Dystopia Society In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

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In 1948, Shirley Jackson wrote “The Lottery” and then published the controversial short story in The New Yorker the same month; some readers thought this unsettling story was factual (McCarthy). The peculiar tale depicts a seemingly quaint village with a picturesque landscape and an old-fashioned patriarchal lifestyle. Jackson paints a lively image of villagers, as they prepare for the lottery and gather in town square. They appear to be average people, living ordinary lives. But a dark side of the community is revealed, supporting more of a dystopia society. The head of each household pulls a slip of paper from the familiar tattered black box, they are all blank, except one. The ill-fated Bill Hutchinson draws the only piece with a black spot, inadvertently marking his household for misfortune. Tessie, Bill Hutchinson’s wife anxiously …show more content…
Old Man Warner, the eldest villager, proudly pronounced “Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery,” (Jackson 3). This indicates that infants are just as likely to become a victim. It might also suggest that Old Man Warner felt confident that he might not be chosen, as his experience had been favorable. He was disturbed by the fact that some surrounding villages had given up the lottery, or discussing the possibility, and grumbled “Pack of crazy fools…” (Jackson 3). He felt that ending the lottery was archaic, suggesting the people will want to start living in caves again. He was also superstitious, declaring “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” and feared villagers would end up eating stewed chickweed and acorns (Jackson 3). There are many reasons people may easily conform to influence and tradition. Many individuals are easily swayed, especially in group settings where blind following is common. Other reasons may include the need to fit in with society or purely trepidation and fear. Even fear of consequence, as seen in Old Man

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