"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and Its Social Order and Male Superiority Issue.

Essay by vivijwCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2003

download word file, 5 pages 4.3 1 reviews

Downloaded 183 times

"The Lottery," Its Social Order and Male Superiority Issue

As much as we would like to believe that men and women are viewed as equals in our society, often times we are disappointed. As is the case in Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery." "The Lottery" describes a town's people who gathered on an ordinary summer day to perform a sacrificial ceremony dubbed the lottery. It is a ceremony held by the richest male in the village where the male heads of households and male heads of families chooses tickets from a black box. In the end, the hierarchy is preserved as the protagonist, Mrs. Hutchinson, who unconsciously violates her role as a subordinate being, wins the lottery and is subsequently stoned to death. It is apparent in Jackson's story that the lottery in this village is used as a way to maintain social order and reaffirm male superiority.

Throughout the story the role the men plays in society as providers further stresses the male dominance theme. Just as the lottery begins, the issue of productivity is mentioned when Mr. Summers says "guess we better get started, get this over with, so's we can go back to work." The importance of productivity is acknowledged again as Old Man Warner sternly criticizes those who decided to forgo the lottery, he scolds: "Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while." The male supremacy in relation to productivity is more apparent as the end of the lottery draws near and the town's people are wondering who won, "Suddenly, all the women began to speak at once, saying, "Who is it?" "Who's got it?" "Is it the Dunbars?" "Is it the Watsons?" The only two family...