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The symbol in the story is the black box from which the villagers draw every year. The fact that the box grows shabbier and shabbier without being changed is an evidence of how the people generally cling to traditions and refuse to let go: "Mr. Summers began talking again about a new box, but every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything's being done. The black box grew shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color..."(Jackson, 115) the black box is thus a symbol for how certain ideas and conceptions are stored up by people who deny change and novelty.
There are obviously many situations in real life in which Jackson's allegory applies. Clinging to tradition, people refuse to accept new realities about the world they live in. This can often lead…… [Read More]
Othe chaactes also make a stong contibution to the theme of the stoy. The chaacte of Delacoix is impotant because this name eflects the ole of eligion in this butality, again pointing the eade to the idea that eligion is a contibuting facto to mankind's butality. "De la coix" is Fench fo "of the coss," but the chaacte's name has been bastadized by the villages. This symbolizes how eligion has been bastadized by society to become a tool by which violence is inflicted on othes.
Some of the othe names have evident symbolism as well. "Gaves" is a clea symbol fo death and escape fom butality. That M. Summes is the one who uns the lottey is an ionic name, given what the lottey epesents. That his ole is consideed a civic duty, in line with oganizing squae dances and the teen club, einfoces the idea that the butality of…… [Read More]
Jackson was born in San Francisco, to father Leslie Jackson, an English immigrant and Geraldine Bugbee Jackson, who was related to the famous California architects, an association some give credit for driving her sense of place and detail for architecture in her stories. She spent most of her years in Vermont and is associated as a New England writer. The last work Jackson published, like the Lottery was one of a macabre chance occurrence. "Home" (1965), the last work Jackson published before her death, describes an outsider's dangerous encounter with the ghost of a small boy who is trying to return to the country house she and her husband have innocently purchased."
Hall 311) Hall also goes on to state that her early life in the suburbs of California is reflected in her first novel, the Road Through the all (1948), He also noted that many of her early stories…… [Read More]
ut there are also similarities in the characters, the setting, the plot, themes and the use of metaphor and symbolism. For example, the setting of the story is in another village, namely, Greenwich Village in New York City, where the main character, Hilda Clarence, works "as a stenographer in a coal and coke concern" (49), similar to Mr. Summer and his coal business in "The Lottery." Ms. Clarence also refers to herself as a "Village die-hard" (49-50), a description close to what the villagers in "The Lottery" represent.
Another main character in "The Villager" is Mr. Harris who comes to the apartment looking to buy furniture for his apartment. Jackson describes him as having "a round agreeable face" (54), much like the face of Mr. Summers. Also, the overall plot in "The Villager" is not clearly expressed until the end of the story, much like "The Lottery" when the reader…… [Read More]
Shirley Jackson is a short story writer known for writing disturbing stories that focus not on horrific events, but on normal events that occur in society. Her stories add new meaning to common events that everyone can relate to, often also making a comment on our society. Three of her stories that have these features are The Witch, An Ordinary Day, With Peanuts, and After You, My Dear Alphonse. Comparing these in terms of theme, style, irony, and characters, the common features of Jackson's work can be identified.
In each of the three stories, the theme makes a comment on our society, using everyday events to accomplish this.
In The Witch, a mother is on the train with her four-year-old son. A man enters and noting that the boy needs entertaining, tells him a story. The story, however, is a horrific one and what would be considered an inappropriate one.…… [Read More]
Shirley Jackson's the Lottery with Ursula Le Guin's the Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
Literature has always been a vehicle for change, fueled by the contributions of various writers/thinkers who provide just the right food for thought. One such contribution has been made by Shirley Jackson through the short story The Lottery. Comparable in effectiveness is the work of Ursula Le Guin by the name of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. Both stories are fictional by nature and content but make the reader pause and think about the society and its philosophies. The Lottery is set in a small town where villagers gather together in the central square for the annual lottery, which is held just before a crop season. This lottery is aimed at choosing a winning family by way of a marked chit in order to sacrifice it to herald a good crop season. Since…… [Read More]
That is precisely what generates the shock when readers realize, only at the end of the story, that all of those mundane descriptions were actually the prelude and preparation for murder. Both works involve the manner in which otherwise ordinary communities of church-going, moral people can support and participate in morally heinous practices under the right circumstances and influences.
