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“The Lottery,” as Shocking as
”The Lottery” is a short story, written by Shirley Jackson, which illustrates her hostile attitude against the installation of the apartheid policy in the Union of South Africa in 1948. In her short story, Jackson presents a shocking demonstration of power, in order to emphasize the inhumanity of some traditional beliefs. The censorship of ”The Lottery,” as the writer claims, proves that the politicians of the Union of South Africa understood the message of the short story properly. This essay will analyze the technique deployed, that reflects the writer’s position against apartheid, by relating the inhumane practice of the fictional village and apartheid, the tyrannical system that has publically and illegitimately installed itself in in the Union of South Africa in 1948. Jackson assembles her short story with dissenting conceptual elements, such as depiction and action, which create havoc in the mind of the readers. “The Lottery” unfolds with a descriptive flow, which stirs feelings of peace love and happiness. This depiction is intended to create a pleasant atmosphere that would be unexpectedly disrupted by a cruel traditional rite. The contrast between the joyful atmosphere and the realization of the aberrance of the rite amplifies the feeling of terror. “The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program--by Mr. Summers,” annually, and in festive way. Many people among the crowd enjoy the event; children laugh and play waiting for the lottery to start. The winner of the lottery is expected to be the lucky one. However, the readers are shocked when they realize that the victor rewarded with a slow and painful death.
Similarly to the white conservatives of the Union. The number of people practicing the lottery as a traditional rite in the small fictive town does not last more than half a day. as long as it kept their town out of “trouble.” the tradition has been kept for more than seventy-five years thanks to the repression of the people .” (Page 1) twenty seven times more the amount of time needed for their shocking ritual. In the Union of South Africa. the design is almost the same as the fictive village in “The Lottery. This entails that the population of the fictional town is but an insignificant proportion within the neighboring towns. a rite that seems to protect and purify the villagers from people with alien ideas. Although their practices were inhumane. who represented a minority in comparison with the native peoples. executions or other despicable acts. one can note that there are glaring similarities between the inhabitants of the fictional village and the white minority in the actual country.” advocates the continuity of the traditional rite of the lottery.” (Page 4) The tyrannical government’s abusive power was intended consolidate the recognition of the white race as a superior race and that seems revolting for Jackson. In “The Lottery. Old Man Warner. one of the characters in “The Lottery. He blames the young generation of neighboring towns for giving up their ancestral rite. held to a traditional belief that presupposed the supremacy of their race over others. Whereas. rapes. there are so many people that “the lottery had to be started on June 2nd. most white citizens saw no harm in violence.” The Union’s White Conservatives. in other towns. The Union of South Africa’s capital and the fictional village are similar in proportion with the surrounding towns.Khaled Agina (unrevised) Instructor: Lynn Hannachi Cultural Studies Semester Three 2012/2013 If these facts are applied to the historical context of the Union of South Africa in 1948. most of the white citizens of the Union were not shocked by the use of extreme violence. Just like in Jackson’s short story.
The opposition of conflicting conceptual elements such mood and action puts bare the hostility of a despicable rite. no matter how barbaric the might be. in the Union of South Africa. with its outrageous policy. Even though there is no plain correlation between her negligence and her fate. Tessie. “The Lottery” demonstrates how primitive and violent can humans be when they are following preposterous religious dogmas. the end justifies the means. One can conclude the aberrant use of power against her is intended to impose a feeling of fear among those who constitute a threat to the sustainability of tradition. one can note that her presence is parasitical in her community. The banning of Shirley’s short story from the Union of South Africa proves that the members of the National Party could easily themselves in it. The shock felt by the readers is intended to be as shocking as the apartheid system. censorship is another means to protect the citizens of alien ideas such as Jackson’s.Khaled Agina (unrevised) Instructor: Lynn Hannachi Cultural Studies Semester Three 2012/2013 who did not respect the importance of the rite properly. Shirley Jackson presents her view on the issue apartheid issue. is the one to be executed. . the person who comes late to the ceremony. dexterously.
The Wascana Anthology of Short Fiction.Khaled Agina (unrevised) Instructor: Lynn Hannachi Cultural Studies Semester Three 2012/2013 Work cited Chase. Ken Mitchell. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center. . and Michael Lloyd Trussler. Thomas. 1999. Print.