?The Lottery? And Human Detachment Essay, Research Paper
In the short story, ?The Lottery,? Shirley Jackson aids the reader in shaping some horrific images of her characters. Each and every one of the villagers Jackson portrays manages to remove herself from the lives of friends and family so that she is able to stone another fellow villager to death. Jackson clearly proves that when a person removes herself emotionally from the lives of her friends and family, she is able to kill another person without any regrets.
In World War II, the Nazi soldiers were able to kill millions of death camp prisoners by removing all emotional connection between themselves and the prisoners. The soldiers and officers would not identify the prisoners by name. Each prisoner was tattooed with a series of numbers on his forearm. By giving the prisoners numbers and removing their names, the Nazis were turning the human prisoners into paltry statistics. Then the Nazis could rationalize that rather than attempting genocide and murdering millions of innocent people, they were merely lowering the numbers of prisoners in their possession. The Nazis also took all of the prisoners? personal belongings. They gave the prisoners uniforms and stuffed them in crammed living spaces. These loathsome death camps are known today by many as concentration camps?places where thousands of individuals were taken and consolidated into religious groups and eventually into sheer statistics. All of these malicious misdeeds effectively made murder more mild for the Nazis as they wiped out millions of prisoners without having to accept the immense responsibility of bumping-off so many.
The villagers in ?The Lottery? detached and shut themselves off from their neighbors, children, husbands, and wives to enable themselves to participate in a murder without the messy leftover feelings of guilt. This is apparent when Mrs. Delacroix selects a stone ?so large she [has] to pick it up with both hands? (Paragraph 74) to fire at Tessie Hutchinson (the lottery winner), a woman she had spoken with moments before in a conversation that seemed to be between friends.
When the villagers began launching stones as a means of murder, the attack became a more tolerable and less personal act. They were able to kill another human being without having to physically touch her. They probably could have performed the manslaughter without seeing the winner?s face while assassinating her?when the winner ran from the mob, her back was to the crowd and when she finally fell, she undoubtedly covered her face as a protection from the sailing crag. Without seeing the victim?s face and avoiding any sort of contact to the victim, the villagers were capable of not having regret about killing a defenseless person.
The Nazis? consolidation of their concentration captives and the characters? questionable actions of murdering a different villager year after year demonstrate the sad, terrible things about mankind that generate such awful scenes on the evening news. No matter how much progress civilization makes technologically, no matter how many community service hours are earned every day in every city, mankind will continue to remain violent and malicious if people continue to remain detached from other human beings.