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January 30, 2012

Taking Your Chances in Shirley Jackson's "Lottery"


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Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

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To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

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CAPTION: Film Version of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1969), Part 1 of 2




CAPTION: Film Version of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1969), Part 2 of 2







Posted by lhobbs at January 30, 2012 11:59 PM

Readers' Comments:

In the short story the "Lottery" by Shirely Jackson, one of the main conflicts starts when the character "Bill Hutchinson" reveals his slip of paper. Bill's wife Tessie tires to make excuses of if being unfair and that Mr. Summers didn't give Bill enough time to take "any paper he wanted" (Jackson 5). The story progresses so that once a year, a member of society is singled out and put against those who were their friends, and even their own family. When Tessie "wins" the lottery the rest of her family seems to have no problem at all in joining the rest of the community against her. Even while Tessie starts arguing the about unfairness, her husband tells her to "Shut up," and essentially just accept what could happen.

A conflict between a family is also present in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" between mother and daughter and sister against sister. The narrator which is the mother and her younger daughter Maggie seem to have fallen into seclusion against the changing society. The narrator's other daughter Dee (Wangero) comes pay them a visit with her husband and it is clear that being away in a more populated has taken its effect on Dee, as her clothing has changed. The main conflict comes when Dee asks to take some old quilts that were made by her grandmother with old pieces of fabric. Dee's mother had already promised the quilts to Maggie, and Dee is angered, saying that her sister would use them every day "...and in five years they'd be in rags" (Walker 7). They have a dispute about Dee getting in touch with her roots when it seems she's never been farther from them. The conflict is resolved when Dee's mother resolves to uphold her promise, and Dee accepts it.

The conflicts end in two completely different ways. In "The Lottery" Tessie is killed and in "Everyday Use" Dee simply accepts that the quilts are not going be given to her. The conflicts both involve one member of the family being outcast from the rest of the family and both by means of society.

Posted by: Samantha G. at February 12, 2008 01:32 PM

Blog Post 1
Similarities of Conflict

Societal Conflict in “Everyday Use” and “The Lottery”

The short stories “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson there is a similarity of conflict in the fact that both of these stories contain a primal, simple society being juxtaposed against a “civilized” society. In “Everyday Use” this is basically right in front of the reader as Dee comes from a totally different world where she is exposed to the outside world, shocking Maggie and her mother. “The Lottery” is more of a conflict with the reader who is shocked to discover such a seemingly “normal” society doing something so frightening as to stone to death the winner of a lottery. Many reasons for this conflict as also very similar in the two stories and one example would be the settings of each story. The setting of each story is clearly defined as being outside the realm of what is loosely termed as “civilization”. “Everyday Use” takes place is a somewhat secluded area of the Deep South and Maggie and her mother live fairly primal fashion. Similar to this is the setting of “The Lottery” where again it is a secluded small town outside of civilization. It probably would have been possible for people in either respect to get to a city or more populated area, however it still seems as if the people in these areas find themselves no more than 20-some miles from their homes in their lifetimes and both of the parties seem comfortable in their current living situation.

Both of these areas are also fairly realistic in the way that they are presented, being as they are secluded people. What is interesting is the reaction from the reader. Because Dee is acting so fake in “Everyday Use” the reader terms her as a sort of antagonistic character. She was the bad force that interrupted the good. However, Dee did what a lot of people do all around the world everyday. They leave a secluded area to attend school and seemingly “make something of themselves”. Even though Dee has a fake personality, it is what she aspired to. In contrast, the people of the small village in “The Lottery”, although it does not say anything as to their travel, knowledge of the outside world or education, are considered primal and evil in the end for stoning someone to death for winning a lottery. However, in “Everyday Use” the reader would side with the more realistic, less freewheeling side of the matter with Maggie and her mother simply because of their countenance. It is ironic in a sense, and it is shocking that the reader can be twisted as to what he or she thinks is right and civil. These two stories make the reader think as to what is in a sense, what are right and wrong ways of living. The reader also asks themselves if they are, indeed, in tune with their definition of “civil” way of living.

Posted by: Candice S at February 12, 2008 04:16 PM

Of all the possibilities for commonalities among the conflict in short stories read thus far in EL267, the most obvious and interesting is the treatment of women in “A Jury of Her Peers” and “The Lottery.”
In Susan Glaspell’s, “A Jury of Her Peers,” the women are blatantly demeaned by the men every time they are together. The importance of women in the kitchen is emphasized often. For example, Mrs. Hale is very concerned about leaving her kitchen with chores left undone, and before the men go upstairs in the Wrights’ house, they laugh and demean the women’s livelihood: “’Nothing here but kitchen things,’ he said with a little laugh for the insignificance of kitchen things” (Glaspell 5). They continue to mock the women by stating that, “…women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 5). As if their mocking was not enough, they even feel it necessary to criticize Mrs. Wright’s housekeeping abilities, never once considering that the dirt and mess left behind might have been left from one of their men that they sent to make a fire earlier.

Any time a man is present, even for just a minute, they are demeaning the women. For example, when the men come back downstairs and see the women looking at Mrs. Wright’s quilt, wondering if she was going to knot it, they make fun of the women and mock them. Similarly, when the women packed Mrs. Wright’s possessions to take to her, the men are not at all concerned with what they were bringing, as if they would never bring anything of any substance to Mrs. Wright. Would they have searched more closely if a male was bringing her belongings? It never crossed the men’s minds that the women were capable of solving the mystery; in reality, they are the only ones who are able to find a motive for Mrs. Wright’s actions.

In Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery,” the women are demeaned by the male characters, yet when it comes to the actual results of the lottery, they are considered equal. Although the poor treatment of women is not as blatant as it is in “A Jury of Her Peers,” the men make sexist comments nonetheless; the fact that only men could be considered “heads of household” is also quite sexist. For example, when Mrs. Dunbar states that she will be drawing for her husband because he has broken his leg, Mr. Summers asks, “Don’t you have a grown boy to do it for you, Janey?” (Jackson 3) He makes a similar comment when he expresses his approval that the Watson boy is drawing for his family: “Glad to see your mother’s got a man to do it” (Jackson 3). It is evident that women are the last resort for the drawing.

Women are depicted as nothing more than mindless property in “The Lottery.” Women only speak on a few occasions, and when they do, they either sound like they are air-heads, or they sound as though they are complaining and nagging. For example, Mrs. Hutchinson shows up late for the lottery saying, “Clean forgot what day it was. Thought my old man was out back stacking wood, and then I looked out the window and the kids was gone, and then I remembered it was the twenty-seventh and came a-running” (Jackson 2). Similarly, she is seen later complaining about the lottery and about how it is “unfair.” The fact that married daughters must draw with their husband’s family shows that women are considered the property of their husbands; they have no choice in the matter.

The treatment of women in “A Jury of Her Peers” and “The Lottery” are quite similar. There is a distinct conflict between the women and the men in their lives. The men often treat them as much less than equal, and even more often mock and make quite public the fact that women are quite insignificant for anything but housework.

Posted by: Chera P at February 12, 2008 06:21 PM

In the essay by Eudora Welty, the character Phoenix faces a conflict between herself and her body. Eudora let’s us, the reader, know that Phoenix is very old and is on a very long journey into town. With her being very old, you can get the sense she might be weak and very tired and that she is pushing herself and her body that extra mile to get to her destination. Through her journey she keeps pushing her body and her mind towards her goal- medicine for her grandson. She won’t give up until she has reached it. Langston Hughes, another writer, writes about a character that has a similar conflict.
Within Langston Hughes essay, his character, Sargeant, is conflicting with himself and his body. Hughes writes that he is very tired and weak from no food and no sleep. Although, Sargeant is pushing his mind and body to find a place to rest and to find food to stop the hunger. Both characters are on a long journey to accomplish what they are set out to do. They are both conflicting with their bodies and mind, by pushing themselves to the maximum.

Posted by: Amanda at February 12, 2008 08:30 PM

Conflict

In the Lottery and Everyday Use there is a similar conflict, tradition. Tradition, to a lot of people, is a religion. In the Lottery there was a question of tradition with holding a lottery every year. The problem with the tradition is that a person was stoned to death every year. The elderly in the story believe that tradition was tradition and some of the younger folk in the village believe that the tradition should be stopped. One villager even spoke up to say that other villages stopped holding their lotteries because of the ethics of the tradition. To most people ethically it is wrong to stone someone. However in the villagers eyes it was a tradition and they obviously felt strongly about the tradition of their elders or the lottery would not be held.
Everyday Use confronts a similar conflict of tradition however; the tradition in Everyday Use is not a question of ethics but a question of practicality. Momma is introduced with a conflict between her two daughters wanting the same quilt. Momma’s daughter Dee spots a quilt that she wants to have as a piece of artwork from “her people.” Dee wants to place use the quilt as if it was a piece of art to display. Maggie, Momma’s younger daughter, was promised the quilt as a wedding gift and Momma speaks passionately about Maggie using the quilt in everyday use. The tradition lies within the quilt; it is something that Momma and Maggie see as practical and useful. Whereas Dee sees the quilt as a piece of history to arrogantly display to all of her friends. So the tradition conflict in this story is the question of which sister is truly embracing their ethnicity and culture. Maggie does embrace her culture whereas Dee wants to separate herself from her culture and past.
Both short stories characters are confronted with tradition conflict; one that embraces the tradition and intends to see it through where the other characters want to begin a new tradition or simply end the tradition. In the Lottery the tradition ending is probably the best alternative and the conflict is the tradition itself whereas in Everyday Use ending the tradition is the conflict.

Posted by: Erin W at February 12, 2008 08:45 PM

T. Wineland
Professor Lee Hobbs
EL 267.01 American Literature 1915-Present
12 February 2008

Internal conflict in a narrative can result in a realization of a character’s true self and is accurately portrayed by Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers.” This narrative introduces a character by the name of Mrs. Peters who presents herself as a Sheriff’s wife, and an upholder of the law. As the story progresses, however, the opinions and feelings of Mrs. Hale unknowingly influence Mrs. Peters and enlighten her to the true situation and its circumstances. This in turn forces Mrs. Peters to examine her true convictions in the presence of this conundrum. In the final stages of the narrative, Mrs. Peters ultimately puts aside her duties as a Sheriff’s wife and embraces the loyalty and empathy she feels towards Mrs. Wright.

In addition to the realization of a character’s true self, an internal conflict can cause a character to unexpectedly step outside of their usual persona. In “Everyday Use” one of Alice Walker’s characters does just this. The mother character in the narrative is easily swayed and influenced when confronted by her daughter, Dee. When Dee visits her mother announcing that she will be taking the churn top and the dasher, the mother puts up little to no fuss. However, when Dee attempts to take two quilts from the home, which were initially promised to Maggie, the mother is forced to look within. She can once again let Dee overrule her decision, or she can step outside of her usual comfort zone, and uphold her promise. In the end, the mother, though forced to step into unknown territory, takes a stand, pulls the quilts from Dee’s grasp and places the same in Maggie’s arms.


Posted by: T. Wineland at February 12, 2008 09:45 PM

I found a conflict in both the story of “A Jury of Her Peers” and “The Lottery”. In the Jury story, the women ran into the issue of whether exposing the evidence of the bird was the moral thing to do. They stumbled over each side of morality weighing the options both pro and con. In the end, the women decided to keep this key information/evidence silent from the men. These men, including the sheriff and county attorney, could use this evidence to prosecute the woman for her husband’s murder, the owners of the house. In the Lottery story, the families obviously were on edge. No one wanted to get the piece of paper with the black dot on it. The Hutchison family got sucked into the second round of the lottery after dad’s unfortunate initial win. The wife reacted with extreme distress against the unfortunate loss to their family. Upon the second round, the wife obtained the piece of paper with the dot while her family remained lucky. She was then stoned as for she was the chosen one.
The conflict I found was within the character’s inability to accept the circumstances that were in place. The characters in both stories, that caused conflict, are of the female gender. I think this up-ed the ante in that they caused more drama by trying to manipulate the situation to better their own agendas. The woman in the Jury story chose to keep the bird evidence hush-hush from the men. Why keep it silent? I didn’t understand how they justified keeping the bird silent from the men. The sole reason for doing this was because they felt sorry for the accused wife? - Which was never really was concluded. The only other impact was one woman felt guilty for not visiting the wife and said she wished that she would have. The wife of the Lottery story threw a fit when her husband won the black dotted paper. If she wouldn’t have complained and made such an ordeal of the matter, she wouldn’t have drawn the paper on the second time herself. I can understand her anger and reason for being upset, but I think she made it worse by being so out spoken and mean about it. The drama these women caused impacted them negatively. I feel that if the characters would have just accepted what happened, they wouldn’t have put themselves into a bad situation [i.e., obstructing justice (the jury) and being stoned (the lottery)].

