Sociological/Pyschological Criticism in Shirley Jackson’s
Sociological/Psychological criticism on Jackson’s “The Lottery” The villagers in Jackson’s “The Lottery” are crazy and the story itself is annoying. The people in Jackson’s short story have strange religious beliefs and at times seem heartless. Shirley Jackson adds way too many specific details in the story.
All of the unneeded details made this story much longer than it needed to be. Reading Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” made me want to slam my computer into a brick wall. The townspeople in Jackson’s “The Lottery” had an odd religious belief.
They believed that they had to sacrifice a person once a year in order for their crops to be successful. The villagers are extremely ignorant for thinking that is true. The narrator says it has been a tradition of their culture for many years, but they should have already figured out that this belief is in fact a myth. Not only are they ignorant for believing in this tradition, they are cruel for stoning the victim to death. If they are going to sacrifice on of their people, they could at least hang the person or shoot them in the head so they won’t have to suffer for long.
Though the villagers think of this day just as normal as any other, June 27th is the day that they perform this messed up ritual. For example, Mrs. Hutchinson arrived late to the lottery because she forgot about it. “Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you Joe? ” was her excuse. Mrs. Hutchinson is obviously a crazy and careless individual because she can’t even remember what day one of the people in her society is going to be murdered.
The narrator states that “the lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at 10 o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner. ” This statement shows that the villagers are more worried about how long this ritual will last rather than the fact that one of their people is going to be brutally killed. Another statement that proves that the villagers were rushing through the ritual carelessly was when Mr. Summers said, “Let’s finish quickly. Mr. Summers said this immediately after Tessie unfolded the paper which revealed the black dot. Careless and hungry for their noon dinner, the villagers urgently pelted Tessie with stones without giving her any bit of time left on earth. I think the most sickening part of the story was when the kids were running around collecting stones as if it were a game. The kids did not even realize the seriousness of death as they collected weapons that were going to be used to murder an innocent person.
The sad part is that when those kids become adults they will most likely think that this ritual is completely normal. When they have kids, they will teach them the same awful belief that they were taught during their youth. Besides how idiotic the villagers were, I disliked all of the unnecessary details Shirley Jackson used in this story. Jackson spent way too much time explaining how the lottery is setup and how it used to be setup. As soon as you start to think that the lottery is about to begin, Mrs.
Hutchinson arrives late, Dunbar was not present, and a tall boy named Watson speaks about how he is drawing for his mother in this year’s lottery. Once the lottery finally begins, Jackson makes the character, Mr. Summers, list almost every family’s name to come draw from the old black box. As the head of each family went to draw from the box, there were comments said to one another that were unneeded in the story. For example, when Steve went to draw from the box, he said, “Hi Joe” and then Mr.
Summers said “Hi Steve”. As more people walked up to draw from the box, Mrs. Dunbar said to her oldest son, “I wish they’d hurry. ” Immediately after reading that line, I said to myself, “me too”. I did not enjoy reading Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. The villagers in the story are very careless and cruel people. Not only did I not like the characters, but the story itself. Jackson’s short story was long drawn out and boring. Make sure to take ibuprofen before reading awful story.