The Lottery Shirley Jackson Pre-Reading Questions Please answer the following questions in your composition book: 1. Have you ever imagined winning the lottery? Describe what that would be like. 2. What do you associate with the phrase small town America? What do you picture? Vocabulary Pre-Teaching After 10 hours on the job, the greeter at Wal-Mart gave
everyone a perfunctory hello while mostly staring at his cell phone and reading text messages. Based on the sentence above, what does the word perfunctory mean? a) acting with enthusiasm and energy b) done routinely with little interest or care c) acting with sadness and dismay d) done with anger toward others
During-Reading: Monitor and Question Active readers get involved with what they are reading by continuing to Make Connections and to Predict or Infer. They also Monitor their own reading, making sure that they understand what is going on. They Question, thinking about what is going to happen, or evaluating what has happened so far. As you read, pause sometimes to make connections to your personal experiences, predict what will happen next, ask questions about what you are reading, monitor what you understand, and form opinions about what youve read.
During-Reading Exercise Monitoring What words are unfamiliar? Make sure you write down and look up any words you dont understand. Questioning Jot down other questions that you have while you are reading? What
doesnt make sense to you? What do you not understand? Setting The setting of this story draws on our common understandings of small-town America. Give three examples of this from the text. 1. 2. 3.
Stereotypes are used by authors to convey a lot of information in a short time. What stereotypes do you see in the story? List three. 1. 2. 3. Characterization is the authors way of describing a character, brining a literary being to life with words. Which character(s) in the
story are the most important? How can you tell that by the authors story? Foreshadowing gives hints about what will happen next or at the end of the story. Explain how this quotation foreshadows the ending of the story: Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon. Allusion is a reference to something historical or literary in text. See how many allusions
you can find in the story. You must find at least three. 1. 2. 3. Figurative Language is language that goes beyond the literal meaning of the text. Examples include similes and metaphors, personification, imagery, irony, alliteration and assonance. Find at least three examples of figurative language in the story and explain what they mean.
1. 2. 3. Symbolism a symbol is something that has a meaning beyond its literal definition (i.e. a dove symbolizes peace, red=passion, etc.) Find at least three symbols in the story and explain them. 1. 2. 3.
Irony is an unusual contrast between expectation and reality (i.e. a fire at the fire station). What is ironic about this story? Theme What is a possible theme of this story? What point was the author trying to make? Title using your responses to the assessment question #4, collaborate with your team
members to choose the best alternate title to the story. Be prepared to explain why you chose this title and how it relates to the theme of the story. Assessment 1. State an important theme of the story in a sentence or two. 2. Use your own words to describe what you think the author means by Old Man Warners words, First thing you know, wed all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. 3. What does the story tell us about the concept of
change? Support what you say with details from the story. 4. Create a new title for the story. Give two reasons from the story to support your choice. Shirley Jackson Shirley Hardie Jackson was born December 14, 1916 in San Francisco, CA. Jackson received her BA in English from Syracuse University. University She married Stanley Edgar Hyman, a staff writer and literary critic at the New Yorker in the 1940s. She and Hyman had 4 children. Jackson's writing
career flourished with publications in The New Yorker, Mademoiselle, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Charm, The Yale Review, The New Republic, The Saturday Evening Post, and Reader's Digest. She also published several collections of stories. Jackson died of heart failure on August 8th, 1965 in Bennington, VT. Ancient Ritual Sacrifice In ancient Athens, Greece, Athenians believed that human sacrifice promised fertile crops. Each year in ancient Athens, as one story goes, during the annual festival called Thargelia, citizens would stone to
death a man and a woman selected for this purpose. Death is thought to bring prosperity to the community By transferring one's sins to persons or animals and then sacrificing them, people believed that their sins would be eliminated, a process that has been termed the "scapegoat" archetype A similar ritual sacrifice occurs with Tessie Hutchinson. This explains the village member's remark, Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon. Historical Context After World War II America experienced a trend toward general social conformity.
People tended to imitate those around them rather than follow their own separate paths. Encouraging this conformity was the spread of television, television which broadcast the same set of images to Americans scattered through the country. Meanwhile, patriotic rhetoric dominated the public mood in politics. Fears about fascist dictatorships and communism, issues that had been highlighted by the war-induced paranoia and suspicion among seemingly peaceful American communities. In the story, the townspeople are swept away by the tide of conformity, and the lottery goes
ahead as always. Historical Context By 1943 news of the Nazi concentration camps had finally reached America. A number of Americans responded with horror and concern that communities could have stood by and silently allowed the Holocaust to occur. occur Jackson hints at a similar situation in her story when the townspeople are unable to fully question or prevent the brutal lottery practice.
