great expectations

Essay by blahblah1234 September 2014

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Lizzie Brill

Mrs. Moore

Honors English


The Lottery as a Representation of a Patriarchal Society

In the tragic story, "The Lottery", author Shirley Jackson paints a brutal image of the threats misogyny has on society as soon as the ritual takes a dark and vicious turn. In this way, readers are able to grasp that the civilization described in the story is an example of the wrongdoings of a group of individuals and the results that come with their failings.

Jackson establishes a disturbing setting by pairing ironic traits within the characters that are featured in the short story. The normality of the characters' actions in the beginning contrast sharply to the image at the end as they are performing a cruel sacrilege, stoning one of their own members to death. This shows the brutality of the situation, as well as how normal they think their society is.

Tessie Hutchinson, the ultimate victim in this story, can either be seen as a martyr or an individual who is just another part of the problem in this society. This suggests what the lottery is really sacrificing. The real sacrifice of the lottery could be not just a human, but also a sense of individualism, peace and innocence that otherwise would have been present in the civilization.

Jackson brings a new level of fear to the citizens by providing a new depth to the objects featured in the process of choosing their faith. These objects, such as the black box, seem to have a personality of their own, manipulating characters into acting irrationally around them because in some way, these objects all symbolize their own death. The other participants may not have been chosen for the lottery this year, but their fate is not certain in that they could be...