Feminism in Shirley Jackson???????s the Lottery Assignment

Feminism in Shirley Jackson???????s the Lottery Assignment Words: 2431

Feminism in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery/’ Modern criticism of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery has focused almost exclusively on the issues of feminism and gender roles yet some recent reviews tend to classify the writing as feminist literature. They claim the story highlights the negative aspects of patriarchal societies through the telling of the lottery ritual. However many overlook the roles that the women play throughout this Story.

The purpose Of this paper is to examine how Shirley Jackson uses feminism throughout her story and also to show the feminist attitude the women have towards the male-dominated society. Shirley Jackson’s story is trying to establish the facts around feminism and gender roles among the American communities as depicted in a yearly ceremony, which is marked by a ceremonial stoning of an individual who is picked from a random draw. The significance of the same tradition is that it does not have an outlook that makes the celebrations worthwhile celebrations.

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Feminism is so predominant in the whole festivity, for instance men have the final say to any action whereas women are used to carry out the lottery. At some point, the impression that is created by some of the top players in this ceremony leaves a lot of calls to end this sort of ceremony. Hutchinson displayed a protagonist character, which according to the standards of the ceremony is indicative of the notion that celebration suits not the upper quota of leaders in the society instead the lesser ones.

When she complained that the process was hurried, she is given another chance to repeat the process of picking the slip. On the contrary, when his Testis cries out of unfairness, nobody bothers to listen to her and instead she is stoned to death Jackson, 260). Jackson (2013) on the other hand, says that anyone would ask why is it that the feminine gender so demeaned to the extent that they cannot stand in for their men and instead of them an elder son would. The act of stoning a fellow human being is an act of injustice of the highest order.

The other issue that he disagrees with is the fact that there is high hypocrisy among the people of the town where these celebrations are conducted. The insight at the preparation stages shows that the winner will be rewarded with something to be happy only to end up in the hands of death (Jackson, 44). Cohen (2013) in his article confirms that, whereas some other places have abandoned lotteries as part of their yearly celebrations, it is striking to see some leadership still elsewhere still holds to it.

It is not for any reasonable thing that these celebrations are still trickling down the generation of young people instead of dying in the hands of the old people. Largely, men dominate every event in the lottery and especially controlling it and decision making whereas women are just the inferior class. The distinctiveness in the roles played by men and women in the society is a introduction since women and girls are seen as oriented to less physical work however when it comes to stoning someone, they too have a hand in it (Mohammed, 236).

According to Mohammed (2013), women have some powerful depiction in the end as opposed to their male counterparts. This comes out in the way female plays the role for instance, they are the ones responsible drawing the slip for their families, they also remain chatting with their womenfolk when the male counterparts carry stones to be used to stone somebody. Women are so insignificant on a larger extent as compared to their male counterparts ND for this matter under such occasions; their image is compromised when they are made to appear in faded clothes.

This is an indication of the fact that their influence counts the least. I am in agreement with the arguments of the author in the article that today, there is a replica of the same character in the way we conduct ourselves. For instance, many people would love to be part of a discussion in which they are a party to. The privacy of the matters may be so deep than anyone can think of but still remain misguided beings. It is so apparent a character that we are getting forgetful and become stereotypes outstanding the fact that we are part of the truth that we condemn.

Mrs.. Hutchinson for instance, for quite a long time had the insight that the lottery was never the right thing to prevail but he never did anything up until when it dawn to her that it was her turn to face the wrath of lottery did she turn out a loud cry (Leaseholder 250). Male domineering is very much evident in the way events are conducted and that is very clear an observation according to every writer. Women have no say in the choices men make on behalf of and upon them.

However, according to Mohammed, if a feminine view is adopted while reading through this story, one would end up holding to the view that women are more powerful than men in the society. Leaseholder (2013) asserts that it is difficult to comprehend the need to bring to an end such brutal acts of celebrations, which demean the value of human life. This is the missing discussion in the other articles and the authors were not able to prescribe a way to see the tradition die out. The discussion all along is centered on how this was conducted and no author has critiqued the same course of celebrations.

What is not clear though is whether this lottery will come to an end someday considering the fact some neighboring communities have chosen to let go this tradition. That women have had their dreams sabotaged by male dominated system and traditions is an indisputable fact. How best the harvest could be celebrated remains unclear though other communities have long drop the lottery way of doing it. The absence of dominant female characters shows that in the story women are commonly seen as inferior to the males in social groups, such as in the gathering before the stoning.

There are many different literary devices hat are used to make this point such as the developments in the plot and the powerful theme. These devices make it known to the reader how the roles of women are portrayed in the story. Also the use of stereotypes and the aggressiveness of the men better show how the women’s lives are portrayed, how the conflicts between the are resolved and how the traditional ideas regarding these relationships are challenged.

One prominent theme in “The Lottery’ is the extreme power of a mob mentality. In short, the people feel that it is okay to stone people because everybody else is doing it. The entire society in the story is based around these yearly events. In the story, the people are cruel murderers once a year and not only do they not feel guilt about it, they find it necessary. They allow themselves to Stone their friends and neighbors based on blind faith, tradition, and a ridiculous rationalization.