However, there are significant differences in the circumstances detailed in each work as well. The principal distinction, of course, is that The Lottery is fictional whereas the Salem Witch Trials actually occurred as described. More importantly, The Lottery describes a more horrific situation, at least arguably, precisely because the ritual occurs mindlessly, without any awareness on the part of participants of its purpose, and most of all, because it involves the murder of a person selected purely randomly without even a mistaken accusation of anything justifying the murder. By contrast, the…… [Read More]
Everyone knows what will happen to her and it seems all everyone can think is how they are glad that it did not happen to them - this year. Tessie has to speak up because she has nothing to lose. She exclaims that the lottery "isn't fair" (218), but no one will agree with her (out loud). Instead, the townspeople are encouraged to get the dirty deed over with so life can return to normal. "The Lottery" demonstrates how we can become fearful of change when we allow our lives to stay in the same rut for too long.
Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" illustrates what happens when we are open to change. Louise did not really know how unhappy she was until she saw the opportunity for change. However, once she accepted the change that life was presenting her, she felt alive. e read that her "pulse beat…… [Read More]
Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Specifically it will discuss symbolism in the story, and how symbolism functions as a whole. Symbolism is one of the main themes of "The Lottery," and author Jackson develops and creates the story carefully to make the most of the symbolism she uses throughout it. The story symbolizes the black human nature that can be a part of all humankind, and illustrates how your neighbors can turn against you in an instant if it is to their benefit, or if the community condones it. This shows how close to animals humans really are. Jackson's symbolism is frightening because it is so accurate and so true of humankind.
Jackson's story is an intimate look into human nature and how humans can be intensely evil if they are allowed to be. She uses the symbolism of the yearly community event to show how the town's residents turn ugly…… [Read More]
Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne"
Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson like using symbols in expressing their thoughts in stories. "Young Goodman Brown" and "The Lottery" utilize symbols to emphasize themes in each of the stories. While Hawthorne makes use of objects and names to strengthen the theme, Jackson predominantly makes use of names to consolidate her theme; she does not limit to using a single object as a significant symbol to her theme, she may use multiple symbols. These stories present symbols that portray evil. Hawthorne's symbols predominantly describe religion -- which explore both evil and good. Generally, the symbols used by Jackson portray the evil in society. There is an act of symbolism in each of the stories. The short narratives share symbols, although these symbols aim to capture different thoughts in the reader's mind (123 Helpme, 2016).
The Lottery and Young Goodman…… [Read More]
Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore oethke. Specifically, it will interpret and illustrate how the theme of parents may be seen in these three pieces.
Each of these pieces concern the family, but not the normal family unit most people expect. Each of the parents in these three pieces obviously contributes to the lives of their children, but not necessarily in the positive ways most parents are expected to contribute to the growth and abilities of their progeny. Their children grow in spite of their parents, rather than because of them.
The child in "My Papa's Waltz" has fond memories of his father, as this passage shows. "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf;" (oethke 880). However, as with many childhood memories, these views are distorted. Clearly, the father in the piece is a drunkard, and…… [Read More]
Literature that followed World War II in the United States tended towards the cynical, the depressive, and a sense of mortality that has not been as intense before the World War broke out for the first time. Furthermore, there came about a basic lack of trust in traditional, time-worn institutions, including the government and general social values. These mistrust issues and difficulty readjusting to post-war life are exemplified in stories such as "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. In this shocking story, a community's tradition of yearly ritual sacrifice demonstrates general society's lack of basic critical thinking. It also demonstrates the reluctance to discard time-honored traditions, even if these have been proven outdated and unnecessary.
