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"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

by Leah Borkowski

Leah Borkowski

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson By Leah Borkowski Criticism Comparison of "The Lottery" and "Charles" Both the stories have a twist at the end Both the short stories have a family as the main characters In both the short stories the child makes a big impact. Some of Shirley Jackson's critics were uncomfortable with her short story "The Lottery" Some critics even comment about the relationships between men and women in this story. Cleanth Brookes and Robert Penn Warren thought that Jackson choose not to include the reader in the moral to her story, so the reader needs to figure it out themselves. Shirley Jackson taught herself how to write, she withdrew for a year of college to learn. Shirley Jackson based her short story, "The Lottery", off her surroundings. After marrying a Jewish husband when her family was protestant, she moved around. Jackson knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer Biography "She tired to write at least a thousand words a day and establish a disciplined writing routine she kept for the rest of her life." "She wrote poetry and kept journals throughout her childhood, and these writings have revealed her interest in the supernatural and superstition." "It is in North Bennington [Vermont] where she wrote 'The Lottery,' and Jackson had admitted that the village served as a model for the setting of the story." "...however, these critics applauded Jackson's focus on scapegoatism, victimization, and other themes relevant to contemporary society." -Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren (Critical Overview). "Beneath the praise of the critics frequently runs a current of uneasiness, a sense of having been defrauded in some way by the development of the story as a whole." -Helen E. Nebebker (Critical Overview). "...[the story is a] depiction of a patriarchal society's way of controlling female sexuality." -Fritz Oehlchlaeger (Critical Overview). In "The Lottery" the twist at the end of the story was when winning the lottery meant you would be stoned to death. However, in "Charles" the twist at the end of the story was that there was no Charles in Laurie's kindergarten class. These twists are called dramatic irony. In both the short stories the family is focused in on and made up the main characters of the story. This may be because the author, Shirley Jackson, was born into a close and wealthy family. In the short story "The Lottery", the child of the "winning" family of the lottery impacts the reader. This is also true in the short story "Charles". Of instance, in "The Lottery" after you find out that Mrs. Hutchinson is going to be stoned to death and people are gathering rocks, "someone [even] gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles." This shows that the tradition of the lottery is so strong that son will help murder his own mother. The impact of Laurie in the story story "Charles" is that everyday after school he will come home and tell his parents over lunch all the actions of a kid in his class named Charles. At the end of the story when the reader thinks that they will finally get some answers about Laurie's classmate, the teacher informs the reader that Charles is really Laurie. This dramatic irony makes an impact on the short story. Questions Is is enough to read a plot for the plot's sake? Why of why not? Is it enough just to identify the literary devices of the story? Why or why not? Is the short story art just for art's sake? Does the short story have a purpose? Cite three literary devices (literary terms) with quotations: Do the literary devices unify the short story? Does the literature change the way we think? Does it show that what we at first see as fact could actually just be constructions or conventions? Is it significant to the plot that we know the background of the author? What have you personally learned about integrity in writing and in lives from this prezi research? No, the plot is suppose to help the reader understand the the story better and knowing the story better may uncover secret meanings that the author intended. No, after identifying the literary devices the reader needs to understand why the author decided to include them. No, the short story is not just for art's sake, it is also has a purpose which may to inform the reader. For example, the purpose may be to inform the reader of the harms of depression or knee-jerk decisions. Convention- "It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office." Climax- "Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, as she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her." Setting- "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." Yes, it helps make the story harmonious and flow nicely. Yes, for example in "The Lottery" the reader was expecting "winning" the lottery to be a good thing because in modern day time, it is, but in reality "winning" has a very bad consequence. In most cases yes, however in this short story's case, I believe that the reader did not really need to know must about the author's background to fully understand the story. The reader mostly had to know more about history and how the story related to that. I have personally learned that if a person really works hard to improve they can. This relates to integrity because integrity is made up with the trait of hard work. Shirley Jackson is a prime example of a person of integrity because she worked very hard to improve on her writing, all because she wanted to become a better writer and become an author.
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