Life And Death In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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People try really hard not to be the outcast in certain groups. Outcasts in society are considered weird, are excluded from events and groups, and people simply treat them differently. What if, though, being the outcast meant life or death? By the end of the “The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson, the local free spirit Tessie Hutchinson is the “lucky winner” who learns what this lesson and is subsequently stoned to death for the annual ritual that the town performs. It can be assumed that Jackson was purposefully trying to make social commentary for her time during the late 1940s, where traditional households were enforced and certain people were expected to do certain things. In a way, Jackson used Tessie’s free spirited character and …show more content…
However, Jackson was also writing about modern day society as well, mainly of the late 1940s, when the story was written. he was illustrating how humans have a tendency to follow the past’s traditions regardless of how immoral or outdated they may be as well as the dangers it poses for those who do not. One of the ways she illustrates this idea is through the very dry narration throughout the story from beginning to end. For example, like how the people were behaving right before the lottery was about to begin:
“The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions: most of them were quiet, wetting their lips, not looking around. Then Mr. Summers raised one hand high and said, ‘Adams.’ A man disengaged himself from the crowd and came forward.” (Jackson 3).
The narrator does not hint in anyway how the story will turn out. They merely describe what is happening and slowly let the story unravel itself as the town gets further into their annual ritual and ending off with it’s terrifying conclusion with Tessie. Indeed, the way the narrator simply tells the story as if it were just a normal day in the town gives off much tension and makes the reader wonder why the town has normalized the tradition and blindly accepts it so
…show more content…
Further along the story, after the Hutchinson’s were chosen to pick who “won” the lottery, Tessie begins to repeatedly to mention how the lottery is “unfair”.
“Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand. Suddenly, Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers, ‘You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you, it wasn’t fair!’”
‘Be a good sport Tessie.’ Mrs. Delacroix called, and Mrs. Graves said, ‘All of us took the same chance.’
‘Shut up, Tessie,’ Bill Hutchinson said” (Jackson 4).
It now becomes obvious at this moment that Tessie is not like the rest of the town. While the town has so far seemed completely cooperative with Mr. Summers and the lottery. Bill Hutchinson even tries to silence her, giving her the hint that her remark and behavior is unacceptable. While everyone is complacent with the tradition, Tessie does not immediately accept their fate. Instead, she tries to rationalize and plead to the people and Mr. Summers to not pick her and her

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