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Lecture 8

ENG 1120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Woodchips, Tessie, Jeffrey Rowland

Course Code
ENG 1120
Breid Mc Ilkenny

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The Lottery
February 9, 2016
Shirley Jackson, 1919-1965
- Died of heart failure
DOB is uncertain
- Private person, reluctant to talk about herself & her work
- Wrote for the New Yorker while in University
The Lottery:
- Public was shocked & horrified when it was first published
- Objective third person narration
- Set in a conservative New England village,
Appears as if they are gathered for a harmless ritual
- Extensive foreshadowing and symbolism
Corruption of Delacroix → corruption of Christianity
- Village has a carefully structured social structure
Summers (Coal business), Graves (Post-Master) and Martin (Grocer) are the elite
& control the black box (Mercantile class)
- The importance of the scapegoat throughout human history
- Occurs on June 27th, midway between the summer solstice & the 4th of July
(Independence Day)
Humanity is on the cusp of either
- Begins with a utopian allusion, which is quickly shattered
- Very casual presentation, (around 10 o’clock)
- The children mirror the philosophy of the parents
The feeling of liberty sat uneasily on them
The importance of work ethic
- Men gather and talk about planting, farm work etc.
Are there for what is supposed to be a fun community event, but they are still
talking about work
Not really getting a break
- Women and girls are separate from the men/boys, on the periphery
- Summers is described as jovial and pleasant figure, we’re even made to feel bad for him
- Mr. Martin steps forward to help with the lottery, everyone else knows their place
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