Jackson's short story opens with a deceptively idyllic scene, in which the author describes a clear, sunny day, with rich sunshine and summer colors. Throughout the story, the gathering of people and their interactions give…… [Read More]
Literature is frequently employed as a device for social and political commentary. This is certainly true in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." Both these stories darkly satirize the rigid social conventions that define small town American life. Even though they wrote about a century apart, Hawthorne and Jackson drew similar conclusions about American religious life and culture. Throughout his career, Nathaniel Hawthorne remained concerned about the hypocritical nature of puritanism. Stories like "Young Goodman Brown" darkly satirize religious fundamentalism and mob mentality. "Young Goodman Brown" is about a man who believes he might have dreamed of a strange pagan ritual set deep in the woods. Even his wife, ironically named Faith, attends the ritual. Faith's presumed faith in Christianity is proven false by her attending a Satanic rite in the woods. atching the ritual shocks Goodman Brown literally to death. In "The Lottery,"…… [Read More]
Likewise, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor illustrates the cruelties of modern life. It too begins with ominous foreshadowing. The efforts of the old grandmother to look beautiful foreshadow her fate: "Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." The attitude of the family is evident early on when visiting a roadside diner: "No I certainly wouldn't,' June Star said. 'I wouldn't live in a broken-down place like this for a million bucks!' And she ran back to the table." The intrusion of the Misfit into the 'happy' (yet really unhappy) middle-class family's ordinary road trip ironically highlights the pettiness of their concerns, rather than the serial…… [Read More]
setting of a story can reveal important things about the narrative's larger meaning, because the setting implies certain things about the characters, context, and themes that would otherwise remain implicit or undiscussed. In their short stories "The Lottery" and "The Rocking-Horse inner," Shirley Jackson and DH Lawrence use particular settings in order to comment on the political and socio-economic status of their characters without inserting any explicitly political or socio-economic discussion into the narrative. In the case of "The Lottery," the setting transforms the story from a one of simple horror to a more nuanced critique of American society, and particularly its dedication to arbitrary, destructive beliefs. Lawrence's "The Rocking-Horse inner" makes a similar point, but in this case the setting serves to implicitly critique the consumerism encouraged by capitalist hegemony in England. Comparing and contrasting these two settings allows one to better understand how each story makes an identifiable…… [Read More]
innovative tradition. Many great authors began their careers by writing short stories. Many authors whom were/are already successful practice and hone their craft by writing short stories. In the 21st century, there are many writers who specialize in short story writing, and there are in fact, new genres of short story writing in fiction, such as flash fiction, which are super short stories. Short stories provide authors a space where there are fewer rules than longer forms of fiction and even nonfiction. Short stories, in a way, are like poetry. Though poems are often bound and structured by many kinds of forms and cadences, poetry is one of the most expressive and difficult forms of literature to construct. The same goes for short stories. Short stories, at first glance, are superficially simple, yet in order to exploit the genre to its fullest and deliver a poignant or gripping emotional impact,…… [Read More]
Lottery" and "The Ones ho alk Away From Omelas"
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and Ursula LeGuin's "The Ones ho alk Away from Omelas" are both short stories that relate society's tolerance and apathy of needless pain and cruelty for the sake of superstition and tradition.
Each story is set in a small village or town and centers on a yearly festive occasion. LeGuin's story takes place in the town of Omelas during the Festival of Summer celebration, while Jackson's story is set in an unnamed village on June 27th, the day of the town's yearly lottery.
LeGuin describes the people of Omelas as happy, though "they were not simple folk ... But do not say the words of cheer much any more ... All smile have become archaic" (LeGuin pp). She goes on to write that the people of Omelas "have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of…… [Read More]
" But he did not stayed longer and started on with his journey the animal hesitantly followed him knowing the man was in for a big trouble with that, as he was traveling the harsh weather also began making its mark on the man's body but he wanted to ignore it and in his heart he was also terming the people who tried to stop him from the journey as weak and not brave enough to undertake such adventure "Any man who was a man could travel alone." With the passage of time and journey man realized that he was fighting a losing battle against the nature and admitted the sage's saying "Perhaps the old-timer on Sulphur Creek was right." As one starts reading the story the reader dislikes the man's arrogance and sheer disrespect for nature but also hope for the safe journey of the person and also appreciate…… [Read More]
Is there such a thing as retribution, though -- or at least does evil ever regret its actions. As the story ends, Misfit seems to be thinking about goodness and probably thinking that evil is not the answer to the problems in his life. At the end of the story Misfit regrets killing Grandma, and says that "she would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Everyone has evil inside them; sometimes we see only good or only evil; but the battle exists on various planes in a regular, almost evolutionary manner -- the conflict is what drives humans forward. What are these consequences, though? If Mme. Loisel would not have been so determined to rise above her station and show off, or if she had been more honest and less presumptive, she would not have spent a…… [Read More]
However, the narrator eventually comes to acknowledge his ignorance after the blind man presents him with matters as seen from his point-of-view. John 14:22 applies perfectly in this situation, considering that it promotes the concept that individuals are probable to express more appreciation toward the world as a whole and toward things that previously seemed uninteresting. James 3:16 also applies in this situation because it emphasizes that jealousy and selfish ambition are probable to disrupt the peace within a family. The narrator has trouble enjoying life to the fullest because he is jealous and envious with regard to his wife's friends.
"The Lottery" shows Mr. Adams as the first persons who draws a ticket during the lottery and it would be absurd for someone to consider that this does not stand as a reference to Adam as the first man that God created. The fact that Tessie Hutchinson refrains from…… [Read More]
The village priest comes to talk to him, and says, "If you reopen the path we shall have nothing to quarrel about. What I always say is: let the hawk perch and let the eagle perch'" (Achebe). What the priest means is that he is willing to accept Obi's new traditions, so long as they do not interrupt his old ones. When Obi refuses and the school is partially destroyed, tradition wins, and blind denial loses.
