The Violence Within

The Violence Within

The Violence Within
      “The lottery,” written by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948. When Jackson wrote this story there was much controversy and many people were angry with the story and the ending. This story had many symbolisms to current events in the world. The story begins on a very pretty day and the people in town are excited and nervous. Tessie, the woman killed in the story, comes late to the lottery. The lottery, an annual event which is done to make sure there are good crops, begins with every man of the household pulling a piece of paper out of a box. Mr. Hutchinson, Tessie’s husband, pulls the one slip with the black dot which means that his family has been chosen. Each member of the family then pulls one piece of paper and Tessie gets the one with the black dot. The village then begins to stone her to death while she exclaims the unfairness of the whole thing. “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, represents the evil nature hidden in our civilized culture. It demonstrates that even though we think we have evolved in our culture some things still stay the same.
The story takes place on June 27 which was a clear and sunny day (Jackson 247). Patrick J Shield seems to think it was a New England town, very likely North Bennington, Vermont (413). Shirley Jackson was married to Stanley Edgar Hymen, a literary critic who taught at a nearby college (Shields 413). This is relevant because of New England’s history of trials and persecutions (Yarmove 2). These were rituals done because of fear and involved picking a certain person to be killed for the good of the community (Shields 413). There is significance in the day of June 27. The summer solstice has already passed and the Fourth of July has not yet arrived. June 24th falls halfway between these dates (Yarmove 2). The significance of the dates “embodies the contrast between superstitious paganism and rational democracy, a dynamic that plays a central role in “The Lottery,” especially in light of the...

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