Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shirley Jackson - "The Lottery"

There are 300 people that live in this fictional town.  These tiny towns usually alienate themselves from the other surrounding towns, defining clear lines between them:
""They do say," Mr. Adams said to Old Man Warner, who stood next to him, "that over in the north village they're talking about giving up the lottery."
Old Man Warner snorted. "Pack of crazy fools," he said." (Jackson 13)
The point of the lottery is to choose one person every year to be excluded (and therefore alienated) from the citizenship of townspeople.  As the lottery begins, the townspeople begin alienating themselves from one another in hopes that they will not be the chosen person.
"For a minute, no one moved, and then all the slips of paper were opened.  Suddenly, all the women began to speak at once, saying, "Who is it," "Who's got it?," "Is it the Dunbars?," "Is it the Watsons?" Then the voices began to say, "It's Hutchinson.  It's Bill," "Bill Hutchinson's got it." (18)
This example of alienation is taken to an extreme to the point of routine murder.
""Well, now," Mr. Summers said soberly, "guess we better get started, get this over with, so's we can go back to work." (18)

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