Posted by: Chris King at February 12, 2008 10:00 PM

C. Bell
02-11-08
EL267-01
Professor Hobbs

Similarity of Conflict in Two Short Stories


Throughout reading “Everyday Use” written by Alice Walker and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, I noticed a similarity in conflict in the two short stories. Although there were many conflicts in each of the two short stories, I thought that the conflict of tradition was most prevalent. Tradition is something that is handed down such as practices, doctrines, and customs. The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is surrounded around a tradition. It is a story about a tradition that is followed once a year and lasts for two hours on June 27th and starts at ten o’clock in the morning. The village faithfully follows the tradition using a black box that was used by the first people of the village. The tradition is a lottery where all the villagers must be present to draw a piece of paper. The men of each family draw first and then so on. The family that pulls the black dot must once again pull from the black box and the person in the family that gets the black dot will get stoned by the villagers. This story has a conflict with tradition because there is a rumor that the tradition is being dropped by some other villages. Mr. Adams says, “They do say that over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery” (Jackson, 1948, p.4). Old Man Warner replies to his comment, “Pack of crazy fools. Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. There’s always been a lottery” (Jackson, 1948, p.4). There is a conflict present between the older folks who have held the tradition of the lottery to be important and younger villagers who believe it to be unimportant. There is also a conflict of tradition that deals with Tessie Hutchinson and her fight against the tradition. Tessie Hutchinson is picked to get stoned. She argues saying, “You didn’t give him enough time to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” (Jackson, 1948, p.5) She cries to the villagers till the end that, “I think we ought to start over, I tell you it wasn’t fair. You didn’t give him enough time to choose” (Jackson, 1948, p. 5).
In the short story “Everyday Use” written by Alice Walker, there was also a conflict present that dealt with tradition. The struggle was between Mama and her daughter Dee. Their ideas of tradition were very different. The conflict began when Dee came home for a rare visit and wanted to take a few things from the house that she thought were precious to her African American heritage. There was no problem until she asked Mama if she could take two quilts that Mama had promised to her other daughter Maggie. Dee asks her Mama, “Can I have these old quilts?” and Mama replies, “Why don’t you take one or two of the others?” (Jackson, 1948, p. 6) Mama had promised the quilts to Maggie. Dee wanted the two quilts especially because they were stitched by hand by Grandma Dee out of dresses that Grandma Dee won and shirts that belonged to Grandpa Jattell. There were also parts of Great Grandpa Ezra’s uniform that he had from the Civil War. Dee argued that, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (Jackson, 1948, p. 6). Dee and Mama had a different view on the tradition of the quilts. Quilt making was a tradition in their family and Maggie had learned to quilt. Dee didn’t learn how to quilt. Mama and Maggie had a tradition of using the things that they had made. Dee had an opposite view. She wanted to show off her heritage by hanging and presenting the things that were made by her family members. Mama and Maggie thought that they would cherish the quilts by continuing to use them.
Overall, between “Everyday Use” and “The Lottery” there was a similar conflict of tradition. There was a fight against a tradition and there was a fight to honor a tradition in different ways.


Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” 1948 The Lottery and Other Stories. Farrar, 2005.

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” 1973. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Eds. Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia. 5th Compact Ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006.

Posted by: C. Bell at February 12, 2008 11:49 PM

RD

Comparing the two short stories, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, I noticed a comparative conflict between the two showing similarity with each other. In “The Lottery”, there is a conflict between Tessie and the rest of the crowd. When drawing the slips of paper, she fights for a recall and gets it. After she is now chosen to be stoned to death, she still fights the crowd with her cries about how the tradition is not fair and not right.
In “A Jury of Her Peers”, there are constant scenarios where a conflict between Mrs. Hale and the group of men searching the house for clues that would hint them towards the murderer are evident. To name a few, one would be the time that the men came towards the two women and laughed at them as they were trying to find some clues on their own when the men mistook it for women ‘doing their thing’ in the kitchen. Another example would be when the women brought certain items to the jailhouse in which one of them ended up being evidence to lead them all to the murderer. In both stories, there is a conflict between a person and society. In “The Lottery” it is easily seen due to the entire community undergoing the ritual and not listening to Tessie. In “A Jury of Her Peers” it is also seen countless times throughout the story the struggle of Mrs. Hale to be taken seriously. Although she did not fight a community, the ‘society’ be represented here would be the men that she had encountered that would not take her seriously in the story.

Posted by: Robert at February 13, 2008 12:11 AM

02.13.08

The conflict theme of person versus society in Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” can be shown by the example that pits men against women in roles of gender status. With a dead husband in the home and no obvious perpetrator, the investigating men immediately suspect a ‘heartless’ wife who they deem likely concerned with nothing more than womanly “trifles.” These men believe the woman’s place is in the home and have no concern for her duties or pleasures. These presumptions are indicative of the supposed role of women in society. The attitudes of the men imply that women and Mrs. Wright specifically are not equal to or as important as men. This theory is also seen by the treatment of the women who wait in the home during the investigative process. Disrespecting these women as inferior, the men ultimately miss out on important clues that might otherwise help the investigation. As the invited women wait virtually unnoticed in the home, their compassion for the condemned woman grows, which adds additional conflict to the story.



Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” also highlights the conflict of person versus society. A young, black, Southern woman fights with her innate nature to rise above the ethnic and class struggles typical of the time period in which the story was written. The entitlement that Dee feels she is owed as an educated, adult black woman offers an obvious example of her revolt against societal expectations and allowances. While she displays an arrogant demeanor, Dee attempts to connect with her heritage, which also denotes an internal struggle. Her ‘growth’ as a black woman, along with the denouncement of her slave name, not only portrays her struggle against her societal surrounding, but also emphasizes a conflict within her own family, who remain proud of themselves regardless of education, involvement, or belongings. Dee’s fight to move forward in an unwilling society and disinterested family proves a major conflict.

Posted by: Vivian Lee C. at February 13, 2008 09:49 AM

In the short story “On the Road”, there conflicts that take place. One of the underlying conflicts within the story is the symbolic conflict between the snow and night. The snow represents white people and night represents African Americans. When people think of night, usually people think of darkness. Darkness is a metaphor for evil. When people think of snow, usually the color white comes to mind. The color white is a metaphor for good. In “On the Road”, the main character Sargeant, is trying to find shelter and a reverend refuses to help him. So Sargeant goes to the church and tries to break in. The police catch him (who are white) and put him in jail. As Sargeant is in jail, he dreams of being beaten by police while he tries to get on a freight train. He feels that white people suppress black people. Just like the snow and the night, the snow is thought of as good and the night as bad.
In “A Worn Path”, there are a couple different conflicts that take place within the story. One of the conflicts within the story is between Phoenix and the hunter she met during her journey into town. She meets a white man, who helps her out of a ditch. This man has a vehicle which increases his economic status. Phoenix is a poor, African American woman. The conflict in this part of the story is economic status. The white man tells her to go home because the journey into town is such a far walk, and Phoenix has no choice, but to walk because she more than likely cannot afford a car.
The similarity between these two conflicts in both stories is that white people always have the “upper-hand” on black people. In “On the Road”, the policemen were presumably white males, who are putting an African American, who is trying to find shelter during a snowy night. In “A Worn Path” a white man, helps an old, African American woman out of a ditch, but does not offer her a ride in his vehicle. In both conflicts, the African Americans are poor, and the white people are economically stable.

Posted by: Ryenn Micaletti at February 13, 2008 11:37 AM

The two conflicts that I saw the most similarities between are "The Worn Path" by Eudora Welty and "Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. Both of these stories have main characters that are African American females, and both address the same issues of ethnicity and gender; however, "The Worn Path" was actually written but a white female, so that can't be the only similarity between them. The conflict in both stories comes from mothers striving to be strong enough to raise their children (presumably by themselves as no mention is made of fathers or other guardians) and live their lives. Phoenix in “The Worn Path” uses her strength, dedication, and maternal love of her grandson to overcome the journey she has undergone for him, and also to overcome her own failing mind and remember that she took the journey for him. The mother in “Everyday Use,” on the other hand, is trying to protect herself and her daughter Maggie from outside influences. More than anything, she seems to be protecting their way of life and trying to stay true to her values rather than altering herself to something she doesn’t believe in.

But neither conflict is totally about maternal love. Part of the conflict of both stories is poverty, as each mother struggles against poverty to give he children what they need. Phoenix takes the long journey because she doesn’t have money for her grandson’s medicine, and so must travel to get it from charity. The Mother in “Everyday Use” raises money to send Dee for an education because she’s too poor to pay herself. There are also conflicts between ethnicities – like where Phoenix meets a white boy and, after he lies to her, steals money from him. “Everyday Use” shows a conflict between ethnicities with Dee’s change in name, but seems to imply that one shouldn’t put so much emphasis on their ethnicity that they forget their heritage.

Posted by: HallieG at February 13, 2008 02:31 PM

It could be argued that conflict makes the world go around. It certainly, at the very least, makes life more interesting. The same theory seems to hold true in literature. Conflict is one of the central themes to many pieces of literature including, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell. Although there are many types of conflict, such as those that occur between characters, and those that occur within nature, “The Lottery” and “A Jury of Her Peers” share different types of conflict.
In each of these stories, a central character faces a conflict against society. In “A Jury of Her Peers”, Minnie Foster is being accused of murdering her husband. As Minnie’s home, the scene of the crime is being investigated by Mr. Peters, the Sherriff, and a man who is the county attorney, the scene is being set for Minnie’s conflict. The men in the story who are investigating the crime, her peers, are her enemy. They are almost completely convinced that Minnie has committed the murder. As the story continues, and the men attempt to gather more evidence, it becomes apparent that she is going to be tried for murder. This will add an additional character of society that will be against her, the judge and/or jury. Furthermore, anyone who is accused of murder automatically has a conflict with society as a whole, because murder is against the law, and considered to be a crime against humanity. Unlike Minnie, Tessie Hutchinson does not begin the story “The Lottery” in conflict with anyone. In the beginning, Tessie is friendly with all of her neighbors at the gathering. They laugh and giggle together while the lottery is taking place. It is not until after the lottery has taken place, and Tessie has drawn the marked slip of paper that her troubles begin. The biggest conflict of course is that the marked piece of paper meant that she was to be stoned to death by the rest of the village. The same people she was friendly with in the beginning were the ones who would kill her later.
Tradition seems like it should be a harmless enough idea. However, in both “A Jury of Her Peers” and “The Lottery”, tradition causes turmoil for the characters involved. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are left alone downstairs, to deal with the “trifles” in Minnie’s kitchen, while the men went upstairs to investigate the murder. There is an underlying theme that suggests, traditionally, that was where the women belonged, in the kitchen, as opposed to assisting the men with their work. This is sediment is furthered by the statement made by the County Attorney when the women are left in the kitchen. He states “…you women might come upon a clue to the motive—and that’s the thing we need. But would the woman know a clue if they did come upon it?” It was clear that the men expected the woman to maintain their traditional role of the homemaker and did not think that it would have been the woman’s places to help with an investigation. Tradition is the main reason for Tessie Hutchinson being stoned to death in “The Lottery.” The beginning of the story tells of the box in which the names are pulled from. It states that even though the box was worn, “no one like to upset tradition.” Reading further in the story, The Adams family tells that “over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.” Old man Warner scolds the couple and says “There’s always been a lottery. Used to be a saying about Lottery in June, corn heavy soon.” He suggests that those who want to discontinue the lottery are “young fools” and there’d be trouble if the tradition was discontinued. It is suggested that the lottery was previously done for population control, but at the time of the story this practice was no longer necessary. However, this was not a valid reason to discontinue the tradition.
Perhaps the most glaringly similar conflict in both “A Jury of Her Peers” and “The Lottery” is the age old conflict of men against women. This is exhibited in many ways throughout the stories. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, whom is also the Sherriff’s wife, begin “A Jury of Her Peers” as kind of a team of their own. Mrs. Peters was asked to get some of Minnie’s personal effects from the Foster home, but she did not want to be left alone, so she asked for Mrs. Hale to accompany her. This fear is made fun of by Mr. Peters when he stated that “his wife wished Mrs. Hale would come too” because he guessed she was getting scared and wanted another woman along. A few pages later in the story, the women get to Minnie’s house and see that she was forced to leave her kitchen a mess. This upset the women, but was trivialized by the men. The Sherriff says “Nothing here but kitchen things” and laughs. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters defend Minnie by saying that it’s a lot of work to keep up a farm, and that men are difficult to look after. The County Attorney responds with “Ah, loyal to your sex, I see.” Later in the story, the men make fun of the women for debating “quilting verses knotting.” The ultimate power play occurs at the end of the story, when the men have finished investigating and the women have hid any clues that might indicate Minnie in her husband’s murder. In “The Lottery”, the men verses women concept is not quite as apparent. In the beginning of the story, the reader is told that Mr. Summers ran the lottery every year. This isn’t really important until a woman is the one who is to be stoned. It is at this point that Tessie accuses Mr. Summers of rushing and says that the lottery was unfair. Another part of the story that indicates women were inferior to men lies in the way that the lottery is conducted. The men in the family were the ones who were responsible for drawing the slip of paper. Women were only permitted to take part unless their husbands were sick or injured. In both stories, the conflicts that occur are the key components to the story.

