English Composition 1302
Topic: "The Lottery" by using a feminist criticism
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is an allegorical depiction of society's flaws and cruel principles and the effects they have on its citizens and more specifically, its women. The literal level of "The Lottery" illustrates a town's chilling tradition of a random selection of death by stoning of a certain person. Figuratively, however, one aspect of Jackson's short story bravely reveals the reality of society's control over women by placing on them expectations and limitations.
"The Lottery" begins with a description of a bright and serene setting. The morning the event took place "was clear and sunny, with a fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green" (Jackson 315). Just out for their summer break, the children are the first to gather in the town square.
The young boys were active in their play and begin to gather stones in their pockets. Three boys, Bobby Martin, Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix make a pile of smooth, round stones and "[guard] it against the raids of other boys" (316). Meanwhile, the little girls of the town had nothing to do with such youthful labor. They "stood aside, talking among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys"(316). Society expects females at a young age to "remain outside of the work force and dependent on their working husbands when they grow up" (Kosenko 32). The young boys were collecting stones for the savage murder to take place in the town square, while the girls stood aside and let the boys assemble the supplies needed for the day's event.
Jackson continues to illustrate the separation between men and women.