The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

1419 Words Oct 5th, 2015 6 Pages
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson presents many themes that have to do with the persecution of others. The fact that the chosen individual of the lottery was to be stoned to death by their peers was perhaps the most shocking and climactic moment of the story. The reader would never suspect the murderous intentions of the town’s tradition since the plot builds up in such an innocent fashion. Through the story, I felt like Jackson satirically exploited the disadvantages of following traditions without consideration of the purpose of such traditions. Another aspect of the lottery that stands out is how random the persecution of the chosen individual is. The peers of the chosen individual are quick to turn on the chosen one because the rules of the lottery dictate that they should. This story was published in 1948, shortly after the end of Holocaust, which implies that Jackson wrote this story in response to the atrocities that occurred during her time period and used the themes of random murder, scapegoating, and the “sheep” effect of humans following a movement in the story to satirically highlight the moral lessons that need to be learned from the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a movement that showed how humans can lack sympathy and blindly follow a movement without analyzing the purpose of such a trend. Jackson draws a parallel to this idea by having the characters blindly follow the tradition of the lottery. The villager of the story were carrying on a long standing…

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