Generally, critics agree only that the story's meaning cannot be determined with exactitude. While most critics concede that it was Jackson's intention to avoid specific meaning, some cite flatly drawn characters, unrevealing dialogue, and the shocking ending as evidence of literary infertility. The majority of commentators, though, argue that the story's art lies in its provocativeness and that with its parable-like structure Jackson is able to address a variety of timeless issues with contemporary resonance, and thereby stir her readers to reflective thought and debate.
Comment," in Modern Short Stories: A Critical Anthology , edited by Robert B. Heilman, Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, , pp. In the following essay on "The Lottery," Heilman discusses how Jackson's shift "from a realistic to a symbolic technique" intensifies the shock value of the story's ending. Miss Jackson's story ["The Lottery"] is remarkable for the tremendous shock produced by the ending. Let us ignore the problem of meaning for the moment and see how the shock is created. In general, the method is quite easily recognized.
Up to the last six paragraphs the story is written in the manner of a realistic transcript of small-town experience: We see them as decent, friendly, neighborly people; in fact, most of the details could be used just as they are in a conventional picture of idyllic small-town life.
Things are easily, simply told, as if in a factual chronicle note the use of date and hour. Suddenly, in the midst of this ordinary, matter-of-fact environment, there occurs a terrifyingly cruel action, official, accepted, yet for the reader mysterious and unexplained.
It is entirely out of line with all the terms of actual experience in which the story has otherwise dealt. It is as if ordinary life had suddenly ceased and were replaced, without warning, without break, and without change of scene, by some horrifying nightmare. Hence the shock, which the author has very carefully worked up to. Note how the shock is enhanced by the deadpan narrative style, which in no way suggests that anything unusual is going on.
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Shirley Jackson Lottery Essay The lottery essay can be based on the criticisms of the short story as well.
- The Lottery and Durkheims Ideoloies In this essay we will take a look at and analyze The Lottery by Shirley Jackson in stipulations related to Durkheim's ideologies. I will try to make various links from the story to Durkheim's functionalism.
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is a story of an unusual town caught in a trap of always following tradition, even when it is not in their best interest. Jackson uses symbols throughout the story that relate to the overall theme.
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In the following essay on "The Lottery," Heilman discusses how Jackson's shift "from a realistic to a symbolic technique" intensifies the shock value of the story's ending.] Miss Jackson's story ["The . The Lottery Essay. Specifically the story titled “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, tackles the concept of traditions. The story is a dark one with a message that fairly blatant. “The Lottery” makes the readers question traditions that have been in place and if they are necessary.