Posted by: Jodi S. at February 13, 2008 03:38 PM


In Susan Glaspell’s short story “A Jury of Her Peers”, and Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use”, there is a similarity of conflict. In Glaspell’s story, the character of Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster, experiences a person vs. person conflict with her husband, Mr. Wright. The plot of the story deals with identifying how Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster has dealt with the oppression of her husband; whether she has indeed murdered him or is being wrongfully targeted.
In “Everyday Use”, the character of Dee also experiences a person vs. person conflict. However, Dee’s struggle exists not with just one person but expands to include all of her ancestors, reflecting her declaration of feeling oppressed by her past. The plot of this story showcases the struggles of Dee’s family as they deal with her aversion to their way of life. In each of the stories the setting, imagery, and figurative language work together to create a realistic representation that would have made the stories believable at the time they were written, 1929 and 1973, but also in present time.
Susan Glaspell incorporated many things into her short story to enable you to really feel for Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster. She created an atmosphere through imagery, figurative language, and symbolism that managed to give the character a dialogue and a presence when she was physically not there. The story takes place on a cold March day. The wind is biting and you get the sense that everyone is yearning for spring to come. It is a lonely, bleak time of year when one is filled with the desire for warmth and change, much like Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster would have felt in her relationship with her cold, unfeeling husband. Her home is located in a hollow where she is cut off and unable to see anyone on the road, indicating that she dwells in a dark and isolated place such as in a depression. Throughout the story she is called back to memory by several objects that are all the color red: the rocking chair, the one surviving jar of fruit- cherries, and the swatch of cloth that covers the hiding place of the bird in her quilting basket. The color red is often associated with death, loss of innocence, and revenge.
The condition of the rocking chair and the stove also give us a clue about her life…these items are crooked, broken, and falling apart. Things in her life had been falling apart-she herself had been slowly crumbling over the last twenty years. There is a strong use of symbolism to explain her feelings. The jars of fruit which become a shattered mess after the heat has left, they are unable to withstand the cold, much like Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster is unable to stand the treatment from her husband and the lack of communication with anyone else. Also, the quilting patches bearing the uneven stitching suggest her fear and nervousness, an indication that she was struggling with her emotions and feeling overwhelmed. These references are helpful in understanding what Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster had been going through prior to when we are introduced to her in the story at which time she is already experiencing the entrapment of her decisions.
The canary is also a strong source of symbolism and figurative language. Mrs. Wright/ Minnie Foster is described by both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter’s as having bird-like qualities: she is sweet and pretty, has a beautiful singing voice but also at times was timid and fluttery (14, 16). The discovery of the bird becomes a major turning point of the story as it indicates the roughness of Mr. Wright in its destruction and also gives a very clear picture of how his treatment of Mrs. Wright/ Minnie Foster (who embodied the same characteristics of the bird) destroyed her.
The atmosphere of this story, including the psychological battle that is indicated to have occurred with Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster, and clearly depicted as occurring with Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter’s is very relevant to today’s time. The story of person vs. conflict pertaining to oppression of women by men and the solidarity between women that results is a topic strongly covered in today’s media, screenwriting, playwriting and fiction.
Although Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster tries to physically smite the thing that is oppressing her, the character of Dee in “Everyday Use” takes a different approach; she tries to physically become something else that will set her apart from that which she believes is oppressing her. The story provides a history of examples in which Dee is shown reacting to her aversion to her family, her home and her heritage. It then focuses on one day when she is expected to be making a visit to her mother and sister. There is a stark contrast between Dee’s frivolous, idealized picture of herself, her mother’s description of her home, her work, and the pride she has for who she is, and the image of her timid, scar-covered little sister, who is likened to an injured animal (2). The description of the families shack creates the picture of a bleak existence; which Dee chooses to focus on, but also contains within it the warmth of the pieces of history that indicate the family’s heritage and is the resting place for the deep and almost mystically simple relationship between Momma and Maggie. Alice Walker’s vivid imagery continues throughout the story so that it easy to imagine that you are standing right next to these characters. The imagery and language used for Dee revolves around uniqueness. She adorns herself in bright, loud clothing, is completely opposite her mother and sister in looks, attitude, education, and beliefs. However, she is still trying to cling to parts of her past. She greedily consumes an ethnic-inspired meal that is served during her visit and acquires two objects of her ancestors. It is with the attempted acquisition of a third item (the quilt), that her intentions are made clear. She is trying to forge ahead and create a new image and existence for herself but she still wants to cling to the craftsmanship and hard work done by her ancestors. She wants to disassemble the butter churn and turn it into a center piece and hang the quilt on the wall instead of using it (5, 7).
The struggle of Dee, like that of Mrs. Wright/Minnie Foster is also one that remains relevant today. The trials of being a teenager and the post-adolescent struggle of defining who you are and deciding how sentimental to be over family/heritage and setting yourself apart through appearance, education and beliefs is also a topic widely covered in music, film, fiction and non-fiction.

Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” 1929. A Jury of Her Peers (Short Stories).
Hadley, MA: Creative Education, 1992.

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” 1973. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Eds. Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia. 5th Compact Ed. New York: Pearson- Longman, 2006.

Posted by: Heather S. at February 13, 2008 03:58 PM

When reading the five short stories for class, I noticed some similarities in them, including similarities in conflict. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson has several different conflicts throughout. The conflict I chose to focus on is man versus society. In this case however, it is it is several people versus society. In the story, the town is having their yearly lottery to see who from the town is going to be stoned to death. Jackson never notes why they have this tradition, but every town does it. The lottery seems as though it is what society expects them to do, because it has always been done. The reason there is a conflict between man and society is because some of the women in the town do not think it is right for them to stone another person every year. “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they (the stones) were upon her.” (Jackson, 7) They want to change the way society views the lottery. They do not want to hold the lottery and kill another person every year.
In the story “On the Road” by Langston Hughes, there is another example of a conflict between man and society. When I first read the story, I was unsure as to what really happened. After reading the analyses for it, I soon found out that this was a struggle for an elderly man to fit in with the rest of the world. In this story, Sargeant wants to change the view society has of African Americans. He does not like that they are not accepted by the rest of society. As the story opens, Sargeant is walking around and does not seem to realize that it is snowing outside. When I initially read the story, I thought he was just in a daze, but I later learned that the snow was used as symbolism. Since it was snowing at night, this is meant to show the relationship between black and white. Also, this shows that it was cold outside and Sargeant had no where to go. Reverend Mr. Dorset would not even give him a warm place to sleep because he is black. “I’m sorry. No! Go right on down this street four blocks and turn to your left, walk up seven and you’ll see the relief shelter, said the Reverend.” (Hughes, 1) After he left there, he walked down the street and came to a church. He tried to get inside, but the doors were locked. Sargeant broke down the door just as the cops showed up. He was then placed in jail, but not until after he tore the church down and crushed the police. This shows that times could be changing a little bit for the African American people in the United States. They are starting to stick up for themselves and no longer want to live in the shadow of the white man.
Hughes, Langston. “On the Road.” Something in Common and Other Stories. New York: Hill, 1963. 207-12

Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” 1948. The Lottery and Other Stories. Farrar, 2005.

Posted by: Michelle E. at February 13, 2008 04:06 PM

Shayla Sorrells

American Literature 1915-Present

Professor Hobbs

February 13, 2007

Blog 1
In our first class, we read several different stories by woman authors as well as a story by Langston Hughes. Each of the stories came from a different point of view and had a different narrator. While Everyday Use was narrated by a woman the other four stories were narrated by someone who was unseen. Each story also contained a major conflict of some sort. Each of the conflicts were different but left the reader in suspense of what was going to happen next. Each of the conflicts were so different that it was hard to find a similarity.
There was only one similarity in conflict that I noticed in two of the stories and that was race. I saw these similarities in “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “On the Road” by Langston Hughes. I felt that both of these stories dealt with African Americans trying to find their place in the world. In “Everyday Use” while Maggie and her mother were quit content with the life they lived, Dee seemed as if she was still looking for an identity she could call her own. Hence the major name change and religion change. In “One the Road” it seemed as if Sargeant was also looking for his place in the world. He was held back by obstacles. Because of their obstacles both charaters were left at the end of the story trying to find their identity.

Posted by: Shayla Sorrells at February 13, 2008 04:37 PM

While reading the selected short stories, there were many conflicts brought up in each one. Conflicts, for example, such as man vs man, in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and man vs nature in “On the Road” by Langston Hughes. Each short story was unique in its own right, but they were all similar in the sense that each story had a conflict that drove the plot. In the story “On the Road” by Langston Hughes and the story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty there is a similar conflict of man vs nature.

In “On the Road,” the main character Sargeant is walking around the town looking for a place to sleep. It is snowing and at first he doesn’t notice the cold, but after being rejected a room by the Reverend Dorset, he notices the weather. In about the seventh paragraph it says, ‘For the first time that night he saw the snow...He shook the snow from his coat sleeves, felt hungry, felt lost, felt not lost, felt cold.’ In “A Worn Path,” Phoenix Jackson has to trudge through miles of the countryside to reach town in order to get medicine for her grandson. Throughout the story there are elements such as the woods, hills, animals, and bushes that she has to battle through to reach her destination. In the fifth paragraph it says, ‘The path ran up a hill’ and Phoenix Jackson says, “Something always take a hold of me on this hill-pleads me I should stay.” In the seventh paragraph it says, ‘But before she got to the bottom of the hill s bush caught her dress.” In both of these stories, nature causes a conflict that the character must overcome to reach their destination, and or, their need.

Posted by: Melissa L. at February 13, 2008 04:38 PM

Gender roles play a large part in both “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “A Jury of Her Peers” by Jordan Langer. Even though the stories are written nineteen years apart, they both take place during a time in which women had no rights and men had all of the power. Gender is a huge conflict in society at this time.

Even though the lottery itself is the ultimate conflict in the story “The Lottery,” gender is an underlying conflict. The male characters in the story have all of the power in this patriarchal society. There are many examples throughout the text which show how obvious male superiority was in this village. Male power starts at a very young age, when the boys gather stones, while the girls stand aside out of the way (1). Mr. Summers needed some assistance, and asks the “fellows” to help out (1). The men choose the paper for themselves, their wives, and children. Mr. Dunbar broke his leg and is unable to attend the lottery. His wife attends, and steps forward to draw for him. She is mocked for doing so, and for not having a grown son to draw for Mr. Dunbar (3). When Mrs. Hutchinson drew the ticket with the blank circle on it, she argued that it was unfair that was chosen (5), Her husband immediately told her to shut up in front of everyone, thus showing who has the power in their household (5). Mrs. Hutchinson’s character struggles to overcome being oppressed by men. The women in the story were faced with the conflict of the lottery itself, while at the same time, fighting for women’s rights.
Although the stories are very different, the female characters in “A Jury of Her Peers” face similar gender conflicts as those female characters in “The Lottery.” Minnie Foster, although she may have murdered her husband, can actually be viewed as the victim because her husband ruined her with his power and control. Even though the main conflict of this story is solving the murder, there underlies a male gender verse female gender conflict as well. The female characters can relate to Minnie and they understand why Minnie took such drastic measures. The male characters in this story show that men beleive females are only good in the kitchen and that they couldn’t possibly be intelligent enough to solve the murder. The women were not invited up to the bedroom to study the crime scene, as though it was a man’s job to investigate. A comment such as “Would the women know a clue if they came upon it?” show that the women were treated as unintelligent and incapable people (7). The women did find the clues, and they solved the mystery, but because they were women, no one had asked.

These stories both have one thing in common. They are perfect examples of how the male gender can be in conflict with the female gender. Society at the time had specific gender roles and women had few rights. Their fight to overcome oppression and powerful males is portrayed in both short stories.

Work Cited
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” 1948. The Lottery and Other Stories. Farrar, 2005.
Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” 1929. A Jury of Her Peers (Short Stores).
Hadley, MA: Creative Education, 1992.

Amanda S.

Posted by: Amanda S. at February 13, 2008 05:00 PM

“One Against Society”

Within the two stories, “A Jury of Her Peers” and “the Lottery,” there is a similar conflict that emerges between the main character and society. In the story “A Jury of Her Peers", the main character, Minnie Wright, struggles to conceal her husbands death from the authorities that have shown up at her door. This presents a conflict because though she can justify why she killed her husband, she knows that it is wrong. To kill another individual is a wrong against society therefore she knows that she will be punished if she is caught. Thus, in order to protect herself she must "hide" all evidence of the crime that she committed.

In the story "The Lottery" the same conflict arises however in a different manner. In the village it is tradition to place each of the citizen’s names in to a black box, so that one individual's name can be chosen and then stoned to death. The conflict that arises is man against society because man cannot control whose name gets picked in the lottery, only fait. Also, man cannot go against society because this is tradition. Simply stated, the citizens of the village are in conflict against one another because none want to be picked however each wants the others to be chosen. This presents an issue because they know that one will be sentenced to death.

The common thread amongst these two stories is the conflict between the main character and society. The first story illustrates a conflict between Minnie and society, meaning the police. The second story presents conflict between the individuals within the society and society itself. Therefore, the conflict that must be resolved is between the main character and society.

Thomas A.

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*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise/assignment.

Posted by: Lee Hobbs at February 13, 2008 10:40 PM

Melissa Lingsch Lingsch 1

Dr. Hobbs

EL 267.01- American Lit 1915- Present

25 April 2008

We Are Living In a Material World:
A look at materialism in The Lottery and Everyday Use

