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"The Summer People" and "The Lottery"
Transcript of "The Summer People" and "The Lottery"
"The Summer People"
"The Summer People"
By Abby Kozee and Morgan Rose
"The Summer People" and "The Lottery"
Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco on December 14th, 1916.
She began writing as a young teenager and attended the University of Rochester at age 17.
In 1936, Jackson decided to stay home for a year to practice writing, and literature. After a year, Shirley attended Syracuse University in 1937 where she wrote her first story, "Janice." Numerous stories from Shirley Jackson were published in
The New Republic
The New Yorker.
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, written in 1948, became one of the most well-known short stories in the 20th century.
Sadly, on August 8th, 1965, the beloved author died from heart failure.
Summary of "The Lottery"
Literary Elements of "The Lottery"
Evaluation of "The Lottery"
("Shirley Jackson's Bio")
("Shirley Jackson's Bio")
Summary of "The Summer People"
Seminal- strongly influencing later developments
Compulsion- forced obligation
Orthodoxy- traditionally accepted codes and customs
Implicit- understood, but not expressed
Sanctity-sacredness or ultimate importance
Reaffirmation- the act of verifying or endorsing again
Dogma- principles or belief that are set by authority
Resilience- ability to return to a normal state after a change or an injury
Dissenter- one who disagrees or refuses to accept
Bias- prejudice or a strong inclination of the mind or a preconceived opinion about something or someone
Profusely- plentifully, or excessively
Perfunctory- carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection
Petulantly- in a grouchy or bad-tempered way
Defiantly- defies, or openly goes against an order or rule.
Shirley Jackson's purpose for writing "The Lottery" was to entertain. Since it's a short story, it should tell the audience that it's to entertain. "The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the back, around ten o'clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery look less than two hours, so it could began at ten o'clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner." (25) This description of when the lottery happened, what time the lottery begins, when the lottery ends, and where the lottery takes place should tell the reader that it's an entertaining story.
Literary Elements of "The Summer People"
Shirley Jackson's purpose for writing "The Summer People" was to entertain the audience. The fact that it's a short story helps support the claim that its' purpose is to entertain the reader. "The Allisons' country cottage, seven miles from the nearest town, was set prettily on a hill; from three sides it looked down on soft trees and grass that seldom, even at midsummer, lay still and dry." (1) The vivid description of the Allisons' cottage supports the claim that "The Summer People" is an entertaining story, since the author isn't trying to persuade or inform the audience.
"The Summer People" by Shirley Jackson starts out by describing the cabin the Allisons stay in every summer. Robert, and Janet Allison are very secluded from the rest of the world, and they believe that they're superior to the country folk they're surrounded by. The Allisons always leave the cabin to go to New York before Labor Day. No one has ever stayed in the cabin after Labor Day, but the Allisons decide to stay this time. After the couple decides to stay after Labor Day, many terrible and suspicious things begin to happen to them. First, their kerosene oil supply begins to run low, and the kerosene man refuses to give them any extra oil. Then, when the couple tries to order kerosene oil from the store, the store owner says that they can't deliver to them. The Allisons slowly grow angrier as time progresses. Next, when Mr. Allison tries to leave to buy kerosene oil, the car won't start because it has been tampered with. Outraged by this, he decides to go check the mail, and they received a postcard from their son. Mr. and Mrs. Allison read the letter and Mrs. Allison quickly makes the assumption that the letter isn't from their son. The day carries on, and eventually a thunderstorm begins. The Allisons' electricity shuts off, leaving them with only a simple, battery-powered radio. As the couple listens to the radio, they sit on the couch waiting for the storm to pass.
Allen, Linda. "Shirley Jackson's Bio"
. N.p, 2009. October 28, 2016.
Greene, Keith. "1916-1965 Civil Right Notes."
N.p., n.d. October 29, 2016.
Kumar, Susmit, Dr. "Consequences of World Wars I and II."
N.p., n.d. October 29, 2016.
"The 1920s Timeline of Important Dates."
November 11, 2008. October 29, 2016.
"The Lottery Summary."
. N.p., n.d. October 30, 2016.
"The Summer People."
N.p., n.d. October 31, 2016.
"What Happened in 1951."
. N.p., n.d. October 29, 2016.
Evaluation of "The Summer People"
"The Summer People" written by Shirley Jackson was published in 1951. During 1951, we had many technological advances, such as the first television to have color. The Nevada Nuclear Test and Operation Greenhouse were happening at the time. The Nevada Nuclear Test was the first nuclear bomb tests in Nevada, and Operation Greenhouse was the first thermonuclear test done by the U.S. The Great Flood of 1951 also took place in Midwest United States. Many popular films and television shows aired in 1951, such as the television show "I Love Lucy." Also, two popular films, "An American in Paris," and "The Day the Earth Stood Still," were released. Overall, 1951 was an extremely important year in the United States, as well as around the world.
One thing I liked about "The Summer People" by Shirley Jackson was the foreshadowing used in the story. All throughout this short story, the author makes the story extremely suspenseful by her use of foreshadowing. I actually enjoyed and also disliked the ending of the story, where it depicted the elderly couple sitting on the couch during the storm. The audience can use their imagination to figure out what happens to the couple. However, I also disliked the ending as well because no closure is given on what happens to the Allisons. That's the only dislike I had from this short story. The foreshadowing in the story really catches the reader's attention, and makes them want to finish the story to see what will happen next. Overall, I enjoyed the story and the literary elements Shirley Jackson used.
