Literary Analysis in Jacksons The Lottery

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Shirley Jackson has been found to depict the ignorance in the characters in her story The lottery by depicting the characters as individuals who play along to the events. The author incorporates ontology in the background of moribund intellectualism. The author depicts the instance of resilient bigotry among the very characters that are seen as being loyal followers of an archaic ritual. However, the worry showcased by the characters during the actual lottery is an instance of unconscious conscience. The author is therefore making use of ignorance on the part of the characters. The binary aspect of the urge to follow rituals despite instinctual feelings of worry if one wins the lottery is the ultimate depiction of societal quasi-rotten ignorance.

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According to Hooti, Noorbakhsh, and Yazdan, the people in this story must be the most hypocritical indivdiuals to be depicted in any story thus far (1245). The truth behind this supposition can be found in the third paragraph of the story by Jackson.

Soon the men began to gather, surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes. They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed. The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their menfolk. They greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands (Jackson 54).

According to this quote, one can clearly see that the characters are not truly happy getting onto this gathering. However, despite this fact, they master some courage to make weak smiles.

The author has also been found to make use of short sentences in the sharing of the story. Therefore, the author is limited to the use of adjectives rather than long sentences. However, a use of colloquial expressions as well as repetitions only serves to solidify the message that the characters in the pay are both ignorant and hypocritical (Hooti, Noorbakhsh, and Yazdan 1246).

The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. Mr.Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here (Jackson 56).

According to the above quote from Jacksons The Lottery, one can determine that the use of repetition can solidify the fact that the black box is no longer necessary. Therefore, this goes to show that the people are either ignorant or too entrenched in a useless ritual that only serves to hurt the society.

Fanaticism backed by intellectual skepticism could only be the logical reason one can use to explain the ignorance depicted by the author using literary devices. The author has expertly made use of a combination of repetition, adjectives, and morbid colloquial language to develop a perception of ignorance among the characters in the play. The author has evidently made use of literary devices to delaminate the ignorance aforementioned.

Works Cited

Hooti, Noorbakhsh, and Yazdan Mahmoudi. "Black Veil of Ignorantism under the Unconscious Conscience of Human Soul in Shirley Jacksons Lottery."International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Sciences 5.10 (2013): 1245-1251.

Jackson, Shirley. The lottery and other stories. Macmillan, 2005.

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