a negative look on human nature.
Shirley wrote this story to show how people blindly follow tradition without ever stopping to think and examine it. Jackson’s close attention to detail and brilliant writing style help to make this point. I feel that Shirley Jackson considers that unexamined secular traditions lead people to do terrible things.“The Lottery” took place on June 27th, in a typical small American rural town. It was right before the harvest and the townspeople met in the square to conduct the annual lottery.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
The lottery has been going on for years before any of the townspeople were born and is the tradition. The head of each household is called up to draw a piece of paper from a box. When everyone has drawn, the folded pieces of paper are opened. One of these papers was marked with a black dot.
Bill Hutchinson drew the one with the black dot so each member of his family were then compelled to draw from the box. Tessie Hutchinson draws the black dot. The prize for this lottery – the entire town gathers rocks and stones her to death.
Shirley Jackson’s writing style adds a lot to this story. Her attention to detail when describing the lottery rituals and traditions really enhance the story. Every aspect of the lottery has an elaborate history; even the box used to hold the pieces of paper is extremely old and made from pieces of the box they used before it. She makes mention of little parts of the rituals that have been forgotten or changed over time. She puts all this information in long, detailed clauses and paragraphs in different places throughout the story.
This writing style makes the reader feel as if the lottery is an actual force, that after all these years of tradition, the lottery is sacred and must be done. Another important writing technique that.