In today’s society people are very materialistic. They always want the nicest, newest things, or even something vintage, just to say that they have something someone else doesn’t have. They are greedy people who care more about objects and materialistic things than the people they hurt while trying to get what they want. This also happens in literature. In the two short stories, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and Everyday Use by Alice Walker, there is a representation of materialism in the characters. The characters represent materialism through their actions, by caring more about themselves than others, and by flaunting their material things over others to try to seem better than them. Exploring the differences and similarities in these stories will help show how the representation of materialism affects characters in literature. There will also be examples from the major motion picture, Mean Girls, to parallel materialism in film and help support provided examples from the texts.
The Lottery was written in 1948, Everyday Use was written in 1973, and Mean Girls hit the theaters in 2004. These pieces were all produced about 30 years apart and they all have a common ground that links them together; they all have representation of materialism. This proves that this is not a recent issue, but one that has been present in literature, film, and life for a very long time. Each piece gives the reader/viewer insight to what materialism is and how it affects characters.
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In The Lottery, one may think that there is no representation of materialism, that it is simply a short story about a town that sacrifices a member of their community each year and that’s that. If one closer, there is an underlying representation of materialism. Think about it, each person is so obsessed with not being chosen to be sacrificed in the lottery that they disregard any thought of what may happen to their family members, friends, and neighbors, if they get chosen for the lottery. In a way, each person becomes a living representation of materialism, with their life as the object that they become so greedy to keep. The town as whole is very materialistic in that sense. They have something that the person who is chosen by the lottery doesn’t have anymore; they have the chance to keep living.
During the lottery, everyone in the town becomes very selfish and paranoid. When her husband didn’t draw exactly how she wanted, Tessie Hutchinson turns from a caring mother to a self-absorbed, materialistic character. “Suddenly. Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. “You didn’t give him enough time to take the paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair.” (Jackson 5) Then, when it turns out that it is Tessie that has been chosen to lay her life down by the lottery, it is clear that the people in the town no longer care about their once fellow community member. They become exhilarated that they have something she doesn’t, they still have their lives. They become so materialistic about keeping their lives and killing her so that they can do so, someone even hands Tessie’s son a pebble to throw at his own mother. “They sill remembered to use the stones...And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles. Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space...A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, “Come on, come on, everyone.” “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.” (Jackson 7) The people in the village
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clearly did not care about what was going to happen to Tessie Hutchinson. In fact, they stoned her to death, but to them it didn’t matter what happened to her as long as they still had their lives.
This part of The Lottery was similar to a part in the movie, Mean Girls. The main character, Cady, was upset that the other character, Regina, was dangling her boyfriend, Aaron, over Cady. Regina was treating Aaron like an object and making Cady jealous that she didn’t have him for herself. So, in Cady’s mind, a scenario played out where the people around them acted like animals as she “fought” Regina to gain possession of Aaron. In both scenarios, from The Lottery and Mean Girls, the characters are acting very primitive to fight for what they want; and in each case the materialistic possession that each character wants to obtain is a life.
Another example for the movie Mean Girls is when Regina takes Cady to her house for the first time. They pull up in Regina’s Lexus in front of a huge mansion. Cady says something along the lines of your house is really nice and Regina responds, “I know, right?” Regina then shows Cady her room and says, “This used to be my parent’s bedroom, but it wasn’t big enough, so I made them switch rooms with me.” The materialism represented in the character of Regina reminded me of the Everyday Use character of Dee, also known as Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. Both of which are very materialist and try to take advantage of their parents to gain material possessions.
In Everyday Use, the mother’s memories and thoughts clue in the audience about how materialistic Dee is, well before her character is introduced. Dee was always the beauty of the family, always trying to dress in the best outfits and look perfect; while her sister Maggie, and even her mother, feel inferior to her. They spend the whole day trying to tidy up the house, and even the yard, to make it look good enough to pass Dee’s inspection. “How do I look, Mama?”
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Maggie says, showing me just enough of her thin body enveloped in pink skirt and red blouse...” (Walker 1) Maggie even puts on a nice outfit to try to impress her sister. The mother continues to
think about Dee, letting the audience learn even more about Dee. “Dee wanted nice things” and “She wrote me once that no matter where we “choose” to live, she will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her friends.” (Walker 2) Dee cares so much about material possession and what others think that she refuses to bring any friends home because she is embarrassed by her mother’s humble abode. So, when she arrives to visit, it’s a bit of a surprise that she has brought her “husband” with her. Soon it is evident though, she came to show off her things, her new clothes, jewelry and man. Dee got out of the car wearing “A dress down to the ground...earrings gold, too...bracelets dangling...” (Walker 3)
Throughout the visit, Dee and Asalamalakim continue to make Maggie and the mother feel insignificant through their actions and comments, but the straw that breaks the camels back is when Dee asks for the quilt. “After dinner Dee (Wanegro) went to the trunk at the foot of my bed and started rifling through it...Out came Wanegro with two quilts...Mama,” Wanergo (Dee) said sweet as a bird. “Can I have these old quilts?” (Walker 6) The mother explains that she was going to give those quilts to Maggie and that doesn’t go over too well. “But they’re priceless!” she (Dee) was saying now, furiously; for she has a temper. “Maggie would put them on the bed and in five years they’d be in rags. Less than that!” Dee was not going to use the quilts her mother and grandmother made for their practical use, as blankets; but, she was going to hang them in her house to show off. She would have something that none of her friends had and she was going to flaunt the quilts in front of them. She didn’t want the quilts for the same reason Maggie wanted them. Maggie would treasure them as a family heirloom while Dee would use
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treat them as just another materialistic possession to show her friends. The mother refuses to give them to Dee and she leaves. Dee being sneaky and coming to visit her mother only for material
gain shows how her character represents materialism. She didn’t care seeing her mother, or if the quilts already belonged to Maggie; she came for a purpose and left when she didn’t receive anything.
During Everyday Use, the mother has hopes that Dee has changed and comes to see them because she wants to, but she ultimately realizes that Dee was still the same materialistic person she has been her whole life. The same can be said in The Lottery. These people have had the tradition of the lottery for so many years that they probably will never be able to change. It’s almost like it’s in their DNA, to the point where their children are born to be these little materialistic beings who are only concerned with their lives and nothing else. It’s like materialism is an epidemic that only gets worse with time. That is very evident in the character of Dee. Her case has gotten worse over time.
All of the examples in this paper tie together to show the representation of materialism in characters in literature and film. They also show that materialism has been as issue in American for many years that only seems to be getting worse; to the point that the representation of materialism floods over into pure forms, such as novels and short stories. Hopefully, people will learn to look inside themselves and realize that it’s the people in life, family and friends, that matter; not the materialistic things.


Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. 1948.
Mean Girls. Dir. Mark Waters. Perf. Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams. DVD. Paramount
Pictures, 2004.
Walker, Alice. Everyday Use. 1973.
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I put my paper under the category of Shirley Jackson, et al-Conflicts in 20th Century American Literature. The reason why I chose to submit this analysis under this specific category is because Shirley Jackson's piece "The Lottery" is one I focused on in my paper. This analysis helps to provide evidence to the reader of Jackson's use of representing materialism in the form of the town. Also, the use of materialism is a conflict that was dealt with in the 20th century and the literature written then.

Posted by: Melissa Lingsch at May 1, 2008 05:05 PM

Ryenn Micaletti
Dr. Lee Hobbs
American Literature 1915 – Present
22 April 2008
“The Lottery” and the “Allegory of the Cave”: Isolation and Ignorance
A common metaphor represented in Plato’s parable of the cave and Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” is that isolation causes ignorance. In Plato’s parable, the people have been held captive in a cave their entire lives. Their minds have been confined to knowing things they have learned from being inside of the cave. By that, the people are not willing to accept anything else as reality, causing ignorance toward the outside world. In Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, the society which people live in is based on traditional values. These traditional values keep them isolated from advancing with the rest of the world. The people in the story believe in a lottery where a person is chosen to be lapidated or in other words, stoned. They believe the lottery is a civil and normal tradition. Isolation has caused them to not realize that their traditional beliefs are barbarous and out-dated. The metaphor of isolation causes ignorance is not just found in “The lottery” and in Plato’s allegory, but in other literature, such as the novel, The Giver. Isolation of one’s mind causes their perception of reality to be very vague. The story of “The Lottery” and the “Allegory of the Cave” can be identified in our world today.
The reoccurring metaphor, isolation causes ignorance means that seclusion of one’s mind causes lack of knowledge. If one is kept in a house their entire life, and someone tells them that there is an outside, more than likely the person who has lived in the house their entire life, will not perceive the outside to be real. They will not embrace the fact that outside is a part of reality. Isolation does not just have to happen to one person. It can happen to a city, a village, a country or even a continent. An example of this is a group of people who have not been outside of their community or comfort zone. When they are finally exposed to things that do not normally happen in their culture, they usually shun it.
Jackson’s story, “The Lottery”, takes place in a village of about 300 people not very long ago. This village has been holding the tradition of the lottery for many years. The tradition of the lottery is every single person that lives in the village must meet at the square once a year and someone is randomly selected to be lapidated. The person is randomly selected. Everyone takes a small piece of paper that is folded out of a little black box. Anyone who has the single black dot drawn on their piece of paper must be stoned. The children of the village also take part in this tradition. While reading the story, it seems as if all the members of society feel that this is normal and are accustomed to this. Tradition is a major part of this village’s culture. Their belief in this tradition is so strong, that they have been using the same box since the lottery was started. The box they used in this particular story is made from the fragments of the box used before that, which was the first box ever used. In the text it states, “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much as tradition as was represented in that black box” (Jackson 2). In the story, Mr. Adams says, “That over in north village they’re talking about giving up the lottery” (Jackson 4). After, he says this, Old Man Warner abruptly responds saying, “Listening to the young folks, nothings good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll want to go back to living in caves, nobody work anymore, live that way for a while” (Jackson 4). The way Old Man Warner and the rest of the village acts toward the lottery have shown that they have not advanced as a society.
The lottery’s origin stems from the Pagan ritual of sacrificing a human life for prosperities sake. Like those of the Pagans, the villagers of this story have long forgotten the tradition. The people of this story minds are isolated to think that this is the only way that the land will be fertile. This isolation causes lack of knowledge. The people believe that this lottery is the only way that they will be able to have fertile soil. If they would not isolate themselves, and realize what the other villages are doing in order to receive fertile soil, they will then be able to advance as a society. The ritual and fulfilling this tradition, justifies and masks brutality in this story.
In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, he tells Glaucon a story of prisoners who have been imprisoned in a cave with their heads positioned straights and chained into a seating position since their childhood. Behind them is an enormous wall with a fire burning behind it. From this wall, villagers use objects as puppets which become shadows that are seen by the prisoners. The prisoners perceive these shadows to be reality. Plato states, “To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of images” (Plato). The prisoners then are released; they stand up and walk towards the light. When they walk towards the light, they experience sharp pains. The instructor tells them that the objects that they have seen their entire imprisonment are just shadows. Not reality. The prisoners are now presented with “real existence” (Allegory).
In the cave, the prisoners are isolated from the rest of the world. They only have grown to know as reality, what goes on inside that cave. The shadows that they saw everyday were their truth. When they were released from the cave, they felt sharp pains (Hooker). These pains came from them being exposed to sunlight and not being able to turn their necks for such a long time. Symbolically, I believe these pains are like the pains people go through when they are first introduced to truths that are unlike their own. When a person has been lied to for a very long time, and has based their beliefs and their lives on these lies, when finally hearing the truth, it may cause a great deal of pain.
Isolation that causes ignorance can be identified in the world that we live in today. In Eldorado, Texas, there is a polygamous sect that lives in a ranch. They practice the teachings of the Fundamentalist church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In this sect they wear clothes that model those of pilgrims. They practice polygamy, which is the practice of having more than one wife at one time. These people live in a ranch that is isolated from the rest of society. This isolation causes them to keep their same traditions, values, and ideas and not experience anything else. These people have been recently charged with child abuse. Children young as 14 years old have been pregnant. These people believe that this is normal and should be going on. These are their truths. They refuse to believe that there is anything wrong with this practice. Our truths, and our reality, are that child abuse is wrong. The sect is society is in an isolated place in Texas away from society (Polygamist).
Another example in literature, other than Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and “The Lottery” is the story of the novel, The Giver. The Giver is about an eleven year old boy named Jonas who lives in a society where there is no pain, fear, war, or hatred. In this society, people are given jobs based on their natural abilities and skills. Children are born by birth mothers whose job is to give birth to children and then take care of them for a year before they are given up to families. All of the children who are flawed and the senior citizens of the society are “released” from the society. The society uses the term “release” ‘aka’ death. They believe that these people go to a happier place, but really they are being put to death (Lowry).
In this novel, this society is isolated along with the people that live in this society’s minds. These people have no recollection of anything that has ever happened to them. No one is allowed in or out of this society. People who disobey the rules of society are released. All of the people who live in this society do not try and change what is going on. They do not know how to think or feel. These people are not exposed to the common things that happen in a regular society. This makes them ignorant to people who have other ideas and do not follow the rules of the society they live in. Therefore the society does not advance.
Isolation causes ignorance is found not only in literature, but also in today’s society. In “The Lottery” and the “Allegory of the Cave”, isolation is found not only in their societies, but also the minds of the people who live in them. In “The Lottery”, the people had their tradition isolate their knowledge from understanding that their tradition of the lottery is out-dated. They do not understand that their tradition does not make the land fertile. It seems that this tradition they practice is very old, and is not useful anymore. Even though they heard other villages were stopping the lottery, they were ignorant to find out why they were. In the “Allegory of the Cave” the people who were kept in the cave their entire lives and isolated from the rest of society, were ignorant towards understanding that their perception of reality was wrong at first. Then, they were enlightened when they walked outside. They experienced pain, like any other person would feel when they are finally enlightened with the truth after such a long time. In today’s world, we still see that it is prevalent among polygamist sects and in Middle Eastern countries. In literature, The Giver is a prime example of the metaphor ignorance causes isolation. Isolation is not always necessarily a bad thing. These people use it to try and preserve goodness and defend their reality. Maybe our perception of reality is wrong because we are isolated from different and causes us to be ignorant towards ideas and people who are different than us. Who are we to say whose reality is right or wrong? We know our reality, and if were told that what perceive to be real and true is wrong, then we would experience the same pain felt as the prisoners in Plato’s Allegory. How do we know that our reality is “real”?


Works Cited

Hooker, Richard. "Plato." Greek Philosophy. 01 Oct. 1996. 19 Apr. 2008 .
Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Classic Short Stories. 2001. 22 Apr. 2008 .
Lowry, Lois. "The Giver." Spark Notes. 1993. 14 Apr. 2008 .
"Polygamist Sect." MSNBC. 22 Apr. 2008. The Associated Press Inc. 18 Apr. 2008 "The Allegory of the Cave." The Allegory of the Cave. 16 Apr. 2008 .
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This analysis has been submitted to this blog because it deals primarily with this Jackson's short story "The Lottery" and Plato's "Allegory of the Cave". The short story, "The Lottery" exemplifies my thesis that isolation causes ignorance.

Posted by: Ryenn Micaletti at May 1, 2008 11:44 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

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4 November 2008

ENG 122 Students

Please answer your question from today's class meeting here AND on www.turnitin.com as directed. Failure to do both will render the assignment incomplete. Grade will be registered on turnitin.com. For some of you, the "zeros" are really stacking up. I suggest you take the assignment seriously!

 

1.     NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE: Think back to when you read the story the first time.  Were you surprised by the ending of the story? If not, at what point did you know what was going to happen? How does Jackson foreshadow the ending? Conversely, how does Jackson lull us into thinking that this is just an ordinary story with an ordinary town? Are there any structural similarities in how this story was constructed by the author and how “A Rose for Emily” was constructed by Faulkner?  How about Liev Schreiber’s film Everything is Illuminated? (a screenplay based on a book by Jonathan Safran Foer).

2.     FORESHADOWING: How many hints of the seriousness of the occasion can you find in the early parts of the story? (for this question, underline in your story places where foreshadowing occurs). From which characters do you get the best indication of what is to follow?

3.     PERSPECTIVE: Describe the point of view of the story. How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story's suspense?

4.     CLASS: First, consider the economic status of other protagonists and characters in other stories and plays you’ve examined for this class (Doll’s House, Everything is Illuminated, “A Rose for Emily,” etc.)  How do the commonplace details of life and the folksy language contribute to the impact of the story? Why had Jackson chosen common people for her characters? Could she have chosen characters from other levels of sophistication with the same effect? What is the irony of the trite dialogue and casual tone of this story?

5.     SYMBOLISM: Some critics insist that the story has an added symbolic or allegorical dimension. Do you agree? Consider the “black box.”  Why it is symbolic about it being battered?  What other symbols are in the story and what is Shirley Jackson trying to tell us about ourselves? Now that you’ve been reminded of what symbolism is, was this technique used in any of the other works we’ve looked at thus far in this course?

