An analysis on the concept of scapegoat in the lottery by shirley jackson

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An analysis on the concept of scapegoat in the lottery by shirley jackson

Both loved and hated by many, this story is able to create emotion in nearly everyone who reads it. It is a story that is as much fun to think about as it is to read. Learn how the author uses foreshadowing, irony and deep themes.

A Literary Analysis of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

A modern parable, this story is often classified as a horror story. It tells the story of a small town that holds a lottery each year. The person picked by this lottery is then stoned to death by the town.

Considered by many to be one of the best short stories of the 20th century and banned by many others, this is not an easy story to understand because it leaves so many questions unanswered.

For example, the reason that the lottery exists is never explained. This forces the reader to think more carefully about the story and supply many of the answers. The reader has to feel the cohesion of the story in ways that are easy to miss in the first reading. Without this, the end of the story will feel far more like being blindsided than it does a twist.

The first example of foreshadowing in "The Lottery" takes place in the second paragraph. There are many signs of the tension of the day throughout the story, but most of them more subtle than piles of rocks. The men smile rather than laugh and moments of hesitation fill this story.

This creates an undercurrent of dread which is the core of this story and becomes even more powerful when the reader feels those reactions without knowing he or she is feeling it. The choice of the author to not explain this is one of the most important choices in the story.

The basic idea of the scapegoat has existed since the early days of Judaism. In that tradition it was literally a goat, but the idea is to sacrifice a single person for the sins of the society is generally how it has been used metaphorically.

Beyond this literal idea of being sacrificed for the sins of others is a more general idea that people need to have someone to blame or hate. The idea being that by being able to simply heap all of their aggression onto one person they are able to free themselves of it for another year.

Specifically, it is commenting on those things that people do simply because that is what has always been done. These can range from harmless traditions such as easter egg hunts and Christmas trees to far more harmful traditions such as racism, sexism, and even war.

An analysis on the concept of scapegoat in the lottery by shirley jackson

Even in this very dark story though, the author does hold out some hope. There are people in other villages who have abandoned the lottery and eventually perhaps this town will change as well. The basic idea of the lottery as something, which in our society is generally a good thing, being evil is the chief irony of the story.

This helps to strengthen both the surprise and horror of the story. In addition, it helps to keep the reader from catching onto the basic idea of the story. Just as important is the irony that is found just over halfway through the story. At this point, two men are discussing a town that has stopped performing the lottery.

Nearly everything in the story is symbolic.

An analysis on the concept of scapegoat in the lottery by shirley jackson

The most basic of these symbols being the lottery itself. This can represent a number of different ideas, but the most basic is that of tradition and specifically unquestioned traditions. Traditions like this exist as much in our society as that of "The Lottery". Many of them are simple and unimportant like Christmas trees and far more sinister ones such as racism and sexism are still troublesome today and were even bigger problems in when this story was published.

The difficulty of all of these is that they are far harder to see in our own society than in those we are less familiar with. This is one of the values of "The Lottery". By removing us from our own comfortable traditions we can see the dangers easier. The method of execution is also clearly symbolic.

Stoning is one of the few methods of execution that is done by a community. Most important, by choosing stoning it makes it clear that it is the society, and not an individual, that is the protagonist. It is filled with symbolism, irony and a clear understanding of how to tell a story as well as willingness to embrace controversy.The draft, a system of conscription that mainly drew from minorities and lower and middle class whites, drove much of the protest after Conscientious objectors played an active role despite their small numbers.

The prevailing sentiment that the draft was unfairly administered inflamed blue-collar American, especially African-American, opposition to the military draft itself. Lizzy Williamson A Block April 30, Literary Analysis essay: The Lottery “The Lottery” published in the New York Yorker on June 29, by Shirley Jackson was the first short story that she wrote that received widespread attention by readers.

is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her. Analysis of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery - Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, “The Lottery,” was published in and remains to this day one of the most enduring and affecting American works in .

The Significance of Scapegoating in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson The use of scapegoats is one of the main themes of "The Lottery." This has a profound impact on the community, although the members themselves are unaware of the fact.

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A Literary Analysis of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson | Essay Example