The Lottery Essay

730 Words Feb 10th, 2009 3 Pages
Peter Lloyd
Jim Andrzejeweski
English Composition 102 Sect. 83
Critical Essay on Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery “The Lottery” is shocking and horrible. A woman, (Mrs. Hutchins,) is selected and stoned to death by her friends and family because they believe her death will ensure a bountiful harvest. Jackson’s writing, character buildup, and imagery in the story are a thing of beauty. By use of her more than apparent skill as a writer, Jackson exposes a poignant and disturbing look into the darker side of humanity. Jackson uses adjectives like sunny, fresh, and full to describe the beauty of the summer’s day on which this “lottery” is being held; but all is not well in the small rural village. Whole paragraphs
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“The Lottery” as a story is a success because each and every one of us has the capacity to do what happened in this story, it touches a common nerve. The lottery is a very well written and insightful bit of sarcastic analysis of the human condition “Oh no” “I could never kill anyone” you might say,” “surely we as a society are above this baser sort of behavior”. Are we? Do we as a society think we are beyond behaving like this because we are so advanced with our SUV’s and our cell phones and our four-dollar Mochachino’s from Starbucks. Don’t be so sure. Try going without food or water for a couple of days and see how you might feel about your neighbor who has the only bit of food and water left in your reachable vicinity, Suppose someone is an immediate threat to not only you, but your loved ones survival. What kind of person would you become? What depths of depravity would you sink to? Could you, would you, pick up a stone then? Talk to a veteran sometime about the things they had to do in order to survive say the beaches of Normandy or the jungle along the Ho Chi Min Trail in Vietnam. I doubt that they will fully recount all of the things they had to do, but look into their eyes. You can see the pain, the regret, and the torment. You might also be able to see that spark of animal instinct that Jackson so beautifully shows us here at the very end of the lottery when the crowd was stoning poor Mrs.

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