Discuss a minortheme in "the Lottery."
Society and classin lottery
What doesyour demonstration of a theme presence and your exploration of howthe theme is explored mean to an overall understanding of theliterary work, the author, or of literature or of art in general?
The theme is present to enable readers to understand the unthinkablerituals people follow in the society. Away from criticizing the verycustom obscure right and wrong, the book becomes an avenue ofanalyzing the traditions, social, and gender divisions in thesociety. The book vividly illustrates how some families are fortunatewhile others are less fortunate in the society. The material explainshow the emergence of paper money replaced the wood chips. Therefore,it led to the emanating of different classes in the society (Jackson34). The writer uses the word paper in the book to illustrate themeaning of money symbolically. Additionally, the emblematic meaningexplains how money led to the societal divisions. The materialexpounds how the emergence of money was accompanied by the societaldivisions, which subsequently led to the creation of the rich andpoor classes in the society.
The author illustrates how money led to the changes in the societywhere people did wrong things for money. The theme clearly outlinesthe emanation of societal evils. Additionally, Shirley Jacksonexplains how lottery and cash meant a fortune to human beings.However, he further explains how the kismet was disturbing (Jackson34). For instance, if a person encountered a bad fate, the situationwas disturbing since unlucky meant losing money or wealth.Consequently, the loss of money or wealth meant the depreciation ofclass in the society. The author features the ancient village in thestory. Moreover, he shows how civilization was slowly shaping. Thewriter explains how the community members were fond of performingrituals together with believing in mob psychology. He furtherexplains how the ancient civilization transformed people in thesociety (Ming 320). For instance, the members conducted rituals inwhich the society evils were transferred to an individual or a groupof unwanted people. Therefore, these symbolic rituals meant that thepast unbecoming spirits evils were cleansed and the society was leftwith blessings. The author uses rituals as crucial communal events,which facilitated the communication between the community and thegods (Ming 311). Likewise, he compares the societal rites taken bythe community with the Jewish sacrifices.
The lottery members of society termed the ritual goat as a scapegoatbecause it was used for sacrificial reasons to eliminate evils fromthe society. Additionally, the scapegoat was used to banish evils toallow the flourishing of crops (Jackson 34). The essence ofbanishing the evils was to appease the gods to allow the flourishingof crops and enhance the fertility of the land. As a result, themembers of the society were involved in the fertility rituals toplease the gods. The material expounds how mob psychology ruled theactions of most people in the society. For instance, most townresidents gathered in a central place to perform rituals to pleasethe gods. The psychological behavior is evident in the bookthroughout the story. “The Lottery takes place the implication inthe story is that a lottery is an annual event. In this town, thescapegoat is used to banish the evils of the society so that thecrops will flourish. Thus, two ancient rituals are combined: thenotion of banishing evils via a sacrificial victim, and the idea ofappeasing higher powers in some way to ensure fertility for the land”(Jackson 34). The author uses the quote to illustrate how sacrificeswere crucial and how they meant a blessing to the town residents.
The book focuses on theme of class and society through discussingtraditions that are not only applied in Lottery, but also in othertowns. The traditions involve the banishing of the lottery. Moreover,the members of society explain how they are afraid of getting rid oftheir old boxes because they had a traditional meaning to them. Through the theme of society and class, the town focuses on the oldtraditions, and they forget to implement the new policies that mayenhance their economic growth. Therefore, the author uses the themeof social class and traditions to explain the doomed traditions inthe town that hindered their progress. Most of the people in the townembraced the old traditions and those found acting contrary to thetraditions were subjected to punishments. Most people in the bookwere punished because they were going against the town’straditions. Additionally, those found guilty by the elders werecompelled to offer a scapegoat for sacrifice reasons. The narrative,through the theme of society and class, is successful in portrayingthe society’s traditions and their repercussions on the society.Additionally, the theme of society and class is instrumental inexplaining different criteria the town gave thanks to their gods.They usually praised their gods when their land was blessed, but theyoffered a sacrifice when the land was unproductive as a sign ofpleasing their gods. Additionally, people who were reluctant inembracing the tradition of the town were also punished. In thelottery society, the family was a crucial bond among people. Thefamily symbolized everything in the society. Therefore, the familyenmity heightened killings and cruelty in the society. Mostly, thefamily ties symbolized everything in the lottery society. The familywas perceived as part of the society, and people were judgedaccording to the family they had. The Lottery society divided theirroles according to the gender (Wen-han 78). For instance, men werethe providers of the family and their main role was to bring food andprotect the family from any attacks or evils. For instance, most menattacked their fellows for undermining their families (Jackson 43).Additionally, the lottery society, men were subjected to hard laborcompared to their female counterparts. For instance, most men wereinvolved in hard labor to put food on the tables of their families. The village in the Lottery was happy since they conducted communalcelebrations together and that was a clear sign of unity in thesociety. Additionally, the village was happy with the village’srules since they favored their progress in the society. For instance,the villagers gathered in a central place to pray for their gods toshower blessings in their land. Moreover, the society members usedmoney symbolically to illustrate how the society had begun beingmaterialistic. Before the introduction of the paper money, thesociety was not greedy as it became after the introduction of money(Jackson 26). People intensified rivalry in the society due tofinancial reasons. For that reason, there was an extreme division inthe society between the wealthy and less fortunate people. Thesocietal differences led to the growth of animosity since most peoplewere battling to control the community resources. The women in thelottery are portrayed as simple underprivileged people in thesociety. Moreover, women are depicted as workers since they areservants of their husbands and sons in the society. In the lotterysociety, men are esteemed than females because they are in charge ofthe lucrative positions in the society (Jackson 28). For instance,men are the general managers of the lottery clubs in the narrativewhile women were put in charge of odd jobs. Additionally, they are incharge of cash collection in the casinos then women come after them.In the lottery society, men talk of substantive things in the societysuch as taxes, planting, and rain while their female counterpartsrarely speak of crucial things (Jackson 17). For instance, they talkof the home chores in low tones. The lottery society presents womenas weak vessels in the society because they are not authoritative. For example, they call children two or three times for them torespond. Additionally, women are perceived to belong at home and lookafter the children. Therefore, this is evidenced in the book whenTessie Hutchinson’s husband gave her the responsibility of takingcare of the children. Additionally, the lottery society believes inwife beating and for that reason, most women in the book aresubjected to pain and suffering by the husband. Further, even withall those suffering, nobody was ready to listen to their plight.
Jackson, S. The lottery. Encyclopaedia Britannica EducationalCorporation. (1969). P12-81.
Wen-han, P. A. N. "The Lottery: Human Tragedy by SlavishDevotion." Journal of Chongqing Vocational & TechnicalInstitute 3 (2007): 044. P78
Ming, H. A Rereading of Shirley Jackson`s The Lottery. (2004).P231-438.