Tradition also wins in "The Lottery," though the outcome is far from happy. The lottery of the title selects one person from the town every year to be stoned to death by the other townspeople. Only one line is ever given as a practical explanation for this; a sing-songy rhyme that suggests it is for a good corn harvest. None of the townspeople described are farmers, and in general it seems like the people…… [Read More]
Each woman's attitude toward life reverses upon learning the news. Mrs. Mallard goes from depression and wishing to die to happiness and hoping for a long life. "Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days...would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long." Mrs. Hutchinson goes from liking her neighbors and chatting cheerfully with the other women to fear of them and desperate pleas. "I tell you it wasn't fair. You didn't give him time enough to choose. Everybody saw that."
Both of the women end up dead in a tragic way. Mrs. Mallard dies from a heart attack and the shock of seeing her husband alive instead of dead. "When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease -- of joy that kills."…… [Read More]
bad it's to say that something is morally ambiguous. Moreover, something which is perceived as morally ambiguous has reasonable grounds and one could say, justifiable means for existing. Let's take, for instance, an individual who although tends to do good deeds usually, is forced by certain circumstances to behave badly: that is morally ambiguous. One such example, however general, is the presence of the courtesans in Higuchi Ichiyo's "Takekurabe" or "Child's Play," as translated in English. Although prostitutes are morally blamed, in Higuchi's story they are somewhat responsible for "how these great establishments prosper" since "the rickshaws pull up night and day. "(Higuchi 1807) Thus, the courtesans deserve certain credit for the economic survival of the Yoshiwara district, making their presence necessary and, as Higuchi acknowledges, "most of the people here, in fact, have some connection with the quarter. The menfolk do odd jobs at the less dignified houses." (Higuchi…… [Read More]
Yet art history continues to privilege prodigious output and monumental scale or conception over the selective and the intimate.
In the two sculptures discussed here, Bourgeois and Nevelson prove that they are equal to the task provided by the male-dominated realm of art history. In doing so, they have created two of the more innovative and confrontational works of feminist art of the 20th century.
The spider is a recurring motif in the work of Bourgeois. The spider installed at the National Gallery in ashington is one of many that she has made in her career. Bourgeois uses the spider to represent the figure of the mother - a person she loves dearly, but also has mixed feelings about. Unlike Bourgeois's sculpture, which can be viewed from any angle, Sky Cathedral is more like a painting, in that it is intended to be viewed from the front only.
The Sculptures…… [Read More]
However, because the townspeople still object to changing or replacing it no matter how bad its condition, it is still being used. That seems to be an intended parallel to the lottery ritual itself (and to all rituals). Both the original paraphernalia and the condition of the box probably represent the ancient origin (and modern inapplicability) of most cultural rituals.
Along the same lines, the author provides a hint as to the origin of the lottery in the memory of Old Man Warner, who, in response to the suggestion that maybe the lottery should be reconsidered, recounts that "[there] Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There's always been a lottery." The implication is that the ritual began long ago at a time when townspeople believed they had to sacrifice one of…… [Read More]
I was also disgusted by the jocks' inattention to their grades (or anything, for that matter, of serious importance - i.e., do any of these "special" adolescents ever so much as read a book; help a friend (with no "hidden agenda"); or volunteer community service? Of course not: they're all far too busy either indulging themselves; being indulged; and messing up other people's clubs; homes, and lives). Kevin Schertzer and John Maher (as if either needed the money) even steal money, jewelry, and other valuables from their fellow students at the Candy Cane Ball. Meanwhile, in the midst of all this jollity, Leslie is told she must transfer to West Orange High School, where she knows nobody, and receives an official diagnosis of mental retardation.
One aspect of this book that I like and admire a great deal, is that of how the author, very deftly and with apparent seamlessness…… [Read More]
Tradition is normally used in connection with culture and to keep a culture healthy and alive, it is important to allow traditions to stay alive as well. However traditions that place restrictions on personal, professional, emotional or spiritual growth tend to have a negative impact on entire humankind and must therefore not be followed. hen traditions are not followed, they die a natural death. Bad traditions must not be kept alive either through personal struggle or collective rebellion.
Two Kinds is one story of unproductive traditions that teaches us why some traditions are negative and hence must die. Not all traditions help in keeping a culture alive, some traditions tend to lend bad reputation to a culture and only cause culture degeneration. Two kinds by Amy Tan is one of the most heart-wrenching stories about a girl's difficult relationship with her mother. The sheer transparency of emotions can leave readers…… [Read More]
176). She experienced prejudice early on in her life, and it helped build her belief that black people could make it in a white world, but that integration was extremely necessary. She attended Boston University Law School, and passed the bar in 1959. She returned to Houston to practice law, but turned to politics when her law practice stalled. She volunteered for the Kennedy campaign in 1960, and soon became well-known in Houston political circles.
