June 11, 2011

"The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Posted by Retya Elsivia at 10:32 PM

1.      What was your feeling upon reading the ending of the story? Surprise? Shock? Confusion? Or something else ?
I was shock after read the ending of the story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, because the story talked about who is lost and then the villagers catched them by stones.
2.      Try to reconstruct your experience of reading the story. What emotions did you experience? What expectations did you have? Did your feelings or expectations change? Where and in what way?
Experience that I feel in the short story “The Lottery” is when we play Lottery that there were only about three hundred people in the village of small town, the whole lottery took less than two hours. Then the official of the lottery will call or read the names- heads of families first, heads of households in each family, members of each household in each family. And they come up and take a paper out of the box. Villagers will catch the winner of the lottery by stones that children had made earlier was ready.
I expect in the story that the author will show the winner of the Lottery.
Yes, my expectation was change with the end of the story. In this lottery it is not what they win but it is what is lost.

3.      “The Lottery” is structured in three parts. Identify and provide a title for each?
Three parts structured of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson :
·         Introduction
First, the children assembled in the square, they make a great pile of stones, selecting the smoothest and rounded stones. Then they had already stuffed his pockets full of stones. All of villager’s family come to the square, between the office and the bank around ten o’clock.
·         Climax
When family of Hutchinson (Tessie Hutchinson) complained about Mr. Summers didn’t give Bill Hutchinson time enough to take any paper he wanted. She said if the Lottery wasn’t fair and she want to replay the games. Then Mr. Summers and Mr. Grave start again to put five slips of paper at the black box for Hutchinson’s family (Bill Hutchinson, Tessie Hutchinson, Bill, Jr, Nancy and Dave)
·         Resolution
The end of the story is Hutchinson’s family as the winner of the Lottery and Tessie Hutchinson said “It’s ain’t fair” and “it isn’t right”. As the effect, the villagers catched Hutchinson’s family by stones.

4.      Explain how Jackson prepares us for what comes later in the story by including specific details early on. Explain also how she prevents us from actually anticipating what she finally reveals.
The author give each details about playing the Lottery before, how start the lottery and who is the players and the official of the game.
The author anticipating us with the shock ending at the story with give some details what character doing before or character’s attitude example the children collecting stones.     

5.      Jackson’s characters, though not complex, are nonetheless sufficiently individualized to be distinguished from one another. Examine the passage in which the Hutchinson go forward to select their slips of paper. What details of action, gesture, and speech characterize each?
·         Action Characterize
ü  Tessie Hutchinson said to the people around her
ü  Dave Hutchinson came willingly with Mr. Graves up to the box
ü  Dave Hutchinson put his hand into the box
ü  Nancy Hutchinson took a slip daintily from the box
ü  Bill, Jr feet overlarge, nearly knocked the box over as he got a paper out
ü  Tessie Hutchinson went up to the box
ü  Tessie Hutchinson snatched a paper out and held it behind her
ü  Bill Hutchinson bringing his hand out at last with the slip of paper in it
ü  Nancy Hutchinson and Bill, Jr opened theirs paper turning around to the crowd and holding their slips of paper above their heads
ü  Bill Hutchinson unfolded his paper and showed it was blank
ü  Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slips of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it.
ü  Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her.
·         Gesture Characterize
ü  Bill Hutchinson nodded that he is ready
ü  Dave Hutchinson laugh when he put his hand
ü  Tessie Hutchinson looking around defiantly and then set her lips
ü  Nancy Hutchinson and Bill, Jr were beamed and laughed
ü  Tessie Hutchinson screamed
·         Speech Characterize
ü  Tessie Hutchinson  said “Listen, everybody” to villagers
ü  Tessie Hutchinson said “I think we ought to start over, I tell you it wasn’t fair, you didn’t give him enough time to choose, everybody saw that” to Mr. Summers
ü  Tessie Hutchinson said “it ain’t fair” and “it isn’t right” to all people.

6.      Why is Old Man Warner is important?
Old Man Warner is important because he is the oldest man in town was born. He has been seventy seventh in the lottery. So that he know all about playing lottery. Old Man Warner represents the old way and old times and thinks the whole civilization will die if a lottery is not done because nothing will grow.

7.      The central symbol of the story is clearly the black box. Look back at the passage where it is described. Explain the significance of the following details, its composition of old and newer components, the villagers reaction to it.
Black box grew shabbier each year, by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color and in some place faded or stained. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village there. Every year Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.
8.      What is the setting of the story? How specified is it? Why?
·         Time
ü  The morning of the June 27th
ü  The summer
·         Place
ü  In the square between the post office and the bank
·         Situation
ü  Stir in the crowded people
ü  Tense situation
The setting is not complete specified because the author not described where the town take place (unnamed village/town), just talking about small town. 
9.      In what ways is “The Lottery” ironic?
·         Their Incidents
The story talked about the children collecting stones as their game. The readers think the children as just collecting stones because that is what children do. But, its different with the end of the story that children also catched Hutchinson’s family by stones.
·         Their Language
Tessie Hutchinson said “it ain’t fair” and “it isn’t right” to all people. The situation is extremely ironic to the story.
·         Their Point of View
Jackson used third person point of view that allowed the author to keep the outcome of the story a surprise. The outcome is ironic because the readers are led to believe everything is fine because we don’t really know what anyone is thinking.

10.  Jackson has chosen to narrate the story in the third person, in a detached narrative voice. Is this appropriate? Is this effective? Why or why not?  
Jackson has chosen the omniscient point of view because it gives us perspective on the whole story. The use of third person point of view, with just a view case of third person omniscient thrown in is an effective way of telling this ironic tale. Both because the narrator’s reporter like blandness parallels the villagers apparent apathy to the lottery, and because it helps build to surprise ending by giving away bits of information to the reader through the actions and discussions of the villagers without giving away the final twist.
11.  Consider the story’s theme(s). What generalizations about human experience and behavior can be derived from it? What, for example, does the lottery suggest about traditional modes of action? About social change? About human, social, and personal relationships?
Theme of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is about society (human), traditions and the way we follow them just because generations before us have. In general, a tradition is something that’s been handed down from generation to generation. They often go along with them without questioning the meaning or perhaps even changing them for our own conveniences. In the short story, the villagers had forgotten also their ritual in the society.

12.  What is Jackson’s attitude toward the events she describes?
Jackson’s attitude in her story as third person, meaning that narrator is not a character in the story, but someone outside of the story telling the story. Jackson as omniscient point of view here.

13.  What is your attitude toward the values and cultural customs of the villagers?
I don’t like the values and cultural customs of the villagers in the story “The Lottery”. Because it’s hurtful and damaging to their community even though the tradition has lost all purpose and meaning, the people still do it. The ritual of human life has caused numerous deaths and countless injuries all over the community. 


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