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Kyrillos Mansour

Ms. Day

British Literature

1 April 2017

Shirley Jackson was born in San Fransisco, California in 1916. Raised is a traditional

house hold her mother was a stay at home mother doing the daily responsibilities of a mother at

that time, while the father was employed at a lithograph company which is a illustration printing

company. As a young teenager she spent most of her time near Burlingame she loved to write

short stories and poetry. Later her family moved more Eastern where at the age at seventeen

attended the University of Rochester. After she took a year off just producing a minimum of a

thousand words a day.

She started Syracuse University in 1937, in which she published her first book Janice a

shortly story which bring up a serous issue suicide the story is about a college student that

casually retracts her suicide attempt. This short story shows her psychological horror that she

was going through which later became well known. Named the fiction editor at Syracuse

University she enrolling for a Poetry contest at Syracuse and winning there is where she meet her

husband an young and upcoming Literary critic Staley Edgar Hyman. Stanley Edgar Hyman was

a literary critic who wrote about these critic methods although he had his work published and is

some what a recognizable name his, wife Shirley Jackson was a much more influential for the

development of literary theory.
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As a young adult her earlier part of life was spent in Burlingame, California which was

later used as a setting for a book she had wrote called The Road Through the Wall. The Road

Through the Walk was Shirley Jacksons first work she made the novel about her childhood, and

in a way she was trying to get back at her parents for their narrow- mindedness and greed. The

novel in many way is related to her life in California comparing Peeper street to her town here in

California Cabrillo a middle class city in which she is comparing to Peeper street where

everyone on this street are amazing citizens but will not talk to a families on there street the

Jewish family with a disabled child. It bring up the topics of isolation and how this town has not

only isolated the Jewish family but has isolated itself for the rest of the world. The title The Road

through the wall indicates the towns isolation from the world and the wanting to go through the


In 1945 her husband Stanley Hyman was give the opportunity to teach at Bennington

College where they moved in North Bennington, Vermont. Shirley Jackson continued her writing

while in North Bennington also while raising her children. In 1948 The New Yorker published

her iconic novel “The Lottery” that novel received the most volume of mail ever received by a

magazine almost all of it being hateful. “The Lottery” takes place in a small town of around 300

residents. This town has a annual Lottery where people are scapegoated in front of the town

blaming them for societies evil doing. The town folks gather children with stones and adults with

pitch forks to find out who the Lottery is going to blame this year.

Tessie a charter is story is the scapegoat in the society where she is stoned for the “evils”

in there society. The idea behind all of this is purging the evil from there society to bring about

only good. The underline theme of blaming others for your problems or blaming a certain group

of individuals for a issue is clearly brought up in this novel. “The Lottery” has been published by
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many people and languages it is also a required read by many schools and universities. It

arguably the most recognized short stories in the 20th century. After the great success of “The

Lottery” Shirley Jackson a her husband in 1949 moved to Westport for a job in the The New

Yorker. As her Husband worked at The New Yorker she published a series of book The

Adventures of James Harries. As her name began to get noticed more and more their house was

constantly fully with visiting poets, artists, composers and writers.

In 1951 she published another short shorty “The Summer People” which was Best

American Short Stories. That year Shirley Jackson and her husband would move back to North

Bennington and they would stay there for the rest of there lives. For the years to come the short

story The Lottery was adapted into movies shows and even taken into different writing stories.

Shirley Jackson still published a couple of short stories after“The Bird’s Nest”, “Lizzie”.

After many short stories many of them become adapted in plays in movies one of the

most famous ones was in 1963 “ The Haunting” which came from a short story of hers.

Her later years were most spent in a teaching staff called the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference and

she just continued reviewing for children books. Unexpectedly on August 8, 1965 she died in bed

taking a afternoon nap from heart failure. Her children having known that she was working on

something gathered it together and edited it and thus her last piece of work being “Just An

Ordinary Day” .

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