6.     ALLUSION: Jackson gave interesting names to a number of her characters. Draw a list of each character’s name. Examine and then explain the possible allusion suggested in many of these names.  Now that you’ve been reminded of what allusion is, was this technique used in any of the other works we’ve looked at thus far in this course?

7.     CLOSE READING: What seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it?

8.     CLOSE READING: Is it important that the original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost? What do you suppose the original ceremony was like? Why have some of the villages given up this practice? Why hasn't this one?

9.     SOCIAL JUSTICE / CULTURAL MOIRES: What is the significance of Tessie's final scream, "It isn't fair, it isn't right"? What aspect of the lottery does she explicitly challenge; what aspect goes unquestioned?

10.  SOCIAL JUSTICE / CULTURAL MOIRES: Is the lottery a collective act of murder? Is it morally justified? Is tradition sufficient justification for such actions? How would you respond to cultures that are different from ours that perform "strange" rituals?

11.  THEME: How are the following themes represented in the story: (a) “evil disguised as good,” (b) “prejudice,” (c) “hypocrisy,” etc.?  Now that you have been reminded of what themes are, what others can you identify. What themes in “The Lottery” have you seen in other works we’ve examined for this course?

12.  Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a different sort of story when it is read for the second time. Maybe you haven’t read through it twice yet but you have seen a film version AND you’ve examined it closely for these questions.  What elements (such as Mrs. Hutchinson's attempt to have her daughter, Eva, draw with the family) take on a different meaning the second time through? It meant “one thing” to you the first time you read. Reading it again, it means something else. What else is like that?

 

 

QUESTION SOURCES:

 

http://www.mrcoia.com/school/pdf/11/lottery_questions.pdf

http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/lottery.htm

*For those of you who missed out on the great class discussion (sorry we didn't have time to get to the really good questions), check out Professor Crowley's three-part lecture (each segment about 7 minutes) on Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" from his "Approaches to Literature" course at the University of Maine. He also gives a great lecture on Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," something I also did for you in an earlier class meeting. Wow, great minds think alike! Thanks Dr. Crowley!


Part 1 of 3



Part 2 of 3



Part 3 of 3

Happy Election Day!

Dr. Hobbs
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CAPTION: Shirley Jackson, Author
Image Source: ">http://blog.syracuse.com/shelflife/2007/12/jackson.jpg
*FROM*: 12 February 2008

Students,

If you are submitting to this blog post for your final exam, remember to add a few comments (after a line separator) at the END of your entry after the works cited (should be the FINAL, not first, revision of your term paper) explaining why this post was one of the most appropriate to your paper's topic/thesis. Don't forget that you need to do this for two blog entries and you need to submit a paragraph informing me of which two blog entries you submitted to and an explanation why to turnitin.com. All of these steps need to be completed to get credit for the final exam.

Good luck,

Dr. Hobbs

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." ~ William Butler Yeats

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Image Source: ">http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0374516812.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

*FROM*: 6 February 2008

I''ve gotten a few replies to this week's assignment, but it seems that many of you are missing the point. I would like you to discuss a similarity of conflict in TWO of the short stories (you choose) listed below. This doesn't mean discussing anything that you find similar. I want you to focus on a particular "conflict" within two of the stories.

Mark Flanagan, defines "conflict" as: "the struggle between the opposing forces on which the action in a work of literature depends. There are five basic forms of conflict: person versus person, person versus self, person versus nature, person versus society, and person versus God." For example, "If the protagonist is a sea captain, one conflict that might arise would be with nature, the sea itself" (About.com).

We discussed conflict in our last class meeting; there are all kinds. For example, a narrative can have literal conflicts, such as easy "War," or a child wanting something that his or her parent won't allow. More importantly, however, is that narratives can have underlying conflicts (beneath the surface), or even symbolic ones. For example, there can be psychological conflicts within a character (or, between two characters). A character, for example, might be struggling with addiction, or a desire to "kill" anyone he feels is more powerful (or, a threat) to him.

There can also be conflicts (or, struggles) between gender, ethnicity, and class. The conflicts on these levels tell the reader "more" than just the conflict. For illustration, let's use Eudora Welty's A Worn Path. For example, when a character who is walking down a road (who may be, for example, African-American, meets a character who is driving a vehicle (who may be, for example, European-American), a reader might "read" such a scene as thus: perhaps the walking character is on a poorer economic standing than the person driving a vehicle. How would that make their two respective lives different? For example, could one person carry more groceries home from the store? Could one person have more time in their day to do other things than walk 10 miles to every store? Also, of what importance is it that the two characters are represented as two different ethnicities (and genders)? Would the story have less "conflict" if the story indicated two European-Americans (or, two African-Americans), or if both characters were of the same gender? How do we know this (what proof from the text indicates this)? These only scratch the surface!

Don't forget other symbolic struggles, or "conflicts" such as the ever ready standby: "man against nature," better understood as humanity against nature. There is a dog in "A Worn Path," remember? Is there a conflict between the dog and Phoenix? If so, what is it, "really"? Why does one upset the other? What is it that both "characters" desire? Other symbolic conflicts might be found in a character's name. Take Phoenix's name for example. If you don't know what a "phoenix" is, look it up straightaway. Is Phoenix somehow like a "phoenix"? If so, how? If not, then is there irony in her choice of name? If you find that Phoenix is "un-phoenix-like," is there a struggle/conflict between what the reader is expecting and what the reader gets? What about man/humanity vs. God (a conflict with God ornature can be interpreted sometimes as a religious or an environmental conflict)? Man/humanity vs. himself (can be understood sometimes as a mental/psychological conflict)?

Here's at least one links that might help you get a better grasp of conflict:

http://www.dowlingcentral.com/MrsD/area/literature/Terms/conflict.html

You might find more if you take the time to research (Google the web a little), which I encourage you to do.

Ok, I hope this helps you along. (Some of you are experiencing a "conflict" with the assignment). Remember, discuss a connection between a conflict in two stories of your choice (below) in at least two or more paragraphs:

1929 - Glaspell, Susan - "A Jury of Her Peers"
1940 - Welty, Eudora - "A Worn Path"
1948 - Jackson, Shirley - "The Lottery"
1952 - Hughes, Langston - "On The Road"
1973 - Walker, Alice - "Everyday Use"


These stories are, of course, also available on our class J-Web space as printable, adobe reader files (which you should print out to bring to our class meetings).

Your response should be AT LEAST two full paragraphs. However, your response can be longer than this if you want. Write your response in a word document and save it FIRST. Then, submit your response to our turnitin.com class space. Then, copy and paste your response in the comment box below.

In your response, you should be sure to use the tools of plot, setting, imagery, figurative language, and how reality is represented, for example, to bolster your argument. In order to get credit for the assignment, please be sure you use your first name and last initial. If you want to see what other literature students have done for me in my classes in the past, look at the comments on the posts for the blog entries HERE:

http://www.english-blog.com/archives/english_teaching/literature/

Of course, those are all "freshman" level courses. Since this is a 200 level course, I'll be expecting sophomore level work for our class. Your level of argumentation should be remarkably more sophisticated than the freshmen responses you see at that link.

NOTE: After you hit "submit" comment, your comment will now show up until I approve it. I must do this to minimize the spam that hits the blog. So, please be patient.

This assignment is due EVERYWHERE (turnitin.com and here) by class time next Wednesday. No late submissions accepted. If you want to get credit for it, you need to get it in on time!

ALSO: For next class meeting: Read Langston Hughes's short story “On the Road” AND the three analyses of the story by our next class (available on J-Web). Print and bring with you since we will discuss these.

See you next Wednesday,

Dr. Hobbs

*NOTE: As with all reading responses submitted to the English-Blog for EL 267, you must first submit the response to the proper space on www.turnitin.com (the date for which it was assigned). To get credit, the response must be present in both places by the deadline. Submissions to only one will not receive credit, so beware!

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at May 6, 2008 10:50 AM

9. SOCIAL JUSTICE / CULTURAL MOIRES: What is the significance of Tessie's final scream, "It isn't fair, it isn't right"? What aspect of the lottery does she explicitly challenge; what aspect goes unquestioned?

Tessie Hutchinson knew what the lottery was all about. This wasn’t her first time, and before the results she was as calm as could be. It wasn’t until her husband picked the paper with the dark spot on it that Tessie started to call out the unfairness of the lottery. In a way Tessie was being a sore loser. Her family lost the lottery and its chance. It was nobody’s fault that they loss. Tessie was saying that her husband did not have enough time to properly choose. According to the book, “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.” At the end Tessie was in a way challenging the entire process of the lottery, because she screams, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” and that’s true. The villagers don’t even know why they do the lottery. It’s not right that a person should die at random and it’s unfair that their death really serves no purpose.

Posted by: Mary Chuhinko at November 5, 2008 03:49 PM

FORESHADOWING: How many hints of the seriousness of the occasion can you find in the early parts of the story? (for this question, underline in your story places where foreshadowing occurs). From which characters do you get the best indication of what is to follow?

Like I had said in class, I believe that the fact that Nancy was brought up so many times before the lottery and during was foreshadowing. I think it made the readers think more about Nancy was a main character and not just some man's wife. Not only that but she almost forgot that it was the lottery day; usually wouldn't the husband remind his wife that such an important event was going on? Also the stones in the beginning also were foreshadowing that nothing good was going to come of that big pile of rocks. There was a lot of foreshadowing in the lottery, but the mystery still reminds of why they did this in the first place.

Posted by: Danielle Dunlevy at November 6, 2008 01:06 AM


My question was if I thought it was important that the original paraphernalia was lost from the lottery and I say yes because it might have been way more elaborate and brutal than what it might have been from an earlier civilization due to the simple fact that since it’s done in small town, it isn’t as thought out. But if it was done in like a Mayan civilization, it might have been way more thought out and celebrated because it is obvious that it is done for crops and harvest. The other villages have probably given up on this tradition because they have probably gained knowledge about how this ceremony might now be completely irrelevant or thought of it as brutal and might have come up with another way to make the crops flourish better. This one hasn’t probably given up for that opposite of this reason. No one has thought of a better way to break this superstition of this ceremony.

Posted by: Brandon Sartor at November 6, 2008 09:06 AM

4. CLASS: First, consider the economic status of other protagonists and characters in other stories and plays you’ve examined for this class (Doll’s House, Everything is Illuminated, “A Rose for Emily,” etc.) How do the commonplace details of life and the folksy language contribute to the impact of the story? Why had Jackson chosen common people for her characters? Could she have chosen characters from other levels of sophistication with the same effect? What is the irony of the trite dialogue and casual tone of this story?
The commonplace details of life and the folksy language make the story more realistic and believable. She chose common people for her characters because if you evaluate the story it is very hard to image rich people committing this act. Rich individuals would be more knowledgable and educated about their actions whereas simple town folk see their actions as the only way of survival. The kill individuals as a way of reaping during harvest and to them if they do not do this act they would most certainly die. I really doubt she could have used other individuals of a high economic level.


Posted by: Dominique Smith at November 6, 2008 12:32 PM

John Baron
Dr. Lee Hobbs

The lottery by Shirley Jackson

7. CLOSE READING: What seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it?
It seems that the origin of the Lottery dates back to when the town had a rich agricultural background it was something they did every year to bring good crops. The old man says “lottery in June, corn be heavy soon,” which shows that the lottery has a bigger meaning for the agricultural side of the community. Also he stated that this was his 77th lottery, this shows how long of a tradition this has in the community because you know it was going on be fore he was born if he has been doing it for his entire life. The people of the town are split on their view of the lottery, some of the towns people like the tradition and want it to continue. How ever there are a select few who would like to see it end. They see that other towns are doing away with the lottery and still doing fine, so they think that they can get rid of it and continue to go on.

Posted by: john baron at November 6, 2008 12:48 PM

I was very surprised (and annoyed) at the ending of The Lotery. It is not what I expected. I can't really tell whether the ending is being foreshadowed; the details are very vague throughout the story. The only details provided by the author are hints at just average townspeople going about a tradition or their everyday lives.

Posted by: Mune, Martin M. at November 6, 2008 01:09 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 6, 2008 10:33 PM

Sasha-ann Jarrett
English 122-CA17
Dr. Hobbs
January 20, 2009
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery” A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader. Pearson Education Inc., 2005
When the word “lottery” is spoken, the initial interpretation is that of winning money or rather winning something that is so great, like a car. But the interpretation of “lottery” by Shirley Jackson is totally different that what it is stereotyped as. “The Lottery” is a story about the people of a small village, who at the beginning of the story are interpreted as calm, non-violent people that have a tradition of engaging in a lottery every year. They take part in this lottery by drawing a piece of paper from a black box and whoever acquires a paper with a black dot on it is the winner. As a result of being the winner, he or she is then stoned to death by friends and family.
Within the book there are symbols that could be said to be a pre-warning of the death in the end. These symbols are the stones which are gathered and the black box that is used for the lottery. At the beginning the author tells us that the young boys gather stones “…eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner”…page 10, the gathering of stones by boys immediately gives us an idea of violence. Boys tend to be rough and the fact they are gathering stones could mean that they were going to use them for wrongdoing. The fact that they chose specific stones showed that these aren’t regular stones that young boys look for; as boys normally don’t care what a stone looks like. This further suggests the purpose of the stones being used for a non-childlike act, the killing of someone.
Shirley Jackson displays humans as being the lowest animal, by incorporating the stoning of loved ones “…a stone hit her on the side of the head.”…page 17. The reason why humans can be called the lowest animals is because, humans are supposed to be the ones that are the educated ones because they have a much larger brain size and are more developed than other animals. So for humans to behave like this to their own kind, it’s degrading them to those animals that are below them that do the same.