She ran for the state legislature twice unsuccessfully, but she did not give up, and dedicated her entire life to politics and her constituents. She ran again in 1966, and "Her concerns were those of the people-industrial safety, welfare programs, insurance rates, vocational education, low wages, and voter registration" (Hendrickson, Collins, & Cox, 2004, p. 181). When she won the race, she was the first black woman to serve in the Texas legislature. Her character…… [Read More]
I. The dangers of conformity is the main theme of both D.H. Lawrence’s short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”
A. Although these stories were written in different times and places and describe different characters and events, they converge on the main theme of conformity to irrelevant or harmful social norms.
B. Both Lawrence and Jackson use literary devices like symbolism, irony, and characterization to convey the theme of conformity.
II. Characterization is central to both of these short stories, helping to show how weakness and lack of self-awareness lead to blind conformity, causing suffering and even death.
A. The mother in “The Rocking Horse Winner” is like Bill Hutchinson in “The Lottery,” even though the latter could have prevented his wife’s death.
B. Tessie and Paul are both sacrificial lambs, although Tessie does realize the stupidity of the social rules governing the community.
III. The…… [Read More]
S. such as providing affordable healthcare for all, paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy; making a sincere effort for energy independence, and generating more jobs while investing in renewable energy and conservation (Borosage and Heuvel).
America, after decades of its love relationship with Conservatism, topped by eight years of the disastrous Bush presidency that has left the country on the brink of financial collapse and almost universal dislike, was indeed ready for change. it, therefore, decisively rejected the candidate -- McCain -- who promised more of the same and chose the candidate for change.
as the U.S. In Need for Change?
That there was a need for change in the U.S. is a no-brainer. On the domestic front, the U.S. is facing perhaps the most formidable economic meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In eight short years, the Bush administration has managed to turn a huge…… [Read More]
When Louis Derbanne dies, he leaves a valid will, but his wife is not up to managing a plantation, and the fortunes of the family begin to slide. In effect, this white woman was little better off than the slaves they refused to educate, but of course, no one would ever admit that. The planters were not very smart, they did not take pains to ensure they had all the tools to hold on to their land, and the situation with Suzette and her family, and their eventual breakup, clearly indicates that.
Another surprising fact was the information that so many white men actually took responsibility for their mulatto families, as Derbanne did with at least some of the women who fathered his children, by freeing them at his death, and that there was much more of a caste system in Louisiana than just whites and blacks. There were the…… [Read More]
Robert Hayden is set at a time during the cold climates. However, despite the time frame in which the poem was set, the poem is still applicable to situations not properly set in the cold days of living. What the poet, Robert Hayden, points out is that the labor that the narrator's father expends just to be able to make a well made fire to get out the cold in their home. The cold atmosphere in which the poem is set is not only literal, but also symbolic. The cold atmosphere that the narrator experiences and his father try to eliminate in their house is an analogy to the cold treatment that the narrator gives to his father. Despite the work the narrator's father had done just to make the house warmer, the narrator, not even a member of his family, did not thank him for his effort. The poet…… [Read More]
She is literally locked in the house and it becomes her "protector" of sorts. It is as real as a character because it is has a type of power over Louise. She can never leave it. After hearing the news of Brently, Louise runs up to her room and "would have no one follow her" (635). The room takes on a persona as it becomes the one thing with which Louise shares her secret of freedom. Here, she can relish in the thought of being free without worrying about the disapproval of others. Here, she can express the excitement she feels when she looks outside and considers freedom as something within her grasp. This is the only place that knows her true heart and it is the only place in which she has few minutes to taste the freedom she desires. The room envelops her and allows her to this…… [Read More]
Judgment and Otherness in "Miss Brill"
Katherine Mansfield's short story "Miss Brill' appears at first to be a rather simplistic and superficial description of an older woman and her silly infatuation with her fur stole. By the end of the story, however, the reader realizes that there is an irony at work throughout the text on several levels, and the very appearance of superficiality that is so well-crafted early on in the story is revealed to be a misconception contrived equally by the perspective of the story itself and by the reader, who must necessarily employ their standard human perceptions, subjectivities, and judgments in order to engage with the story. Through detailed renderings of character, point-of-view, and setting -- as well as through the rather oblique nature of the story's plot -- Mansfield very poignantly and pointedly explores the theme of "otherness" and the manner in which human…… [Read More]