Presentation on theme: "The Lottery Shirley Jackson"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Lottery Shirley Jackson The authorBorn in San Francisco in 1916Jackson intended, as “a sensitive and faithful anatomy of our times, fitting symbols for our distressing world of the concentration camp and the Bomb”, to mirror humanity’s Cold War-era fears. Jackson may even have taken pleasure in the subversive impact of her work, as evidenced by Hyman’s statement that she “was always proud that the Union of South Africa banned ‘The Lottery,’ and she felt that they at least understood the story”.
2 The Lottery Shirley Jackson The author“Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.”
3 The Lottery Shirley Jackson BackgroundFirst published in the June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker. Written the same month it was published, it is ranked today as “one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature”. It has been described as “a chilling tale of conformity gone mad.”The story was banned in the Union of South Africa. Since then, it has been accepted as a classic American short story, subject to critical interpretations and media adaptations.
4 The Lottery Shirley Jackson SettingIt takes place on the morning of June 27th, a sunny and pleasant summer day, in the village square of a town of about three hundred people. The setting is described as tranquil and peaceful, with children playing and adults talking about everyday concerns. This seemingly normal and happy setting contrasts greatly with the brutal reality of the lottery. Few clues are given to a specific time and place in the story, a technique used to emphasize the fact that such brutality can take place in any time or in any place.
5 The Lottery Shirley Jackson Major CharactersBobby Martin: Boy who loads his pockets with stones that he will use after townspeople draw lottery numbers. He also helps build a pile of stonesBaxter Martin: Older brother of Bobby MartinHarry Jones: Boy who joins Bobby Martin in building the pile of stonesDickie Delacroix: Boy who joins Bobby Martin and Harry Jones in building the pile of stones
6 The Lottery Shirley Jackson Major CharactersMr. Martin: Bobby Martin's father. He operates a grocery storeMrs. Martin: Wife of Mr. MartinJoe Summers: Coal dealer who conducts the lottery. He has no childrenMr. Summers's Wife: Shrewish womanMr. Graves: Postmaster. He assists Mr. SummersMrs. Graves: Wife of the postmaster
7 The Lottery Shirley Jackson Major CharactersOld Man Warner: Oldest man in townTessie Hutchinson: Woman who arrives late for the lotteryBill Hutchinson: Husband of Mrs. HutchinsonBill Jr., Nancy, Little Dave: Children of Mr. and Mrs. HutchinsonSchool Friends of Nancy Hutchinson
8 The Lottery Shirley Jackson ThemesThe reluctance of people to reject outdated traditions, ideas, rules, laws, and practicesSociety wrongfully designates scapegoats to bear the sins of the communityThe wickedness of ordinary people can be just as horrifying as the heinous crime of a serial killer or a sadistic head of stateThe unexamined life is not worth livingFollowing the crowd can have disastrous consequences
9 The Lottery Shirley Jackson SymbolsThe lottery: Barbaric tradition or practice; any foolhardy tradition that a community refuses to give up; the risks of daily livingThe black box: Evil or death, suggested by the color of the box; outdated tradition
10 The Lottery Shirley Jackson SymbolsBoys gathering stones and pebbles: Indoctrination or brainwashing that is passed on from one generation to the nextOld Man Warner: Anyone who warns others not to change; hidebound traditionalist; Luddite; obstructionistMr. Summers: The appearance of normalcy and cheerfulness hiding evil and corruptionBill and Davy Hutchinson: Betrayers
11 The Lottery Shirley Jackson IronyThe word lottery suggests that the villagers are going to draw for a prize.The sunny day suggests that a happy event is about to take place.When Old Man Warner hears that the north village is considering ending the lottery, he says, “Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves.” (The lottery is as savage and barbaric a ritual as any practiced by cave dwellers.)
12 The Lottery Shirley Jackson Dramatizations1951 radio version1969 film: Larry Yust’s short film, The Lottery (1969), produced as part of Encyclopædia Britannica’s “Short Story Showcase” series, was ranked by the Academic Film Archive “as one of the two bestselling educational films ever.”1996 TV film: Anthony Spinner’s feature-length TV film, The Lottery, which premiered September 29, 1996, on NBC, is a sequel loosely based on the original Shirley Jackson story.
13 The Lottery Shirley Jackson Further readingsNovelsThe Haunting of Hill House (1959)We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)Short stories“After You, My Dear Alphonse” (1943)“Charles” (1948)“The Witch” (1949)