Posted by: Sasha-ann Jarrett at January 26, 2009 10:05 PM

Michelle Youngblood
Professor Hobbs
Eng 122 CA 16
January 29, 2009

The Lottery: Character
In the story The Lottery, there is not much character because the story is so short. Round and flat are the two kinds of characters used in most stories. Because the story is actually short, the flat character plays its part in this short story. The characters in The Lottery almost have equal standing. There is no major character defined in this short story. Learning from the text, the people in the short narrative appear to be static compared to dynamic.
The Lottery is about a small village where every year they follow a town’s traditional ritual. The ritual involves the villagers meeting at particular place in town where all the families gather together to see who the villagers will stone to death for that year. The person who is chosen is determined by which man or woman of the family chooses from a box full on blank pieces of paper including one a piece of paper with a black dot on it. After the family that ends up with the paper that has a black dot, all the people in that particular family (mother, father, daughter, or son) have to do another drawing with the black dot in the box. The person with the black dot is the one who will be stoned to death by the town regardless if the person is a man or woman, girl or boy, young or old.
In The Lottery, there two characters that are mentioned the most: Mr. Summers and Mrs. Tessie Hutuchinson. Of the two characters, I chose Mrs. Hutchinson to do my paper on because she seemed the most interesting. Tessie Hutchinson had a husband named Bill Hutchinson, a son named Bill jr. and a daughter named Nancy. While she was at home cleaning, she forgot that the lottery was that day so as soon as she remembered she hurried there. “Clean forgot what day it was, she said to Mrs. Delacroix. She dried her hands on her apron.” (Balkun, 12) Later in the story, Tessie is the person stoned to death.
Because there is not much known about Mrs. Hutchinson, she is known as a flat character. “Flat characters are not complex, but are simple and one dimensional.” (Roberts, 68) The character Tessie could be verisimilitude. For example, the television channel “Lifetime” is basically a channel about women in which movies reenact situations they really went through. There is one movie called “The Lottery” and it is about the same things that happened in the book. Although Mrs. Hutchinson is a flat character, she is dynamic. She becomes dynamic when she learns that she will be stoned to death at the lottery. “It’s Tessie,” Mr. Summers said.” (Balkun, 17) The changes Tessie Hutchinson undergoes is most likely from anxious and nervous (the start of the lottery) to shocked and angry (the end of the lottery).
The conclusion of the story makes you angry at the villagers for still going through with a traditional ritual as horrible as the lottery. The way Mrs. Hutchinson dies is one of the most crucial ways to die: being stoned to death by people you have laughed and had good times with, someone you married and someone you carried for about nine months. Near her death, she turns into a dynamic character.

Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley.”The Lottery.”A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader:Literature. Edited by Mary McAleer Balkun. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2005. 10-18.
Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature. Brief 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2006. 68,285.

Posted by: Michelle Youngblood at February 3, 2009 12:38 AM

Josh Green
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA17
2/18/09


A lottery you don’t want to win

Shirley Jackson does a good job playing off the true meaning of “The Lottery.” Roberts explains that the setting can ultimately underscore the irony of the story. (Roberts 122) That’s precisely what Jackson does with her opening description of the town. She makes it seem like it’s going to be a happy event that people are looking forward to, but in reality the lottery is just a cruel game of sacrifice and tradition that is severely outdated. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (Jackson 10) When initially thought of this scene in my head, I always imagine pilgrims with dirt smudged faces making their way through a square with very little plant life on cobblestone roads to assemble around a box that would decide their fate. Jackson uses a setting that would make this seem like any ordinary day along with the characters seemly joyful demeanor. This vivid layout of a morning outdoors would usually promote a cheery or happy mood in the air when really the town’s people would gather in the square for one of them to ultimately die.
The sheer placement of the black lottery box on a stool in the center of the square displays the importance and power of the lottery drawing in the village. They continue the lottery year after even though some townspeople raise questions about it. “In the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.” Old man Warner snorted. “Pack of crazy fools,” he said. “Listening to the young folks, nothing is good enough for them.” They willingly become unthinking members of inhumane tradition, ignoring their reason and rationality, sending Mrs. Hutchinson to her death.

Work Cited

Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery” A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader: Literature. Ed. Mary McAleer Balkun. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson 2005. 10-17

Roberts, Edgar V. “Writing about Literature” Brief 11th ed. Upper Saddle River. NJ: Pearson, 2006.

Posted by: Josh Green at February 23, 2009 10:49 PM

Joshua Brinson Brinson 01

Dr. Hobbs

English 122 CA17

03 March 2009

The theme of The Lottery

In the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the way many themes that I think could be interpreted by a reader. But the main theme that I believe the author is trying to get out is that of self and family preservation. In this story it teaches us how people react when they are put in different situations and how they react when unfavorable outcomes are placed upon them.

As I stated before the theme of this story was that of self and family preservation. The reason I feel this way is because in the story, Jackson tells about a woman named Tessie Hutchinson who learned about self preservation very quickly. I say this because at first when the lottery started Tessie was fine with how everything thing was going, she even showed up late and joked as she walked up to the front to meet her husband. She said things like “Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now would you, Joe?”(pg 15) as though the lottery wasn’t an important matter. Even as the names where being called for the families to pick the papers she was alright and didn’t really show that much fear. But as soon as she found out that her family was the one that held the dreadful ticket she instantly switched to self and family preservation mode. She tried to make up any excuse for her family by saying things like “You didn’t give him

Brinson 02

time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!”(pg 15) she was trying everything she could for her family not to be harmed.

This story’s theme also focuses on self preservation by showing the reader how a person is willing to try anything to not be harmed. When Tessie found out that it was her who possessed the paper with the black dot she began to plead to the crowd and saying over and over things like “it isn’t fair, it isn’t right!” (pg 17) She was trying so hard to get the town to change its mind and not kill her because of self preservation. As I said before, before the lottery started Tessie was ok with everything that was going on, and I believe that if it was another person who was unlucky enough to receive the black dot, she wouldn’t have hesitated to help kill that person. But since it was her in the bad situation, self preservation mode kicked in and made her plead for her life.

So now you understand why I feel that self and family preservation is the main theme in The Lottery. This theme shows us the limits most people will go to keep themselves and their families out of harm’s way.

Brinson 03

Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley- The Lottery, the A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2005

Posted by: Joshua Brinson at March 3, 2009 02:23 AM

Alicia Roddenberg
Dr. Hobbs
03-04-09
Eng 122 CA16
Symbolism of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”
The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson begins with an optimistic outlook as the mood is set by the surroundings. The story is presented with great irony and is able to be looked at in several different lights. Just in the title of the story alone questions can be raised on whether you should take things as they are or look deeper for a stronger meaning. “Fables have attaches “morals” or explanations to the brief stories” (Roberts 132). The Large black box in “The Lottery” is symbolic to the characters in the story since inside the box holds the decision of their future.
The author speaks of the box which is used for the lottery in excessive detail, showing its importance to the story. The box is symbolic in many ways to the people of the town and to the reader as well. “The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner was born” (Jackson 11). The box is large and bulky in size; two men were used just to hold it steady. The fact that Jackson made the box black can be symbolic to the meaning of death, or something evil and unwanted. The box can be interpreted as a bad omen, something which hovers over the towns people.
The lottery is a term many are familiar with, yet the title of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” holds an entirely different meaning. The author purposely chose this title as an allegory to prove that generally the lottery is something one hopes to win, yet in this case it would be very unlucky. “The Lottery” would fall under the category of a fable. “A fable is a short tale with a pointed moral” (Roberts 132). The moral in Jackson’s story is that though something is a tradition and carried on by generations, does not make it justifiable to continue for future generations. The idea of randomly picking a member from the community to stone to death is able to show the ignorance of the town’s people. A lottery would be a Universal symbol of wealth and good fortune, yet in Jackson’s “The Lottery” the contextual symbol would be death and unfavorable.
Jackson opens the story with such calm and inviting surrounds and closes with the idea of death. This contrast is what allows the reader to learn the true attempts at the moral lesson. By representing death with something thought to be desired, such as winning the lottery, Jackson is able to show symbolism in a different way. Without these pointed clues to direct the reader, it would be difficult to determine the contextual symbols presented.


Works Cited
Roberts, Edgar V. Writing about Literature. Brief 11th ed. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson,
2006. Pages 129-43.
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery”. A Prentice Hall pocket reader Literature.
edited by Mary McAleer Balkun. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2005. Pages 10-17

Posted by: Alicia Roddenberg at March 9, 2009 03:15 PM

Samantha Witte,Zachary Gary
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 CA07 Academic Writing 2
17 October 2014

Question #5:
Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” is a different sort of story when you read it for the second time. What elements (such as Mrs. Hutchinson’s attempt to have her daughter, Eva, draw with the family) might take on a different meaning the second time through? Explain your response.
Answer:
The people of the village are all attending the lottery. The way that Jackson writes it, she hides the purpose of the lottery until the end of the story. You find out later that “Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now… as stone hit here on the side of the head.” (Jackson 7) By knowing the outcome of the lottery, reading it a second time through makes the reader realize why the characters cared about the order of picking. It wasn’t a fair system and it had a tragic outcome. The fighting between the people is better understood after the picking. (Jackson 6-7)

Posted by: Zachary Gary, Sam Witte at October 17, 2014 01:54 PM

Justine Gonzalez Trejon Baynham
Dr.Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
17 October 2014

Question #9:
The ending of Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery" should have been a surprise to you, the first time you read it. Was it? If not, at what point did you know what was going to happen? Explain your response.

Answer:
The ending was a surprise because at first reading you first think that it is a lottery for war or something but then realize it’s a lottery to see who gets rocks thrown at them. Another surprising thing was that it was a woman to get the rocks thrown at her instead of a man and for people to go along with it and do such a thing to a lady. “And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles,” (Jackson 7) this shows that it was a routine for the people, no matter who it was, it was custom for them to do it.

Posted by: Justine Gonzalez at October 17, 2014 02:11 PM

Roslyn & Alyssa
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 121 Academic Writing CA07
17 October 2014

Question #11
In what way does the setting affect In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”? Does it make you more or less likely to anticipate the ending? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer:
Yes the setting if the story makes you more likely to anticipate the ending. Because with the kids playing with the rocks and making different things. Being outside playing with the rocks and the kids being stoned. With the lottery when you get selected they tend to die when being selected.

Posted by: Roslyn Thomas at October 17, 2014 02:15 PM

Mallory Delay
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
4 March 2015

Question 7: In Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery," is the lottery a collective act of murder? Is it morally justified? Is tradition sufficient justification for such actions? How would you respond to cultures that are different from ours that perform "strange" rituals? Explain your response.

Answer: The story, "The Lottery," is a collective act of murder. It may be a tradition for the townspeople, "where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours," (Jackson 1) but as a whole it is still murder. The way the go about selecting the victim is fair, "much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded" so the original wood chips have been replaced with slips of paper" (Jackson 2) and helps keep the population in check, but it is still morally wrong to kill another person in cold blood. Even Mrs. Hutchinson thinks that the lottery and what they are doing yelling, "It isn't fair, it isn't right." (Jackson 7) There are different cultures around the world that perform similar rituals but what they do is widely looked down upon. Many are isolated from the rest of the world, but it is those similar rituals that keep most of the world at bay.

Posted by: Mallory Delay at March 4, 2015 12:57 PM

Kathleen Sholl
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 12
4 March 15

“The Lottery” Discussion Question

Question 13: Are there other symbols in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”? Why is the “black box” battered for example? Explain your response.

Answer: In “The Lottery,” other symbols include the black box, the stones, the black dot, and the lottery. The black box is a symbol of the tradition and the villager’s loyalty to the lottery. Second, the stones that the villagers throw at Tessie symbolize her “winning” the lottery. Tessie screams, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” as she is stoned to death (Jackson 7). Third, the black dot symbolizes the villager who has “won” the lottery. Last, the lottery symbolizes a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. The village people are loyal to the lottery even if parts of it have changed. Furthermore, the “black box” is battered because it has been through years of use and storage. The village people are unwilling to replace it, and are essentially attached to it. The box must be the same box that other generations used because they do not want to deviate from their original pieces. “The black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town” (Jackson 1). This sentence shows how old and worn this “black box” actually is. Nobody wants to change the tradition of their town, in conclusion.

Posted by: Kathleen Sholl at March 4, 2015 06:32 PM

Emily Buckley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
4 March 2015

Question: In what way does the setting affect In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”? Does
it make you more or less likely to anticipate the ending? Explain your response. Use
quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.


Answer: Shirley Jackson does not give a specific place and time in “The Lottery.” The reader is left to create their own ideas. Most cultures would view this tradition as barbaric and readers would expect to hear this kind of story in an third world, or barbaric society. However, Jackson gives the readers hints, such as clothing or names that would be familiar to most societies. “Mr. Summers was very good at all this; in his clean white shirt and blue jeans. with one hand resting carelessly on the black box. he seemed very proper and important as he talked interminably to Mr. Graves and the Martins.” This makes the reader cringe because it seems like this story could be happening in the town next door. Throughout the whole story the author sets the reader up to believe that ‘the lottery’ is a good tradition by making the society seem so average and familiar, this tactic surprises the reader at the end of the story when they find out what ‘winning’ the lottery really means.

Posted by: Emily Buckley at March 4, 2015 09:23 PM

Selena Hammie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG Academic Writing CA12
4 March 2015

“The Lottery”

Question #8: Describe the point of view of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,”. How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story’s suspense? Explain your response.

The point of view of the short story, “The Lottery” is third person objective because the narrator seems to be very detached from the story. The narrator does not tell us the thought or feelings of the characters they just let the story unravel. The point of view affects what we know about the situation because it keeps the story suspenseful. “Mr. Graves opened the slip of paper and there was a general sigh through the crowd as he held it up and everyone could see that it was blank.” (Jackson page 7)

Posted by: Selena Hammie at March 5, 2015 07:01 PM

This story has common folk for the character due to the nature of the lottery. Those who are higher up in society would have the resources to not have to do such cruel acts. This lottery is all that the people have ever known and it is a part of their society that they would not know what to do without it.

Posted by: Charis Lavoie at March 5, 2015 07:11 PM

Kaitlin Murphy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
5 March 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” how does the author foreshadow the ending? Conversely, how does Jackson lull us into thinking that this is just an ordinary story with an ordinary town? Explain your response.