Historical/Sociological Context During World War II, Jews and other targeted groups were torn from their communities and sent to their death while the world stood by in silence. In The Lottery, Tessie is similarly suddenly ostracized from and killed by members of her own community. A few of the townspeople disagree with the ritual, but they merely mutter their displeasure under their breath, afraid to speak out more boldly against the practice. Not only do humans blindly perpetrate evil, the story tells us, but they are also capable of closing their eyes
to and even participating in terrors that occur in their midst. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone" The Lottery certainly alludes to Gospel of St. John, 8:7, in which Jesus frees an adulterous woman, directing the scribe/Pharisee who is without sin to cast the first stone. No one throws stones at her.
Unfortunately, no one in The Lottery rebukes the powers so forthrightly as Jesus does in John 8:7. Tessie becomes their scapegoat; she pays for their sins. Ritual without meaning Because there has "always been a lottery, the villagers feel compelled to continue this horrifying tradition. They focus, however, on its gruesome rather than its symbolic nature, nature for they "still remembered to use stones" even after they have "forgotten the ritual
and lost the original black box. The story may be saying that humanity's inclination toward violence overshadows society's need for civilized traditions. POV: 3 Person Objective rd There is very little conflict in the storyonly Tessies objections present any conflict at all. At the end of "The Lottery," the reader
discovers with horror what is about to happen, but the story ends with the casting of the first stones. Jackson prefers to leave the gruesome details to the reader's imagination. The conflict occurs within the reader as the reader notes foreshadowing in the story with growing uneasiness Male vs. Female A conflict between male authority and female resistance is subtly evident throughout The Lottery. Early in the story, the boys make a great pile of
stones in one corner of the square, while the girls stand aside talking among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys. When Tessie draws the paper with the black mark on it, Tessie does not show it to the crowd; instead her husband Bill forces it from her hand and holds it up. Womens roles Tessie Hutchinson defies the concept of the passive and selfless woman. woman
Tessie's actions are decidedly unlike the behavior expected of the ideal wife and mother in the era. Tessie is hardly self-sacrificing. She even jeopardizes her married daughter by suggesting that she join the Hutchinson family in the final lottery drawing. Women vs. Women At the beginning of the story, the girls stand together watching the boys gather the stones, but as those girls become women, the
involvement in marriage and childbearing that the lottery encourages pits them against one another, blinding them to the fact that all power in their community is male. A most grievous betrayal of another woman occurs when Tessie turns on her married daughter and attempts to jeopardize her safety. Jackson emphasizes women's turning against one another, too, through her pointed depiction of the brutality of Mrs. Delacroix and Mrs. Graves in setting upon Tessie. Mob violence
The heinous actions exhibited in groups (such as the stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson) do not take place on the individual level, level for individually such action would be deemed "murder." On the group level, people classify their heinous act simply as "ritual." When Mrs. Hutchinson arrives at the ceremony late, she chats sociably with Mrs. Delacroix. Nevertheless, after Mrs. Hutchinson falls victim to the lottery selection, Mrs. Delacroix chooses a "stone so large" that she must pick it up with both hands.
Whereas, on the individual level, the two women regard each other as friends, on the group level, they betray that relationship, satiating the mob mentality. Foreshadowing Setting is idyllic; readers expect the lottery to be a positive experience Some of the boys create a "great pile of stones in one corner of the square." the men of the village arrive they stand away from the stones, joke quietly, and smile instead of laugh. since the lottery is to take only two hours, the villagers plan to be home in time for lunch. (how can they eat after
this?) Mr. Summers, a jovial man who conducts the lottery ceremony, sets the tone of the event with both his name and his mannerisms. The lottery takes place every year when the nature cycle peaks in midsummer, a time usually associated with cheerfulness. Symbolism Black: the color for death, death mourning, mourning punishment,
punishment penitence in western civilization. The black box used to draw lots and the slip of paper with a black mark pointing out the 'winner' are mentioned too frequently to be coincidental. Black box: coffin? Evil secret hidden away? Black spot on paper: sin? A black mark on ones record is negative; black mark: unclean? Symbolism Stones are a universal symbol for punishment, burial, burial and martyrdom:
martyrdom they indicate a morbid ceremony. Chips of wood: now discarded for slips of paper, suggest a preliterate/ancient origin, origin like the ancient sacrificial rituals for crops. The setting: no specific name/place indicates this is anytown, USA; USA the contrast of the town with the ritual helps build suspense Square: (village square) may represent the four corners of the earthearthly opposed to heavenly; human-created as opposed to natural; boxed in; concealed.
