Shirley Jackson was an writer in the twentieth century known for composing narratives that explored the distorted events of mundane life in society. In her well-known short narrative, “ The Lottery ” , she explores the incongruousnesss by giving the narrative a subject so barbarian and barbarous that it compares and contrasts between her parallel universe and existent society. For this ground, many of the readers of the narrative were confused and appalled by the overall construct of what the subject of “ The Lottery ” was seeking to portray. Lenemaja Friedman, in her critical life of Shirley Jackson, wrote that, “ a inundation of mail-hundreds of letters-deluged both the column offices in New York and the station offices in Bennington, ” and that, “ no New Yorker narrative had of all time received such a response ” ( 191 ) . The alone correspondence used to compare and contrast her parallel universe and existent world gathered many negative responses from critics and even friends. Throughout her short narrative, “ The Lottery, ” Shirley Jackson uses symbolism, fable, and puting as literary elements to convey the overall subject.
In her short narrative, “ The Lottery ” , Shirley Jackson used many symbols within the narrative, but there are three symbols that are chief subscribers to the overall subject. The narrative ‘s rubric itself is a symbol of sarcasm. In today ‘s society, people view a lottery as a drawing of fortune that if won could come with a award, such as money, that for some people is worth the desire. Unlike today ‘s position of the lottery, Jackson ‘s version of the lottery is more of a sacrificial ritual, like rites of the yesteryear when the Aztecs would give a individual to their Gods in return for rain and fertile harvests from “ the flora God ” ( Friedman 191 ) . So in contrast, the lottery and traditions of the town relates to that of the clip when barbaric, cave adult male roamed this universe, something that is seen as barbarian in today ‘s society. It is evident that the affect of the lottery on the townsfolk makes them barbarous and barbarous. Another symbol is the names of the characters, how the actions of the characters contrast with their name, or even merely understanding the underlying significance beneath the name. Mr. Summers ‘s name seems to connote felicity, joyousness, and other positive words that are associated the season of summer, but his name alternatively “ emphasizes the surface tone of the [ narrative ] and underscores the ultimate sarcasm ” ( Friedman 191 ) . Another dry character is Mrs. Delacroix. The name Delacroix means “ of the Cross ” in Gallic, but the villagers pronounced the name “ Dellacroy ” . “ The mispronunciation signals the villagers ‘ botching of the traditional Christian understating of the Crucifixion ” ( Cervo 208 ) . The sarcasm of Mrs. Delacroix is that her name suggests that she is one of Christianity, but there is nil Christian about the barbarian tradition she participates in by choosing a whipping boy to bear the wickednesss of others. Mr. Graves, as his name implies is seen by the townsfolk to be the digger of their Gravess. There is besides Mrs. Hutchinson, who name besides has a alone significance to her name. In Jay A. Yarmove ‘s essay “ Jackson ‘s ‘The Lottery, ‘ “ he states that there is “ allegorical force ” in Mrs. Hutchinson ‘s name, which can be compared to Anne Hutchinson of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638. As historiographers have recorded, Anne Hutchinson was exiled from the settlement “ because of her spiritual beliefs ” and had to travel to Rhode Island to where she founded a church. Like Anne Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson, unwillingly, “ died for her beliefs ” ( Yarmove 234 ) . The characters and their names in “ The Lottery ” show how the community was blinded by their tradition from recognizing how rude and unneeded the lottery can be. The concluding symbol within the narrative that helps give the reader a sense of the overall subject is the black box. The black box can be interpreted by the reader to hold two significances, tradition and the forthcoming of decease. The black box, which is used in the town ‘s lottery to pull from, seems to “ [ turn ] shabbier each twelvemonth ” and was “ made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it ” ( Jackson 141 ) . The black box, seen by its physical characteristics, has been by down from coevals to coevals. This instrument of tradition shows how the beginning of the lottery was made by “ the dead manus of the past ” to codified their faith and ethical motives, which is passed down from coevals to coevals, “ allowing [ the lottery ] turn of all time more cumbrous, meaningless, and untenable ” ( Nebeker 189 ) . The colour of the box, black, has ever had the same reading throughout history, decease or calamity. The readers can merely think that the usage of the black box can merely intend this is no ordinary lottery, that possibly there is something distorted and evil about the ritual occurring in the narrative. The colour black foreshadows a decease or an evil event. The perceptual experience of the lottery, the black box, and the underlying significance of the characters names all contribute to the chief subject of Jackson ‘s “ The Lottery ” .
Jackson ‘s “ The Lottery ” takes topographic point in the summer in a little small town. The exact day of the month of the lottery is June 27 but the twelvemonth is non of all time specified. But by utilizing cardinal hints within the narrative, such as a population of three 100s and a agrarian small town, it can likely be concluded that all marks “ seem to indicate to New England as the venue of the narrative ” ( Yarmove 234 ) . If this is the instance, New England settler were known for their strong beliefs in their faiths and for willing to make anything to protect their imposts from foreigners. The scene of the narrative does likely assist explicate why the sacrificial rite is go oning. In the summer drouths occur, and particularly if the small town is located in New England, so there dirt is non fertile without the enrichment of the rain. The secret plan of “ The Lottery ” has a sense of edginess to it, because as the narrative goes on things become more and more unnatural about the lottery taking topographic point in the community. The lottery, normally portrayed “ as a joyous juncture ” , is what the town ‘s people are garnering around for in the square ( Friedman 191 ) .As the narrative goes on, the reader begins to listen to the conversations go oning between the people of the small town, and begins to inquire why this lottery is so different. Unsettledness in the voices of the townsfolk and vacillation of take parting in the lottery shows that this lottery may non hold a positive result for the “ lucky ” victor. The scene and secret plan of “ The Lottery ” aid lend to the overall subject by giving the reader a sense of normalcy at the beginning of the narrative, and throwing a sudden turn into the heads of the readers at the very terminal of the short narrative.
Jackson ‘s alone point of position in “ The Lottery ” gives the reader a better apprehension of the overall subject. She uses third- individual dramatic point of position to assist the reader interpret every individual ‘s emotions towards the lottery. At the beginning of the narrative the reader seems to hold on the thought that the town “ [ has ] a vacation atmosphere ” by utilizing this point of position ( Friedman 191 ) . Using third-person dramatic point of position keeps a impersonal place in the narrative, non leting it to go colored toward one individual ‘s ideas and feelings. Jackson uses this point of position to her advantage to maintain the reader expecting the result of the narrative. Through the narrative the reader is kept from to the full understanding why the community is keeping this one-year event. It is n’t until the terminal of the narrative that the reader can set all the information gathered from the point of position to recognize that a barbarian tradition is taking topographic point. Jackson efficaciously uses third-person dramatic to blind the reader from genuinely anticipating the evil result of her narrative.
It ‘s really apparent that Jackson uses symbolism, scene, and point of position, to assist convey the subject of her short narrative “ The Lottery ” . Through analysing of different symbols, such as the lottery, the black box, and the character ‘s names, we can reason that these symbols each show that no affair how barbarian tradition can be, it will go on on when beliefs are strong. Jackson ‘s scene and secret plan show the hidden significance behind keeping the lottery, which is to give to their Gods a whipping boy through forfeit for rain and big harvests in return. The point of position influenced how the reader navigates their manner through construing the narrative. Throughout clip “ The Lottery ” has encountered many negative responses about the inhumaneness and ferociousness of the narrative, but even through all of the unfavorable judgment the short narrative is now adopted as an American literature authoritative.