My scholarly interpretation of The Lottery
A lottery: the word lightly rings a blissful tone through out the ears of most American citizens. Yet, in the small town that Shirley Jackson writes about in her short story The Lottery, the word unknowingly stings the ears of these quiet townspeople. Jackson writes about a town that is blinded by an adherence to a tradition. While the actual lottery in the story may seem as an exaggeration, in reality there are many things in today's society that are blindly adhered to because they have been traditions for so long, such as fraternities, sororities, religion, political traditions, academic traditions, and even war. Many people follow these traditions blindly, never questioning why they do them; they just do them because they have always been done that way. People are socialized to follow such societal traditions without asking why. Consequently those that ask "why" are often criticized or ostracized.
By Jackson's successful exaggeration of the situation, she shows the absurdity of doing something just because its always been done. Obviously, Shirley Jackson effectively reveals a chilling tale of pointless violence, inhumanity, and senseless adherence, while unintentionally enlightening the readers with a morality lesson about not always following the crowd.
This masterful short story initially deceives the reader then shocks the reader into a realization of the dynamics of diction. This basic narrative technique dramatically engages the reader in the textual process such that the reader participates in the action through identification with the townspeople due to simple, yet strong language references. Jackson uses a keen sense of powerful repetition when she continually writes that the characters are laughingly talking and discussing to each other in the crowd, such as when Mrs. Hutchinson and Mrs. Delacroix "both laughed softly" when Mrs. Hutchinson claimed she forgot what...