The Picture of Society in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

The Picture of Society in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

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Shirley Jacksona€™s short story a€œThe Lotterya€ was first published in the New Yorker, in 1948 and it aroused a lot of controversy among the newspapera€™s readers. Those who read Jacksona€™s story were totally confused and unable to understand the authora€™s intentions. In 1948 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle Jackson accounted for her reasons behind writing the story: Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the storya€™s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives. (Jackson in Kosenko 1985: 27) Although the author succeeded in startling the readers, the motives for portraying the American society in such a way were still unclear. Is there any correspondence between the writera€™s personal experiences and the image of society she depicts in a€œThe Lotterya€? First of all, the village described in the story seems to be similar to a rural area in which Jackson lived when she wrote it. Secondly, the short story villagersa€™ violence may have its origin in an incident from Shirley Jacksona€™s life. She created the story after she had been pelted with stones by some school children while she had been going home. What is more, Lynette Carpenter makes the interesting remark that Jackson had a tendency to bestow her own features of character on her heroines.Secondly, the short story villagersa€™ violence may have its origin in an incident from Shirley Jacksona€™s life. She created the story after she had been pelted with stones by some school children while she had been going home.


Title:The Picture of Society in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
Author: Anna Dabek
Publisher:GRIN Verlag - 2014-11-26
ISBN-13:

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