Symbolism: Names Tessie Hutchinson: Most likely an allusion to Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643), ( American religious enthusiast who founded the Puritan colony of Rhode Island. She had new theological views which opposed her to other ministers. After a local trial banished her she was tried before the Boston Church and formally excommunicated. Anne and fifteen of her children were subsequently murdered by the Indians in 1643.
The parallelism between her story and Tessie's is clear: to her, excommunication meant spiritual death just as to Tessie being cast out from the group = death. Symbolism: Names Tessie Hutchinson: Anti-ritualAnn Hutchinson held that neither church nor state was needed to connect a believer to his or her God. (In the end, Tessie rejects the lottery ritual, saying it isnt right.)
Tessie, diminutive for Theresa, derives from the Greek theizein, meaning to reap, or, if the nickname is for Anastasia, it will translate literally of the resurrection. (sacrifice for sins; contrast with Delacroixof the cross.) Symbolism: Names Delacroix (of-the-Cross) vulgarized to Della-croy (no longer truly of the cross) Some critics suggest that Mrs. Delacroix represents the duality of human nature: nature she is
pleasant and friendly on the outside, but underneath she possesses a degree of savagery. Cross has many connotations crossroads (faced with 2 directions); to cross something off; off to be angry; angry to cross over or to pass by; by pass from one side of to the other; other to oppose, oppose as in crossing ones path; a burden; burden combination of 2 elements;
elements To make or put a line across; across To betray or deceive, deceive double-cross Symbolism: Names Summers: the season of summer is associated with youth, strength, growth, prime of life, warmth, leisure, prosperity, happiness, blooming, blossoming
Mr Summers is the head of the coal business, which could symbolize close contacts with the underworld, evil; lurking just beneath the surface. Coal is earthly (as opposed to heavenly); black; formed in the process of many years (long-term process); formed from compressed, decaying matter; early chemistry used a black spot to symbolize coal. Marxist critics point out how Mr. Summers, who would have been one of the wealthier citizens, leads the lottery those with money control the peoples activities. Symbolism: Names Graves : the obvious grave = place of
entombment/death Mr. Graves quietly assists Mr. Summers, with Graves hinting at a dark undertone. undertone Grave = serious; serious hints that the lottery may not be a frivolous contest (Mr. Graves said gravely) Critics have said that Jackson creates balance by juxtaposing Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves to share in the responsibilities of the ritual: Life brings death, and death recycles life.
Symbolism: Names Adams : reference to the first man, the first sinner While he seems to be one of the few who questions the lottery when he mentions that another village is thinking about giving up the ritual, he stands at the front of the crowd when the stoning of Tessie begins. Like the biblical Adam, Adams goes along with the sin; he follows others in their evil. Symbolism: Names
Old Man Warner: Resistant to change and representing the old social order, he warns about how important the event is to the survival of the village. Old man Warner is 77 years old old the number 7 has many connotations, but one common connotation is that 7 is lucky he has been lucky to avoid the lottery so many times. Symbolism: Names
Martin : associated with Mars, the Roman god of fertility and war. The following are just FYI: St. Martin: Patron of drunkards, to save them from falling into danger. (The origin came from St. Martins day coinciding with the feast of Bacchus, god of wine.) St. Martins goose. The 11th of November, St. Martins Day, was at one time the great goose feast of France. The legend is that St. Martin was annoyed by a goose, which he ordered to be killed and served up for dinner. He died after eating dinner, and a goose has been ever since sacrificed to him on the anniversary. St. Martins bird is the raven,
raven long associated with death and departed spirits Symbolism: Names Dunbar: breaking this name down into its 2 syllables, one can come up with: 1. dun to treat cruelly; or a dull, brownish gray color 2. bar - Something that impedes or prevents action or progress; relatively long, straight, rigid piece of solid material used as a barrier, support, or fastener; A standard, expectation, or degree of requirement;
Themes (almost done) Not all rituals are beneficial, positive or civilized Acts of violence, hatred, murder are not acceptable just because many people participate Traditions and rituals should be questioned; group mentality can be harmful People are not all good or all evil but a mixture of
both. Many more ideas/themes can be applied to The Lottery The Lottery: More than you expected, right? End of presentation. (Finally)
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