The Lottery is written by American author Shirley Jackson in 1948 and the story revolves around an inhumane ritual in a small town of America. The story starts out with a description of the town and the townsmen and why they are gathered by the square on the 27th of June. All the members of the town populated with 300 people gather around the square and everyone chatters on as normal. Unlike the earlier piece of fiction, Lolita, Jackson’s story was written as a criticism of American culture as a basis. The author criticizes the anti-feministic views that might have been present in America at that time, violence in American society and the act of hypocrisy. The main theme in the story highlights the presence of violence in the American society.
This line from the beginning of the story starts the buildup of a serious criticism. “The lottery was conducted–as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program…”(Jackson) This signifies the hypocrisy present in American culture and the pointless violence that went on. The lottery was an event were each year all the families in the town picked up a ticket from a black box to find out who would be sacrificed for the well being of the current year. At first the heads of all households draw a ticket from the box and it is better if the men do all the drawing. This brings us back to the feministic aspect in the story. The women in the story are more than happy to be subservient to men, whether is be husbands, sons or fathers to do all the official work in town. This forms a bigger picture of what the image of American women was around the time period when the author was born. Jackson was born in the 1920’s, the era of women being defined as house-wives and objects of sexual desire to their husbands. Also, around that era, Alice Paul, the author of the Equal Rights Amendment had emerged and surprisingly many of the American women did not join hands with her to support her cause of feminism. Jackson criticizes this aspect of American society by highlighting that American women do not stand up for their rights although they are aware of them and are satisfied with their positions as inferior and unequal to men.
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