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“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson: Questions

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Question 1

The community’s attitude toward tradition is that it needs to be marinated and observed every summer no matter the consequences. For instance, despite Mrs. Hutchinson’s protests that the lottery was unfair, the villagers still stoned her to death. This indicates that the conformity to the dreadful tradition was something that the community was not ready to relinquish (Barnet, Burte and Cain 1238-1243). As a result, the community’s attitude to tradition is that everybody must be excited about its happening during the summer times.

Question 2

By telling the story from a non-participant’s point of view, Jackson creates suspense and tension. This is because the audiences do not understand the significance of the lottery. The suspense happens when the villager started using the stones piled by the children are other purposes contrary to anyone’s imagination (Barnet, Burte and Cain 1238-1243). Considering this, the audience cannot predict anything by reading the minds of the characters since the narrator reveals anything. Jackson gains by using the third party narration to withhold information to create tension and a shocking conclusion. The readers get to understand the story at the end of the plot when a rock hits Tessie and Mrs. Hutchinson is heard lamenting (Barnet, Burte and Cain 1238-1243).

Question 2

The story is an attack on religious orthodoxy because the villagers blindly follow their tradition without considering the consequences. I agree with this claim because the orthodox values were beliefs that contradicted the dignity of humanity. The tradition of selecting papers randomly that signifies the death of someone should not cause excitement to the villagers. This aspect makes it similar to orthodox practices that performed rituals against the Godly teachings.

Work Cited
Barnet, Sylvan, Burte, William and Cain, William E. Literature for Composition: An
Introduction to literature. London; New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books.

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