Tone - The tone in the short story "The Summer People" by Shirley Jackson is very normal sounding, given the circumstances. At first, the author makes it sound like an ordinary story about an old couple, and their cabin. "The Allisons' country cottage, seven miles from the nearest town, was set prettily on a hill; from three sides it looked down on soft trees and grass that seldom, even at midsummer, lay still and dry." (1) As the story progresses, it becomes more mysterious due to the foreshadowing the author used.
Foreshadowing - The author uses foreshadowing multiple times throughout the story. For example, Jackson keeps saying that no one has ever stayed in the cabin after Labor Day. "Nobody ever stayed at the lake past Labor Day before," Mr. Babcock said..."Nobody," he added." (1) This hints that something is going to happen after Labor Day.
Theme - The theme for "The Summer People" is to not break traditions. "Thought you folks'd be leaving," he said..."That's what they told me," the man said. "Can't give you no oil, though." (2) Only bad things happened to the Allisons when they broke the tradition of leaving before Labor Day.
Setting - "The Summer People" by Shirley Jackson takes place in a cottage in the countryside. "...But it was not until this year that they overcame their traditional inertia enough to decide to stay at the cottage after Labor Day." (1) It's early in the month of September since Labor Day is happening soon in the story, and it's most likely happening in the 1900s.
Irony - It's extremely ironic that the Allisons act like they're friends with all of their neighbors, but they actually think very poorly of everyone around them. The couple believes they're better than the country folk around them. "Mrs. Allison reminded herself, as she had frequently to do when in disagreement with her neighbors, that city manners were no good with country people; you could not expect to overrule a country employee as you could a city worker, and Mrs. Allison smiled engagingly..." (3)
Tone- The tone of the short story "The Lottery" is calm. We go from reading about a small village on a sunny day to reading about executing someone in their community. There is just the slightest change in the authors voice.
Allusion- In the short story "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson makes it very clear that one of the allusions were in the last paragraph when they were about to throw rocks at Tess. In the Bible, it says "He who is without sin may cast the first stone".
Foreshadowing- In the short story "The Lottery" in the second paragraph, children are putting stones in their pockets and making piles in the corners in the town square. Then, Tessie has a late appearance which makes her stand out from everyone. Mr.Summers tells her "Thought we were going to have to get on without you, Tessie." (28) which helps foreshadow Tessie's fate. When Mr. Summer asks about the Watson family, his wife went and drew which indicates that her husband could have been the victim from the year before.
Irony- It is ironic that at the end of the story Tessie screams "It isn't fair, it isn't right." (34) but if it was another family had gotten that mark, she would have thrown stones at them.
The short story "The Lottery" was written in 1948 in Vermont. The story was written right after The Great Depression. Then, the short story was published on June 27th, 1948 and that was the day Shirley Jackson was referring to in the story. In the story, they use a "black box" and the black box is a symbol of how old the tradition in the village really is. In the story, Tess Hutchinson was stoned to death and that symbolizes how hard woman worked to keep their jobs and how they were criticized by other people during the 1900s.
During the short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, there are numerous signs of foreshadowing. She uses foreshadowing in the story to help the reader understand what's about to happen during the story. I liked the foreshadowing Shirley Jackson used, and I liked that the story was creepy. I didn't dislike anything about this short story by Shirley Jackson.
("What Happened in 1951")
Multiple events happened around the world from 1916 to 1965, the years Shirley Jackson lived. This time period mostly dealt with inventions, the Civil Rights movement, and the World Wars. On November 11th, 1918, Germany and the Allies decided it was time to end War World I. Then, on September 1st, 1939 through September 2nd, 1945, World War II happened. This constant fighting from War World I, and II led to many economic struggles throughout the world. It even caused some nations to go into debt. On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white citizen, which sparked the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. Various boycotts happened to try and end the separation between African Americans, and whites. On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his world famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
("The 1920s Timeline of Important Dates.")
("The Lottery Summary"
("The Summer People")
("The Lottery Summary")
Poem summarizing "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
Every June, the lottery shall begin to see who will win.
In this small village, it doesn't take long for someone to pick their fate.
First, the children gather, followed by the men and women.
Then, Mr. Graves and Mr. Summers walk in late.
Just as soon as it's about to start, Mrs. Hutchinson shows up late,
which helps foreshadow her fate.
Mr. Summers gets out his list and a hush falls upon the crowd.
He begins to call the last name of each family one by one.
The head of the family gets a slip of paper out of the box.
Once they all have a paper, it is now up to luck.
You can almost hear a pin drop as the villagers proclaim "Bill got it."
Tessie Hutchinson is outraged by this and she has a fit.
All of the Hutchinson family has to draw now,
Little Dave, Nancy, Bill Junior, Tessie, and Bill.
This is to decide who they have to kill.
Little Dave's paper is opened first,
and there's a sigh of relief when it's blank.
When Nancy and Bill Junior opened theirs,
they began to beam at the sight of the blank paper before them.
Bill unfolded his paper and it didn't have the mark.
It has to be Tessie after all.
Bill took the paper from her hand and it indeed had the mark.
This is where the story turns rather dark.
"It isn't fair!" Tessie called but she already knew the rules.
The villagers picked up the stones which they began to throw,
and Tessie received the fatal blow.
In this lottery, you only win death,
nothing more and nothing less.