Human Morality in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Humanity is best understood for puzzling something for another and doing things in the name of following cultural guidelines or social expectations. But, is that action justified? Is it even a rational frame of mind? Many times, such behavior is really hazardous and dangerous to individuals. That is why it is essential to analyze how, if, and why that habits is acceptable or undesirable. In the short story The Lottery Shirley Jackson uses imagery, paradox, and importance in order to assert that human morality is heavily dependent on the desires and expectations of the individual and ultimately the society in which the person belongs of.

Jackson begins the narrative as any story need to be started, by introducing the setting. This is valuable in the lines of establishing the styles due to the background that the setting supplies us with. In the beginning of the short story she is establishing the layout for the Lotto and she notifies us that “The kids assembled first, of course,” (Jackson). This allows the audience both insight to the mindsets towards the lotto and the procedure of the lottery game, itself. The mindsets revealed through the kids can be viewed as eager and even excited, considering that “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets loaded with stones,” (Jackson). Even if the villagers wish to deny it, they aspire and excited to get the lottery game began. What is even worse about it is that it certainly begins at a young age.

Not only does setting play a role in establishing this style, however so does paradox. There are several examples of paradox throughout the text that reveal the unforeseeable nature of human behavior. At the beginning, as everyone put together, there were some signs of some affection and caring for one another. There was even some resistance, later on, when Steve Adams started speaking about how other towns had stopped doing the lottery. However, later, he becomes more than supportive of the routine when Tessie Hutchinson ended up being the set target of the violence and” [he] was in the front of the crowd,”(Jackson). This is a paradoxical twist and further proves the villagers to be terrible, due to the fact that Adams discussed the idea of stopping the lottery so long as he was at danger. As quickly as the air has actually been cleared, and someone else ends up being the victim, he appears to be all to thrilled about ending the event and heading out on a strong note. Other individuals detect his enjoyment also, “Such heavy-handed ironic twists suggest that there is no such thing as common love, or perhaps sympathy, in the human heart,” (Coulthard). Which happens to be a quite accurate inference. Likewise, Tessie Hutchinson is accountable for an ironic twist of her own. She, however, starts the story with a negligence toward individuals. She seems as if she does not actually care what occurs in either case. Nevertheless, when the tables are turned she seems as if she alters her attitude entirely screaming “‘It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,'” (Jackson) just before they were upon her. This paradoxical twist serves to prove, once again, how individuals’s state of mind can be impacted under pressure.

Significance also plays a huge function, as the signs throughout the story provide a type of pillar for the theme. There are a number of symbols throughout The Lotto, one of the most popular being the stones. We are very first presented to the stones in the beginning of the text as individuals start to put together. After that, the stones re-occur, making them symbols. One of the very first circumstances of the stones is in the start when the kids are gathering and

“Bobby Martin had currently packed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, choosing the best and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix– the villagers pronounced this name ‘Dellacroy’– ultimately made a great stack of stones in one corner of the square and safeguarded it against the raids of the other kids,” (Jackson).

The stones are unadvanced weapons or tools, making them primitive. Even more so, they are offered to kids, and the children are eager to collect them also, signifying human impulse for violence. Especially if the children know the reality that the stones they have actually picked are “The ones best for accurate throwing,” (Coulthard) as Coulthard indicates. If they have an extension of knowledge on the topic, then there is a factor they have it. Coincidentally, there is another example of significance, the significant slip of paper. Jackson finest describes it as” [Having] a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had actually made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company workplace.” (Jackson). This little paper says a lot more about the story than individuals presume. The paper is a sign that is representative of how easy it is for the people to actually take somebody else’s life into their own hands. Likewise, if the people wished to end the tradition they quickly could, however they permit the violence to continue.

Mostly, Jackson communicates a theme that few individuals pick up on. Jackson’s spin on the idea of morality and humanity is a dark one, as she makes ramifications that people will do what is anticipated of them, so long as it does not cause them any damage. Jackson makes the ramification that people are self-centered and that society is harsh with the aid of a few literary devices.