Another incredibly important theme is that of tradition. Jackson’s views on tradition are clearly negative through this short story. The villagers allow an outdated tradition to run their lives and control whether they live or die. The black box represents tradition in that it is old and worn. It has been in existence seemingly forever and though there is talk of replacing it, the reader can infer that there will be no such change. These people are afraid of their tradition.

Testis Hutchinson is terrified when she finds out that she and her family will be victim to this tradition and even stoops so low as to demand her married daughter take part in the lottery so that her chances of being chosen will lessen. The villagers obviously don’t like the lottery. This is evident in both Test’s desperation to escape it and the man ‘s comment that the lottery was being abolished up north. Because it has been tradition for so long, it is essentially all they know. They are afraid of what will happen if they get rid of it.

The meaning of The Lottery is show through the use of literacy devices which influence’s its feminist theme. The characters in the story are seemingly driven by only tradition and not common sense. “The lottery was conducted- as were the square dances, the teenage club, the Halloween program-by Mr.. Summers, who had the time and energy to devote to civic activities” (263). Mr.. Summers and the other people in the town do not question the lottery and sake it appear to be a tradition that has no meaning behind it beside the fact that it is only a tradition.

However the women in the story are the ones that bring up the fact that all the other surrounding towns have done away with any traditions of the lottery. But when they do mention this they are silenced. The women are seen to be voiceless characters in the story. The reader can clearly see how women’s roles portrayed and the way they act on the story in order to express Jackson’s point of view on how women should not succumb to the norms of society but to challenge them.

With the setting of the story being in a small town makes the position of the author more believable. Smaller towns are more known to spread gossip and retain a certain conservative nature. This small town culture gives the reader an idea that women’s rights are crushed and not only because of their hesitation to take part in the lottery but also because it is only the women who bring up the fact that they are the only town that still takes part in the tradition of the lottery. Mrs.. Adams was the first in the story to mention the rumor.

She was informed by Old Man Warner that those who don’t articulate in the tradition any longer were a “pack of young fools” (266). His use of these words could be taken as him speaking about a new era of younger people who are not following the old norms but making new ones even though many people like Old Man Warner do not approve. Another example of how the women’s views are ignored can be when Mrs.. Hutchinson draws the slip with the black dot on it and states how it wasn’t fair that she was the one getting picked.

Her husband’s reply to her statement was “Shut up, Testis” (267). This is yet another great example that shows how the women were treated. Looking past the story as if it was nothing more than just a horrifying tale about a small town that carries out a shocking ritual, the story can be interpreted with a more feminist outlook showing a male dominated story which begs for a more of a gender balance in society. There are quite a few instances in the story where the men are shown to be more aggressive then the women.

Early in the story Jackson mentions how the male children “made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys” while the girls seemed to be more tranquil, quietly talking among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys” (263). Another example is when the Adams mentions that some of the other towns don’t have a lottery. In response Old Man Warner is the one who responds to their comment in anger, as was mentioned before.

Testis Hutchinson is not well liked much either in the end of the story either and is met with anger by her husband who tells her that the lottery is equal and that she should not complain about it but to accept what is to come. While the women in the story do not always remain without aggression, the only conclusive part of the Tory is about Mrs.. Dunbar who had lost her son in the years previous lottery. As Helen Enabler states in her analysis “Significantly, the name Dunbar in itself suggest that thin gray line which separates those who have personally marked by the horror of the lottery from those who have not.

If this seems to be flagrant symbol hunting, we might remember that it is Mrs.. Dunbar who, at the time of the stoning, holds back as Mrs.. Delicacies urges her to action. Mrs.. Dunbar, with only small stones in her hands, gasping for breath, says, ‘l can’t run at all. You’ll have to go ahead and I’ll catch up. ‘ But we may believe hat she will not. Marked by the loss of her son, she may still be a victim but she will not be a perpetrator. Herein lies the only humane hope raised in the story’ (Enabler). Taking it a step further the story could be viewed as a denotation for an entire movement of women.

The lottery stands for a traditional application of the women are inferior stereotype that has become a staple of modern society. When looking at Testis Hutchinson we can see a women who represents the struggle that women endure and their fight to overcome the oppressiveness and aggressiveness of men. The men in the story can be dewed as the obstruction that women have to clear in order to escape this oppression. As it was mentioned before, the stones that the villagers had thrown are the “most ancient of sacrificial weapons” (Enabler).

The stones along with the forgotten origin of the ritual mean that these suppressions on women’s rights are primal and a more modern ideal should take place. The Lottery shows many engaging ideas on feminism and gender roles in the small town where it takes place and also in modern day culture. Though the use of literary devices “The Lottery’ tells a gripping story that can be seen o have many different meanings. Among those is the thought that the traditional patriarchal order of society is as old and useless as the lottery itself.

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