” By Shirley Jackson Essay, Research Paper
Analyzation encompasses the application of given criteria to a literary work to determine how efficiently that work employs the given criteria. In the analyzation of short stories, the reader uses a brief imaginative narrative unfolding a single incident and a chief character by means of a plot, the details so compresses and the whole treatment so organized, a single impression results. To expose that impression, the reader explores the workings of seven basic criteria. On particular criterion effectively supports the central idea on “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
The author teaches the central idea through the actions of the protagonist in the plot through what the protagonist does or does not do. The author teaches the lesson, the author’s idea, and the universal in two ways. Author’s idea expresses the author’s beliefs or opinions on a particular subject; the author may use a universal truth. A universal truth presents an idea assumed true by the masses worldwide that teaches a lesson based on the interpretation of the universal truth.
What the reader learns throughout the story or the lesson consists of two categories, general and specific.
General lessons teach the overall lesson in the story; usually a universal truth that speaks of qualities like greed, revenge, love, fear, discrimination, and ignorance. “Because primitive peoples meshed much more successfully with the world around them, they became far more sensitive to its needs and rhythms; they made certain that the lessons of passage were powerful and certain to have the desired effect. The rituals were intense, sometimes painful and terrifying. They were assuredly unforgettable.” The Grims Brothers, Poor Richard’s Almanac, and Aesop’s Fables capture these ceremonies and lessons.
The smaller lesson or specific lessons earned through the development of the plot and narrative reach the reader on an individual level from the actions or thoughts of any of the characters. These “little lessons” within the general lesson teach the reader the main lesson of the story. “Despite the timelessness of fables, who remembers the lessons of the past? “ The Fox and the Grapes” teaches us about envy, “The Lion and the Mouse’s” message of compassion. Who knows about “Little Red Riding Hood”’s message, the passage from girl- to womanhood. We need to be able to point to someone else’s story and say, ‘Ah, yes, I know that feeling. I identify.’ These specific lessons speak of personal truths even though cloaked in symbols.”
In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the villagers follow tradition without even knowing why the tradition exists. This blind following of the past traditions leads the reader to discover a universal truth. “Tradition is the guide of the ignorant.” In paragraph thirty-two, lines seven and eight, Old Man Warner states,”’ There’s always been a lottery’ he said petulantly.” In this statement, the reader sees the most ignorant of all excuses for doing anything. This, however, seems normal for the community. In paragraph six, lines three through nine, the reader discovers ‘”That much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations.’” While reading, the reader starts to understand the lottery tradition from which many rules and regulations disappeared for convenience reasons. This leads the reader to believe that the villagers do not truly understand the origins of the lottery. In paragraph twenty-nine, lines one through three, Mrs. Jackson states ‘”The people had done the lottery so many times that they only half listed to the directions…’” In this passage, the reader learns through the nonchalantness of the villager’s actions that an important event does not gander much attention. In paragraph thirty-one lines one through fourteen” Old Man Warner snorted. ‘Pack of crazy fools,’ he said. ‘Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back inside caves, nobody work anymore, live that way for a while. Used to be a say saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’s all be eating chicken weed and acorns.”’ In this passage, the reader finally understands that even though the world changed around the village, this ignorance prevents innocent villagers from living a full and rewarding life. Toward the end of the story in paragraph seventy-nine, lines one through three, the child of Mrs. Hutchinson handed rocks starts the reinforcement of the lottery. “’The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.”’ By handing the baby of the village a few pebbles to throw at Mrs. Hutchinson, the villagers start the idea at a young age. The major problem with this, Davy Hutchinson does not realize that mother will not tuck the child in bed tonight.
The major lesson, weaving throughout the story, teaches the reader “Tradition is the guide of the ignorant.” “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson taught several things. Just because the family always does a tradition, the members should not participate without asking the origin of the tradition. One of the most important things for a parent to realize in the story teaches the reader children learn by following the example the parent sets forth. Another lesson learned says that one must stand up and take punishment no matter how severe. If a person complains, someone may make the punishment worse. As Mrs. Delacroix picked up a stone so large the act took two hands, just to prolong the agony of Mrs. Hutchinson.
In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the author excellently expressed the central idea of the short story. The explanation of central idea and the use of specific information form the story demonstrate how effectively this aspect of short story structure supports the overall idea. Six other criteria plot, character, setting, tone, language, and narrative viewpoint, explore all support aspects of the central idea in short story writing. The short story presents a single plot structure and a main character that develop the central focus through these seven aspects. Analyzing the specific parts allows the reader to understand and appreciate the instructional value of the short story form of literature.