Essay Example about Shirley Jackson's Life and Tortured Career

Published: 2022-02-18
Essay Example about Shirley Jackson's Life and Tortured Career
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Biography Shirley Jackson
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1517 words
13 min read

Shirley Jackson is an American literature writer who is typically known for her short stories. She was born on the 14th of December 1916 in California (Robinson 2). Her writing has greatly developed autobiographical elements in her life. There are two important novels known in American literature, which torment her career, that is, 'The Lottery' and 'Hill House'. play an important role in bringing out the autobiographic elements in Shirley Jackson's life. The lottery is a fiction horror book that use demons and ghosts to portray the literature. The winner of the lottery is stoned to death to necessitate a peaceful society for the people. The hill house also points out the confident humor of women through ghost fiction. Despite the fact that Shirley Jackson wrote about ghosts and demons, she did not believe in them. However, she had a library full of witchcraft books. Her descriptions about her hectic life which she described publicly as an incompetent writer performing witch affected her writing.

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The autobiographical elements of Shirley Jackson life such as an obsessive mother and a notion of creating unstable relationships with her mother emanate from the publication of her novels (Robinson 5). At the same time, her works were based on the prolific instances in American society. She took dual roles, that is, a woman and a writer. In most circumstances, society expects a woman to partake triple roles, which begin from nurturing to nature. Despite the fact that Shirley Jackson was intertwined with all those roles, she becomes a successful writer in literary works in the United States. However, her life was haunted by drinking, smoking, and other activities that she involved herself. This attracted bouts of agoraphobic tendencies and depression. In the same parallel, during the publication of the novel 'the lottery' she described herself as a writer practicing witch. This developed controversy from other writers thus affected her career. In fact, the lottery becomes an icon in the public eye but her reputation contributed to a tardy in her writing career.

Shirley Jackson's life is horrific in the two novels (Evans Pg.15). At her earlier life, she was associated with England writers although she lived in North Bennington. In her high education level, she was flunked out of the University of Rochester but later enrolled at Syracuse where she graduated, met Edgar her husband and started life. Another important point, her parents did not attend her wedding. This ignited her to begin her horror writing career and later developed a passion. Her works are recognized for the fact that they have been the best-selling novels

Shirley Jackson wrote'the haunting of hill house' which become an influential novel in the United States literature. The novel creates a mesmerized and fascinating feminine character not only to the readers but to the society. It talks about the house of ghost haunting, which is a direct connection to the supernatural powers (Robinson 13). Shirley Jackson had confirmed in an interview that she is practicing witch, which is short is represented as a creepy practice of her society's abnormal rituals. This brings out important elements such as an obsessive and a volatile mother and responsible for troubled relationships. Shirley Jackson has troubles in maintaining a stable relationship with her mother and at the same time pushes her father away. The novel 'haunting of the hill house' portrays a horror story which despite its shocking criteria, it influenced her life as a writer.

The lottery was engraved in 1948 whereas hill house was penned down in 1959 a period of eleven years lapse (Robinson 2). Both stories show how hypocrisy is tied to society. It affects the role of obedience in the fact that people are not obedient to their own writings but other people's. Some of the instances pointed out in the stories is the variance of the message to the reader. For instance, in the novel 'the lottery' the message depends on the opinion of the reader since Shirley expresses her abysmal reflection to what society holds about its creatures. Both novels focus on the evil nature of human beings in society. The horror is them is a reflection of superstitious beliefs which continue to pile into today's society. Femininity is also brought out in the two novels. The Lottery describes how a woman falls in love with a demonic figure who vanishes and leaves her in a frightened state at the time of need.

The writing style of Shirley Jackson can be best described as a brilliant author of high-toned horror stories (Ismael 30). In "The Lottery", she bases the plot on ceremonial human sacrifices in a Modern England village. Her novel on The Haunting of Hill House" is regarded as a fictional novel. The novel talks about four strangers, who gathered in a Hill House, after a long rumor they were being "haunted," Dr. Montague is eager to logically prove the presence of the supernatural. In the entire summer period, the house attests to being enormously troubled.

In most of her books, and in particular the two books she displays immense art piece and masterpiece in terms of the thematic and content structure of both books. In the Lottery book, Shirley Jackson seeks to show how people are susceptible to trial by a group, as one of the primary themes (Ismael.30). The theme is expeditiously drawn from "Tessie's familiarity as the winner of the annual lottery." Additionally examined in depth by highlighting the experiences of Watson and Dunbar families (Evans 15). The main theme in the "Haunting of Hill House" novel is fear of losing the people who you hold dearest. It further contemplates that that feat can turn individuals into monsters.

There are several writers who have praised her idiosyncratic masterpiece and talent in the way the content and theme is structured. In a biography made by "Ruth Franklin" on Shirley Jackson depicts her as a renowned figure in the "American Gothic custom" and a great, champion of advocator of feminism in the twentieth-century (Roberts 200). She embraces female power during a period where the society was patriarchal, and women had little freedom over their lives. The entire life of Jackson was founded on ostensibly a rebellion against the values instilled by her mother. The first book she did on a story of "Janice" helped her cope with the experience of trauma, anxiety, and depression after Hyman decided to love her and did not think she was not beautiful.

The reason that drew Jackson to start centering her books on the need of female power is that she was going through the experience in her marriage with Hyman. Shirley did all the household chores (cooking, cleaning and raising the child, and there was a need for women to rise and have control over their lives. Most of the stories she authored explained the theme of a lonely woman who decides to flee from her glum family or a grimly enclosed society.

Particular the Lottery talks about the life of a woman who goes through a romantic episode, a "chimerical" figure promises to liberate her and then escapes, leaving her disserted, and engulfed with thoughts to the brink of being mad. Some of the authors criticized her use of demons, ghosts and spiritual paraphernalia in most of her fictional stories (Ismael 30). Other dislodged her efforts to empower women to be independent and have control of their lives in a patriarchal society The main reason is that was against the cultural values and norms of the society in the Mid-twentieth century. Franklin critiqued her book "Private Demons" alleging that Shirley Jackson was a sorceress, and had an interest in witchcraft.

In conclusion, the main argument in the paper is the critical analysis of the writing style of Shirley Jackson in both books, and how autobiographical elements affect her writing. In her entire life, she was not taken seriously as a writer. In the Haunting Hill House, she categorically focuses on the theme of fear of losing the people you hold dearest. Shirley Jackson further explains that fear can turn individuals into monsters. In the Lottery book, she seeks to show how people are susceptible to trial by a group in particular how women struggle to liberate themselves and take control of their lives in a male-dominated society. Most of the stories she authored explained the theme of a lonely woman who decides to flee from her glum family or a grimly enclosed society to challenge women to see the essence of female power in marriage, and men will no longer control their wives. Most of the stories she did were high -toned fictional stories.

Works Cited

Ismael, Zaid Ibrahim, and Sabah Atallah Khalifa Ali. "Human Rights at Stake: Shirley Jackson's Social and Political Protest in "The Lottery"." International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature 7.6 (2018): 28-36.

Evans, Lynne. "Help Eleanor Come Home": Monstrous Maternity in Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House." Canadian Review of American Studies (2017): 1-19.

Roberts, Brittany. "Helping Eleanor Come Home: A Reassessment of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House." The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies 16 (2017): 67-233.

Robinson, Michael. "Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and Holocaust Literature." Humanities 8.1 (2019): 35.

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