Essay about The Lottery Short Story Analysis

952 Words Mar 5th, 2006 4 Pages
Destructive Traditions Within "The Lottery"

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", raises many questions in the back of a reader's mind towards the destructive yet blind rituals of mankind. "The Lottery" clearly expresses Jackson's feelings concerning mankind's evil nature hiding behind traditions and rituals. As her theme, she shows how coldness and lack of compassion in people can exhibit in situations regarding tradition and values.
Jackson presents the theme of the short story with the use of symbols and setting. The setting of "The Lottery" supports the theme. Settings are constructed to help build the mood and foreshadow things to come. In the lottery, however, the setting ironically foreshadows exactly the opposite of what is to
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Old Man Warner, as his name indicates, warns the villagers of the unknown danger of stopping the yearly ritual. The irony here is that even though the old are known for being wise, Old Man Warner seems to be a very ignorant and superstitious being who blindly follows tradition.
The names of all the prominent characters in "The Lottery" support the idea that everybody hides their evil nature by way of hypocrisy. Tessie Hutchinson's character also provides considerable information on the theme of the story. Her name reminds one of the historical Anne Hutchinson not only because of the name but also because of the small town setting. Anne Hutchinson was a willing martyr who died for her religion and was exiled from her town. Tessie Hutchinson though may at first of the story appear to be a very good-natured human being by the way she comes in to the story. She comes in jokingly kidding with a friend of hers about how she almost forgot about the lottery but as soon as she remembered came running. Tessie seems to be a willing participant at the start, but when her family's mane is drawn she shows her true nature. Instead of trying to protect her children she instead demands that her married daughter take part in the drawing just to improve her own chances of survival. Mrs. Hutchinson is a perfect example of how evil exists in everyone, and

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