The Lottery Shirley Jackson Essay Questions

The Lottery Shirley Jackson Essay Questions-19
Some consideration of other single household families in the first round of the lottery--the Dunbars and the Watsons--will help make this relationship between economics and family power clearer. Dunbar, unable to attend the lottery because he has a broken leg, has to choose by proxy. Dunbar's son Horace, however, is only sixteen, still presumably in school and not working; hence Mrs. Admittedly, such inferences cannot be supported with hard textual evidence, but they make sense when the text is referred to the norms of the society which it addresses.The rules of lottery participation take this situation into account: "gown boy[s]" take precedence as proxies over wives (p. males and get their power from their insertion into a larger economy. Their dresses indicate that they do in fact work, but because they work in the home and not within the larger economy in which work is regulated by money, they are treated by men and treat themselves as inferiors.

Some consideration of other single household families in the first round of the lottery--the Dunbars and the Watsons--will help make this relationship between economics and family power clearer. Dunbar, unable to attend the lottery because he has a broken leg, has to choose by proxy. Dunbar's son Horace, however, is only sixteen, still presumably in school and not working; hence Mrs. Admittedly, such inferences cannot be supported with hard textual evidence, but they make sense when the text is referred to the norms of the society which it addresses.

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It is reenacted year after year, then, not because it is a mere "tradition," as Helen Nebeker argues, but because it serves the repressive ideological function of purging the social body of all resistance so that business (capitalism) can go on as usual and the Summers, the Graves and the Martins can remain in power. The first of these rules I have already explained, of course: those who control the village economically and politically also administer the lottery.

The remaining rules also tell us much about who has and who doesn't have power in the village's social hierarchy.

These three most powerful men who control the town, economically as well as politically, also happen to administer the lottery. Fourth, this work ethic prevents them from understanding that the lottery's actual function is not to encourage work of labor.

Finally, after working through these points, it will be easier to explain how Jackson's choice of Tessie Hutchinson as the lottery's victim/scapegoat reveals the lottery to be an ideological mechanism which serves to defuse the average villager's deep, inarticulate dissatisfaction with the social order in which he lives by channeling it into anger directed at the of that social order.

I think we need to take seriously Shirley Jackson's suggestion that the world of the lottery is her reader's world, however reduced in scale for the sake of economy. At one level at least, evil in Jackson's text is linked to a disorder, promoted by capitalism, in the material organization of modern society.

The village in which the lottery takes place has a bank, a post office, a grocery store, a coal business, a school system; its women are housewives rather than field workers or writers; and its men talk of "tractors and taxes."Let me begin by describing the top of the social ladder and save the lower rungs for later. Summers, owns the village's largest business (a coal concern) and is also its major, since he has, Jackson writes, more "time and energy [read money and leisure] to devote to civic activities" than others (p. (Summers' very name suggests that he has become a man of leisure through his wealth.) Next in line is Mr. But it still remains to be explained Let me sketch the five major points of my answer to this question.

In the lottery, analogously, the village ruling class participates in order to convince others (and perhaps even themselves) that they are not in fact everyone else during the remainder of the year, even though their exclusive control of the lottery suggests that they are. ) box has grown shabby and reveals in places its "original wood color," moments in their official "democratic" conduct of the lottery--especially Mr.

Summers' conduct as their representative--reveal the class interest that lies behind it.

It is not hard to account for this response: Jackson's story portrays an "average" New England village with "average" citizens engaged in a deadly rite, the annual selection of a sacrificial victim by means of a public lottery, and does so quite deviously: not until well along in the story do we suspect that the "winner" will be stoned to death by the rest of the villagers.

Please do not ask me to answer your classroom essay questions for you; it defeats the purpose of your instructor having given you the assignment.

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