The Lottery - A Literary Essay Example

Published: 2017-07-30
The Lottery - A Literary Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Shirley Jackson
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 318 words
3 min read

The Lottery is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. It was severely criticized since it was first published in New Yorker magazine (Murphy, 123). Although it is considered by many to be the most famous work written by Shirley. The reaction this story had stirred up continues since its first publication, mainly due to the way the author uses different aspects that some people think to provoke confusion as well as anger. The author somehow seems to be questioning the values of the small town where the narrative takes place. The town has a weird traditional practice called the lottery which ends up with stoning a person who drew the slip of the paper with a dot on it, and this is what the author seems to mainly focus on (Jackson, 23). To most critics, the people does not understand the meaning of the symbols used in the story especially in the end of the story as they are greatly confused.

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Likewise, the use of symbolism to point out the practice of the small town makes the audience focus on the the stoning practice rather than the meaning hidden behind it. Most critics agree that symbolism should have been used throughout the story to give it a different meaning rather than to raise confusion among the audience. The story was completely banned in some countries due to its controversial nature. Others feel that the story is a direct criticism of the practices that their ancestors used to practice. One of the examples where the story has been banned is South Africa (Murphy, 145). The country considers this story to be anti-apartheid, which is one of the values that they cannot tolerate in their nation. However, different critics interpret the story differently and it is oped to debate.

Works cited

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. New York, NY, Harperperennial Classics, 2016,.

Murphy, Bernice M. Shirley Jackson. Jefferson, NC [U.A.], Mcfarland, 2005,.

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