Answer: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” the author foreshadows the ending by at the beginning introducing how the children were selecting stones and putting them in their pockets. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” (Jackson 1). Also by Mrs. Hutchinson being late, and then joking about being late to the gathering. “Thought we were going to have to get on without you, Tessie. Mrs. Hutchinson said grinning, ‘Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you Joe?, and soft laughter ran through the crowd” (Jackson 3). This is how Shirley Jackson foreshadowed the ending, as the town picked the papers from the box, we as the reader got a clue that Tessie would be the one at the end to get the paper with the dot on it and get stoned to death. Jackson lulls us to believe that this is an ordinary story with an average town because we think it’s just a town gathering going on with everyone having to show up, but it turns out to be a twisted town with a weird lottery system to choose who gets to die to keep order in line.

Posted by: Kaitlin Murphy at March 5, 2015 07:35 PM

Amber Dunlap
Dr.Hobbs
ENG. 122 Academic Writing II CA 12
5 March 2015

Question:
Are there other symbols in the short story” The Lottery,” if so what are they? Why is the “black box” battered for example?

Answer:
Other symbols that took place in the story are the stones. The stones represented death, Mr. Graves’s last name that is burial. “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.” (Jackson 7) The box is described as battered because of its age and tradition possibly referring to ancient times where stoning was common.

Posted by: Amber Dunlap at March 5, 2015 09:35 PM


Vallinique Martin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
5 March 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what is the significance of Tessie’s final scream, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right”? What aspect of the lottery does she explicitly challenge; what aspect goes unquestioned? Explain your response.
Answer: The victim chosen for the lottery is picked at random. Once Mrs. Hutcherson is chosen all of her good doings and her identity known as being a good a housewife are all just a thing of the past. Her family and friends participate with the killing with as much intent as the others. “The children had stones already. And someone gave little Dave Hutchinson a few pebbles.” (Jackson 7) Tessie scream shows her innocence, and the unfairness of the lottery. The lottery represented a tradition that is passed down from one generation to the next that has accepted and followed unquestioningly, no matter how illogical, bizarre, or cruel. The lottery had been taking place in the village for as long as anyone could remember. It was an annual ritual that no one had thought to question. Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and had lost the original box, they still remembered to use the stones”. (Jackson 7)

Posted by: Vallinique Martin at March 6, 2015 12:25 AM

Jorge Braham

Dr.Hobbs

Academic Writing II CA12

6 March 2015

The Lottery

Question:

In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer:

The lottery at a time was expressed in several ways such as”official of the lottery, a perfunctory. Tuneless chant that had been rattled off duly each year; some people believed that the official of the lottery used to stand just so when he said or sang it, others believed that he was supposed to walk among the people, but years and years ago this p3rt of the ritual had been allowed to lapse.

(Jackson Pg.2). The lottery takes place in a village where this ritual is closely related to their hearts. In reality, though the lottery is just a cruel and vindictive way of things. They said that this is not the way they do things that the ritual has complexly changed but not the stoning part everyone remembers how to stone. In the end unfortunately Mrs. Hutchinson was the one who got selected and was pleading for mercy but in the end she still gets stoned and then which all of the villages joins in on. “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.” (Jackson Pg. 7)

Posted by: Jorge braham at March 6, 2015 01:32 AM

Amanda Cannon
Dr. Hobbs
ENC 122 Academic Writing II CA12
6 March 2015

The Lottery
Question #12: In what ways are the characters differentiated from one another in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”? Looking back at the story, can you see why Tessie Hutchinson is singled out as a “winner”? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.
Answer: Jackson had the children, men, and women gathered in their cliques and socializing before the lottery began. From the beginning of Jackson’s story, Tessie singled herself out. First, she showed up late to the town gathering. After each family had picked their “lottery ticket," she then embarrassed herself and her family by shouting out, “You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. It wasn't fair (Jackson 5).” The final drawing declared Tessie as the “winner” of her family. She again shouted out “It isn't fair, it isn't right” (Jackson 7).

Posted by: Amanda Cannon at March 6, 2015 09:00 AM

Rachel Addington
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
5 March 2015

Question: The ending of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” should have been a surprise to you, the first time you read it. Was it? If not, at what point did you know what was going to happen? Explain your response.
Answer: The end of “The Lottery” did not surprise me because the fact that the whole town had to meet up with their entire families was obvious to me. What really clued me in on the surprise was when they talked about the town’s population growing too large. “Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations. Chips of wood, Mr. Summers had argued. had been all very well when the village was tiny, but now that the population was more than three hundred and likely to keep on growing, it was necessary to use something that would fit more easily into he black box.” (Pg.2)

Posted by: Rachel Addington at March 6, 2015 10:14 AM

Aderias Ewing
Dr. Hobbs
6 March 2015
Q14: Describe the point of view of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery.” How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story’s suspense?
The point of view in "The Lottery" is third person; because of the dramatic contrast between the normal routine of society and the actual outcome of the purpose of the lottery. That the dialogues inserted but otherwise it’s an all-knowing narrative; all characters are just being observed. Makes reader feel as if they are there that day, observing what the rest of the village is observing. Only at the end when we realize what’s happening does the rest become understood. Suspense ending was built through the way it was told.

Posted by: aderias ewing at March 6, 2015 11:12 AM

Selena Hammie, Rachel Addington, and Alison Colon
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
6 March 2015

“The SLU Core Values”

Question #29: Using the EXACT instructions and information from the homework questions handout (on the course Libguide page in the homework tab) on the subject of “The SLU Core Values,” briefly discuss the use (or, disuse) of INTEGRITY in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.

Answer:The short story, “The Lottery” does not show integrity because everyone in the town acts like there are friends with everyone but when someone they know “wins” the lottery they have no problem going along with the rest of the crowd in stoning the chosen winner. “Mr. Dunbar had small stones in both hands, and she said. gasping for breath. "I can’t run at all. You’ll have to go ahead and I’ll catch up with you." (Jackson page 7)

Posted by: Selena Hammie at March 6, 2015 11:16 AM

Maria Gonzalez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
12 October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” how does the author foreshadow the ending? Conversely, how does Jackson lull us into thinking that this is just an ordinary story with an ordinary town? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” there are two main indications that Jackson is using foreshadowing. One example is the pile of stones that the boys gather. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example…; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square” (Jackson 1). Another foreshadowing that was done was when Jackson points out the black color of the box (1). It’s a cultural symbol used by many authors that symbolizes death. However, Jackson also leads us to believe that “The Lottery” is just an ordinary story by giving us aspects of daily life. For example, when Jackson states “The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions: most of them were quiet. wetting [sic] their lips” (3). In contrast to this illusion is the harsh reality of the purpose of the story: to kill a person every year on the same day (Jackson 7).

Posted by: Maria Gonzalez at October 13, 2015 11:13 AM

Hana Lee
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
13 October 2015


Question #9: The ending of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” should have been a surprise to you, the first time you read it. Was it? If not, at what point did you know what was going to happen?

Answer: The first time I read the ending of Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” it was not so surprising at all. I could tell that something was about to happen because in this one paragraph, “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use the stones. The pile of stones the boys had made earlier was ready; there were stones on the ground with the blowing scraps of paper that had come out of the box Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar. “Come on,” she said. “Hurry up.” (Jackson 7)

Posted by: Hana Lee at October 13, 2015 08:10 PM

Shyiem-Akiem Brown
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
12 October 2015

Question: Describe the point of view of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, how does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story’s suspense? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: Jackson uses the third person limited point of view in the story The Lottery. The author reveals nothing about the significance of the lottery to the village or any prizes that would win. Instead, as the story progresses, an ominous feeling begins to brew. Tessie Hutchinson, Wife of Bill Hutchinson, stirs up controversy when she complains that the competition is not fair game. "You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!" (Jackson 5). The reader now begins to wonder why getting the winning paper be considered a good thing. The suspense is held until the very last moment in the story before the first stone hits Tessie Hutchinson in the head. "It isn’t fair," she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head” (Jackson 7). The village Lottery was something that was passed down from one generation to the next and has lost some tradition, however, the people still remembered how to use the stones.

Posted by: Shyiem-Akiem Brown at October 13, 2015 09:37 PM

Anayah McKenzie
Dr. Hobbs
English Academic Writing
October 13, 2015
Question: Are there other symbols in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,”? Why is the “black box” battered, for example? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.
Answer: In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the black box being battered is to symbolize the traditions passed down through the town over a long period of time. Old Man Warner said “’There’s always been a lottery,’”, which states that from they could remember, this tradition always existed (Jackson 4). To back up this point Old Man Warner said previously, "’Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery.’ Old Man Warner said as he went through the crowd. ‘Seventy-seventh time.’” (Jackson 5).

Posted by: Anayah McKenzie at October 13, 2015 10:45 PM

Peyton Farrier
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Wrinting II
14 October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it? Explain your response.

Answer: "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," (Jackson 4). This phrase is only remembered by the oldest man in the group. It seems that the purpose had to do with the fact that people once believed if someone was sacrificed, the corn crop would come in strong. People only do this because it has been a tradition ever since the town started. They don't wish to break that tradition.

Posted by: Peyton Farrier at October 14, 2015 09:14 AM

Johnny Nguyen & Zach Pottle
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122-CA09
14 October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what is the significance of Tessie’s final scream, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right”? What aspect of the lottery does she explicitly challenge; what aspect goes unquestioned? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: She sees the whole ritual as unfair. Even though she has participated and engaged in it several times over years, she never questioned its authenticity or fairness before. The other people stoning her pay her no mind when she’s screaming because they’ve probably heard the same things over and over again year after year.

Posted by: Johnny Nguyen at October 14, 2015 10:08 AM

Tannor, Jaclyn, Cannelle
Dr. Hobbs
“The Lottery”
14th October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” why has Jackson chosen common people for her characters? Could she have chosen characters from other levels of sophistication with the same effect? What is the irony of the tone of this story? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: In the short story, “The Lottery,” written by Jackson portrayed a set of common characters. The common set of characters work well with her themes which were conformity and tradition. The common and everyday names showed how ordinary and how routine the event was in spite of its outcome. They accepted the “lottery” as a surreal and realistic type of ethnic these common people represent. The irony of the story starts before we even read the story and that is because lotteries are usually a good thing. The characters in the story know what the “Lottery” really is and how it isn’t a pleasant day for them. The tone of this story stared of as pleasant as it was a common day thing until it got serious and people started gathering to get their papers for the stoning. “The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program--by Mr. Summers.”

Posted by: Tannor Berry at October 14, 2015 10:18 AM

Conner Knaresboro
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA09
14 October 2015

Question: In what way does the setting affect In Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery"? Does it make you more or less likely to anticipate the ending? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your words.
Answer: The setting of the story affects the story because of where it takes place. The story is taking place in a small town on a summer day in the late morning. The ending is not expected because the author talks about the flowers and green grass there are no negative descriptions of where they are at that would make you think the lottery is bad and leads to death. "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely, and the grass was richly green" (Jackson 1).

Posted by: Conner Knaresboro at October 14, 2015 10:58 AM

Shania Bienaime
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
13 October 2015

"It wasn’t fair," Tessie said.

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it? Explain your response
Answer: The purpose of the actual lottery is to preserve tradition is balancing out the community. People believe that it’s supposed to help the community out because it’s one less person instead of actually killing people for no reason.

Posted by: Shania Bienaime at October 14, 2015 11:10 AM

Sidnee Yaeger
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
10 October 2015

Question: Describe the point of view of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,”. How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story’s suspense? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: The Lottery was in third person objective. The third paragraph says “Soon the men began to gather. Surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes”, telling it from an outsiders view (Jackson 1). We can only see how the characters are feeling on the outside, nervous, instead of what they are thinking. It preserves the story’s suspense because as readers, we are on the outside looking in. We can feel the suspense that Jackson put off, but because this is in third person and not first, there would be a whole different level of suspense.

Posted by: Sidnee Yaeger at October 14, 2015 11:23 AM

Michael Mooney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
14 October 2015
Question: In what ways are the characters differentiated from one another in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,”? Looking back at the story, can you see why Tessie Hutchinson is singled out as a “winner”?
Answer: Jackson’s The Lottery focuses on a village of some 300 people. Only a handful of characters are named, and are referred to by their last names only (Mr. Dunbar, Old Man Warner, etc). However, the story places focus on the Hutchinson family by giving them first names. This is done following their “winning” of the lottery, the entire family is named and given a brief background. The most focus is placed on Tessie Hutchinson, by her arriving late and constant objections once her family wins the lottery. Tessie Hutchison is eventually singled out as the winner of the lottery, likely because of her constant objections to the lottery and lackadaisical attitude towards the tradition (something that many other townsfolk don’t take kindly to). Tessie is the most dynamic character in the story because of her shunning of town tradition, and constant objections, and as such is the likely candidate for winning the lottery.

Posted by: Michael Mooney at October 14, 2015 01:05 PM

Lawrence Watt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
14 October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” is the lottery a collective act of murder? Is it morally justified? Is tradition sufficient justification for such actions? How would you respond to cultures that are different from ours that perform “strange” rituals? Explain your response.

Answer: In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” there is a collective act of murder when everyone in the village begins to stone Tessie to death after she draws the slip of paper with the black dot on it. In today’s society murder isn't morally justified unless in the act of self-defense but the society in the short story the murder that occurs from the lottery is seen as necessary. When Old Man Warner is presented with some information about other people not conducting a lottery he replies, “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work anymore, live hat way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ The first thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery” (Jackson 4). Old Man Warner is justifying the need for the lottery as he claims it preserves the societies well being and their way of life. Without it he says they will just go back to the same old basic people they used to be. Tradition isn't usually sufficient justification for murder but since it preserves their way of life than the people see it as necessary. Seeing cultures different from the one we live in today that perform strange rituals, it makes me think less of these societies and see them as incorrect. When we see other societies that do some things that we aren't used to doing or seeing we automatically are programmed to think of it as strange or wrong when to them it may be perfectly right.

Posted by: Lawrence Watt at October 14, 2015 01:44 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA09
14 October 2015

Question 10

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” how does the author foreshadow the ending? Conversely, how does Jackson lull us into thinking that this is just an ordinary story with an ordinary town? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: The main use of foreshadowing that I saw in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” was the gathering of stones at the very beginning of the story (Jackson 1). When the kids gathered them, I didn’t think twice about the action. After all, they are kids. Kids play with cardboard boxes and rolls of string if you let them. Jackson didn’t let on, at this point, that there was anything unusual of the gathering of stones, yet these very stones would be used to kill someone they all know, maybe even themselves (Jackson 7).

