Lottery an Analysis of the Data Analysis Chapter

Excerpt from Data Analysis Chapter :

The complaint of Mrs. Hutchinson at the end of the story, "It isn't fair," could be called poetic justice: after all, she has taken part in "The Lottery" and now reaps what she has sown, recalling another Scriptural verse: "Judge not, lest ye be judged" (Matthew 7:1). The sinister authority in the village, however, will not allow for any reflection or consideration of this kind. As Jackson writes, "Old Man Warner was saying, 'Come on, come on, everyone.' Steve Adams was in the front of the crowd of villagers, with Mrs. Graves beside him. 'It isn't fair, it isn't right,' Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her" (Jackson 228). The plight of Mrs. Hutchinson is all too common: a willing participant in the lottery up till now (when she was the one who had stones in her hands -- not the one being stoned), she realizes too late the implications of what they have all been doing. By stoning (judging) others, they risk being stoned (judged) themselves. Hers was the bad decision to participate -- and now that bad decision has returned to condemn her.

In a symbolic sense, then, stoning in "The Lottery" is a representation of the horror in human nature. The old world called it Original Sin, but the new Protestant world (of America) attempts in many different ways to flee this sense of sin and corruption. Jackson's "Lottery" simply brings the sin and horror to the surface and recognizes the way all people blithely take part in it. It is almost as if the act of stoning were a compulsion that had to be satisfied against one's better judgment. "The Lottery" is full of villagers who would rather throw stones than seriously think about why they do it. "Throwing stones," rather, becomes a way for the people to vent act out their viciousness.

In conclusion, Jackson approaches the theme of "stone throwing" in "The Lottery." A tale of thoughtlessness and mercilessness, "The Lottery" is the embodiment of one of the most famous Christian principles literally turned upside-down: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" becomes trampled upon in Jackson's short story, in which all the townspeople draw straws to see who will be stoned that week. If the act of stoning serves as an allegory for what many do every week to their own neighbors by judging them (as the Scriptural verse suggests), the end that is visited upon Mrs. Hutchinson may serve as the ultimate expression of what Matthew warns in Scripture. Her failure to refrain from casting stones and from being part of a "lottery" (which may as well be a symbol for sin, since death is the prize), marks her as one who deserves the punishment she receives. Having thrown stones before, stones are now hurled at her.

Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Perrine's: Story and Structure. Boston, MA:

Wadsworth, 2011. 220-228.…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Perrine's: Story and Structure. Boston, MA:

Wadsworth, 2011. 220-228. Print.

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