The Juxtaposition of Peace and Violence Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Lottery, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Philosophers throughout the ages have similarly questioned the basic structure of human character: Without rules and laws, how would we behave towards one another? Are we similar to animals in… Family Structure and Gender Roles The ritual of the lottery itself is organized around the family unit, as, in the first round, one member of a family selects a folded square of paper.
Nevertheless, the story cries out for interpretation on several levels. Shirley Jackson has skillfully used the elements of several ancient rituals to create a tale that touches on the character of ritual itself and the devastating effects of mob psychology.
At the heart of the story is one of the oldest concepts of humankind: Ancient civilizations often conducted a ceremony in which the evils of an entire society were symbolically transferred to one member of the group, either human or animal, and that member was killed or banished.
This death or banishment suggested that the evils of the past had been expurgated, allowing for a better future for the group. In this town, the scapegoat is used to banish the evils of the society so that the crops will flourish. Thus, two ancient rituals are combined: Fertility rituals, too, usually involved some kind of sacrifice.
The people of the town are caught up in the ritual to such an extent that they have given up any sense of logic. Mob psychology rules their actions.
Though they appear to be sane, sensible individuals, when the time of the lottery comes, they abandon their rational nature and revert to the instincts of the herd. This psychological phenomenon is characteristic of humans throughout history. Although Jackson portrays it in its extreme form in this story, the idea that men and women in groups are willing to forgo personal responsibility and act with great cruelty toward others is evidenced in actions such as lynch mobs, racial confrontations, and similar incidents.
The willingness of people to act irrationally as members of the herd displays aspects that, while unpleasant, are still integral parts of their nature that they must recognize if they are to keep them in check.Some themes that describe "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson are violence, tradition, and sexism.
Certainly, one of the themes of "The Lottery" is tradition. A summary of Themes in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Lottery and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Follow the link below for an excellent explanation of the major themes involved in Shirley Jackson's short story. One of the first themes to emerge from this story is the one of senseless Some themes that describe "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson are violence, tradition, and sexism.
Certainly, one of the themes of "The Lottery" is tradition. - The Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson In "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to make us aware of the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence.
The story starts off on a beautiful summer day in a small town. "The Lottery" tells the story of an annual tradition practiced by the villagers of an anonymous small town, a tradition that appears to be as vital to the villagers as New Year celebrations might be to us.
"The Lottery" is a haunting short story by Shirley Jackson, and its central theme involves the perils of following tradition blindly; another theme has to do with the unpredictability of mob behavior.