Jackson does a good job of lulling the reader into thinking that this is just an ordinary town. The normality of everything is what sells it. The kids are playing, the girls are chitchatting, the men are curtly talking, and the women gossiping (Jackson 1). It’s just an average day in the town. “The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions: most of them were quiet. wetting their lips. not looking around” (Jackson 3). Yes the lottery thing was unusual but by no means suspicious. All of the townspeople treat this as normal lottery day, nothing to fear or fuss about. I feel like the first real realization that something is wrong is when how upset Mrs. Hutchinson is to find out that her family has been picked. “People began to look around to see the Hutchinsons. Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand. Suddenly. Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. "You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!" (Jackson 5). That was the turning point of the story when the reader finds out they have been tricked by the author. The lottery isn’t as innocent as it seems.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at October 14, 2015 02:05 PM

Daniel Wright
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
14 October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what is the significance of Tessie’s final scream, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right”? What aspect of the lottery does she explicitly challenge; what aspect goes unquestioned? Explain your response.

Answer: When Tessie screams in opposition while she is being murdered, she is expressing that she does not want to be the one killed; disagreeing that her drawing the winner was fair. When she disagrees with it being right, that is probably her trying to make an excuse not to be killed. Even though it is wrong to kill someone, she has stoned people in the past, which is why I feel it is her making an excuse to live. Although some have disbanded the lottery, the older generation does not question it, calling those who do a "Pack of crazy fools." (Jackson 4) and saying, "There's always been a lottery." (Jackson 4). The fact that children were almost stoned to death goes completely unquestioned. The only person that does question the act itself is the victim.

Posted by: Daniel Wright at October 14, 2015 03:01 PM

Brittany Cordero
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
14 October 2015

Question: Some critics insist that Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” has an added symbolic meaning. Is this possible/do you agree? If so, what might Shirley Jackson be trying to tell us about ourselves? (One possible clue: Consider that this story was written during the height of the rise of Communism and the Soviet Union, i.e. the infamous Red Scare and McCarthyism.)

Answer: I do agree that "The Lottery" has a symbolic meaning. Through the town's lottery, one person every year is picked to be stoned. Everyone is so used to this process that, "the original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago," and now it was just something they did (Jackson 1). They went along with whatever society deemed was right, which is the commentary on society. People fear change and being different so they go along with a flow that they are familiar with. During the time of Communism and the Red Scare, people were very untrustworthy of one another and acted out in violent ways because of this. This is similar to this town's lottery because they do not think about what they are actually doing, they just do it because it is all they know.

Posted by: Brittany Cordero at October 14, 2015 03:02 PM

Necdet Gurkan
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
14 October 2015
Questions: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it? Explain your respond.

Answer: “Some people remembered, there had been a recital...performed by the official of the lottery, a perfunctory, tuneless chant that had been rattled off duly each year... the official of the lottery used to stand just so when he said or sang it, others believed that he was supposed to walk among the people, but years and years ago this part of the ritual had been allowed to lapse.”
This implies that the people duly followed a tradition that nobody has bothered to even follow with enough care and respect to remember each and every one of its goals and purposes. I see "traces" of knowledge; one chant, perhaps a formal salute, a few changes to the format, etc. Aside from the format of the tradition, I see no important content; there is no substance to the matter

Posted by: Necdet Gurkan at October 14, 2015 03:10 PM

Zekeriya Kayaselcuk

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing CA 09

October 14, 2015


Question: In what ways are the characters differentiated in Shirley jackson’s “The Lottery”? Looking back at the story, can you see why Hutchinson is singled out as a “winner”?

Answer: In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery”, each character has different views on the lottery. For example, Old Man Warner is against the lottery, while others such as Mr. Summers think differently. “Old Man Warner snorted. "Pack of crazy fools," he said. "Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat way for a while.” (Jackson pg. 4). The rest of the characters are crazy about the lottery; this is why Old Man Warner thinks everybody has gone mad. Tessie Hutchinson is claimed the winner because her lateness to the lottery announcement was reflected lightly among other people, and the crowd had parted; foreshadow. “Just as Mr. Summers finally left off talking and turned to the assembled villagers, Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square, her sweater thrown over her shoulders, and slid into place in the back of the crowd. "Clean forgot what day it was” (Jackson pg. 2).

Posted by: Zekeriya Kayselcuk at October 14, 2015 03:39 PM

Emma Duncan
Sabrina McCintyre
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
15 October 2015

Question: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” is the lottery a collective act of murder? Is it morally justified? Is tradition sufficient justification for such actions? How would you respond to cultures that are different from ours that perform “strange” rituals?
Answer: The lottery is a collective act of murder because everyone in the town participates and nobody tries to stop it. Some would say that the act is morally justified because this tradition is in the town’s history and always has been and these people have grown up in this environment with the lottery being normal for them. Old Man Warner stated how they live by the saying, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson, 4). The townspeople think that the lottery is just a “standard of right behavior” and are just doing it because of their history and culture. Tradition is sufficient enough justification for the townspeople because that is all they know but to other people this tradition would seem wrong. They were even gossiping in the story about how other towns had stopped having a lottery and a couple others were discussing the possibility of ending their tradition as well. I would try to understand other cultures even if they had “strange” rituals but I would still end up thinking what they did was wrong most likely. On the other hand, I’m sure if I had grown up in a different culture I might think some of the things Americans do are weird.

Posted by: Emma Duncan at October 15, 2015 01:39 PM

Luis Bautista, Lois Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 – English Composition
12 October 2015
Question: Some critics insist that Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” has an added symbolic meaning. Is this possible/do you agree? If so, what might Shirley Jackson be trying to tell us about ourselves? (One possible clue: Consider that this story was written during the height of the rise of Communism and the Soviet Union, i.e. the infamous Red Scare and McCarthyism.) Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: The symbolic meaning of the story refers to communism era. In fact, Tessie Hutchison that was suspected to have the “black spot” on the ticket, which means that she, is the chosen one. However, she decided not to come forward when she did, and instead, she blamed it on Mr. Summer. She says, “You didn’t give him enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair.”(Shirley Jackson 3). Therefore, she encouraged Mr. Summer to restart the draw of her family again, but her husband still did not get the lottery because she had it. She was afraid of being chosen because the villagers stone the winner. This story resembles communism because in the early days of McCarthyism whoever was suspected to be a communist or at least a sympathizer, was hated, and segregated from the community. Many people lost their jobs, households, and clubs membership and perhaps even their citizenship. Thus the black spot, the lottery, resembles the suspicion on her.

Posted by: luis Bautista, Lois Martinez at October 15, 2015 05:25 PM

Catalina Suarez, Zeida Alvarez
Professor Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
15 October 2015

Question #3: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” is it important that the original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost? What do you suppose the original ceremony was like? Why have some of the villages given up this practice? Why hasn’t this one? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.
Answer: The reason why its important that it was lost was because of tradition changing and the town that is beginning to change. It is said that the original ceremony had a song and salute and it feels that now, the people seem to lack empathy. “There was the proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster, as the official of the lottery; at one time, some people remembered, there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery, a perfunctory. tuneless chant that had been rattled off duly each year; some people believed that the official of the lottery used to stand just so when he said or sang it, others believed that he was supposed to walk among the people, but years and years ago this part of the ritual had been allowed to lapse.”(Jackson, 2) I believe that the other villages deemed this ceremony unfair and unruly.

Posted by: Catalina Suarez at October 15, 2015 11:37 PM

Alexis Clayton
Doctor Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA03
October 15,2015

Question #2: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: The main purpose of the short story “The Lottery” is that it tries to explain to the villagers what the lottery is always forgotten and people have very little knowledge and know what exactly it is. The evidence in the story is “There was the proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster, as the official of the lottery; at one time, some people remembered, there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery” (Jackson 2). This shows that the people from the village don’t really knows what takes place during the lottery and knows the tradition of it. “There had been, also, a ritual salute, which the official of the lottery had had to use in addressing each person who came up to draw from the box, but this also had changed with time, until now it was felt necessary only for the official to speak to each person approaching” (Jackson 2).

Posted by: Alexis Clayton at October 16, 2015 08:03 AM

Randawnique Coakley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 121 Academic Writing II CA 06
26 January 2016
Question: Describe the point of view of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery.” How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story’s suspense? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: In this short story, “the Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson. The point of view is dramatic third person, as known as objective third person. This point of view means that the reader witnesses through the narrator what the characters say and do but not what the characters think. In this story, this point of view allows for suspense. Essentially, in this short story, the reader is left wondering the purpose of the lottery and the prize for the winner of the lottery and at the end the reader is shocked to find out the prize for the winner. Jackson keeps the reader in suspense by withholding information about the lottery. The reader is left wondering what the lottery is about because no characters voice the reason for this town event. If the perspective was in first person or limited omniscient third person or omniscient third person, the reader would have been privy to the character thoughts and, as a result, characters’ thoughts indicating the purpose for the lottery or their fear of impending death would reveal to the reader what the lottery is about. Essentially, the omission of characters’ thoughts allows the reader to be kept in suspense and allows the reader to be shocked by the gruesome ending. There are some foreshadowing presented in the this story that hints to the ending. One moment in the short story is when the reader can grasp the concept that the lottery’s prize is not desirable, and this is show when Tessie protests Bill’s selection by saying, “I tell you it wasn’t fair. You didn’t give him time enough to choose (Jackson 6).” Her protesting indicates the prize is undesirable, and without her or any other characters’ thoughts the reader does not understand why the lottery is negative and what the lottery is about. Essentially, the objective third person point of view keeps the reader wondering and in suspense, so that the reader is left shocked when the prize for the lottery is revealed to be stoning.

Posted by: Randawnique Coakley at February 27, 2016 10:49 AM

Clark de Bullet
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
27 February 2016

Lottery

Question #2: In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” what seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it?

Answer: When Old Man Warner was asked about the cancelation of other Lotteries, he responded with 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” (Jackson 4). From this statement we can conclude that the lottery is connected with good luck. He believes that they will only get a good harvest if they go through with the lottery. This is linked back to many ancient societies where a people group would sacrifice to some sort of deity in order to receive benefits in return. Even though “the villagers had forgotten the ritual” (7), as stated multiple times before in the story, they still follow along. The details of the Lottery have long been forgotten, but the fact that someone must die has not. Due to the lack of resistance, it is clear most of the villagers are okay with this sort of thing.

Posted by: Clark de Bullet at February 28, 2016 01:56 AM

Vincia Mitchell
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA06
26 February 2016

Question: Describe the point of view of Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,”. How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation? How does it preserve the story’s suspense? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: In the text, “The Lottery,” the narrator uses the third-person objective narrative to disclose information and a series of events that occurred in the story. The narrator discloses all that he/she sees and as a result, the reader can make his/her assumptions about a particular matter. After Mr. Hutchinson has taken his paper from the box and has discovered that his paper is not blank, he stood silently. His wife, Tessie Hutchinson, on the other hand, states that it is not fair because her husband did not have enough time to take his paper (Jackson 5). Now, it is up to the reader to decide whether or not Mr. Hutchinson had enough time based on the information the third-person objective narrator discloses. Indeed, Mr. Summers wrote on the papers while in his office at the coal company, which allows the reader to question his Mr. Summer’s integrity (7). However, the story is not told from a first person perspective. It is told from a third-person objective point of view, which has a positive effect on the situation because the information provided is unbiased. The third-person objective narrative preserves suspense throughout the story, by disclosing only what is happening at a particular moment. . In addition, the persons who had taken a paper from the black box could only look at it after everyone else had a paper in their hand, which emphasizes equality (3). Besides, the narrator is not emotionally attached to the situation, which leaves no room for hints, clues or foreshadows.

Posted by: Vincia Mitchell at February 28, 2016 09:34 AM

Phillip Moss
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing CA06
29 February 2016

Question: .In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” how does the author foreshadow the ending? Conversely, how does Jackson lull us into thinking that this is just an ordinary story with an ordinary town? Explain your response. Use quoted passages from the text to support the part of your answer that appears in your own words.

Answer: in In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” Jackson foreshadows the winner of the lottery by having her complain about how the contest is held. “Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. "You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!" (Jackson 5). Unlike its shocking ending “The Lottery” for the most part is a lighthearted story. Jackson lures in his audience by describing the town as innocent looking without spoiling this dystopias horrible secret.

Posted by: Phillip Moss at February 29, 2016 10:55 AM

Jennifer Belcastro
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122-Academic Writing II CA06
29 February 2016

Question: In what way does the setting affect In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”? Does it make you more or less likely to anticipate the ending? Explain your response.

Answer: The setting does affect how the story is going to go. The setting states, “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day” (Jackson 1). The setting portrays it is going to be a happy conclusion. It does not show someone is going to die after the lottery.

Posted by: Jennifer Belcastro at February 29, 2016 10:58 AM

Hannah Rowe
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 Academic Writing II CAO6
28 February 2016

“The Lottery”

Q: #6 Some critics insist Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” has an added symbolic meaning. Is this possible/ do you agree? If so, what might Shirley Jackson be trying to tell us about ourselves?

A: I agree that Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” has a symbolic meaning in it. The Black Box could symbolize the old and worn tradition that the people refuse to deviate from even though it is a morbid and terrible tradition (Jackson 1). Shirley Jackson may be trying to tell us that human nature is innately corrupt. Tessie’s own children are throwing stones at her, because they are taught that this is a normal thing to do. It is a little bit like Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” in that it portrays survival of the fittest and that it is okay to brutally murder someone

Posted by: Hannah Rowe at February 29, 2016 07:50 PM

Nastassja Sielchan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
1 March 2016

Question: Are there other symbols in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,”? Why is the “black box” battered, for example? Explain your response.

Answer: The black box was battered, because they had it for so long. It went through so much and it grew older like a person would. Jackson explains, “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, and in some places faded or stained” (2).

Posted by: Nastassja Sielchan at March 2, 2016 12:34 PM

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