The Lottery | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of The Lottery.
This section contains 1,073 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by A. R. Coulthard

SOURCE: “Jackson's ‘The Lottery,’” in The Explicator, Vol. 48, No. 3, Spring, 1990, pp. 226-28.

In the following essay, Coulthard contends that “The Lottery” demonstrates Jackson's “nihilistic” view of humanity.

Little has been written about “The Lottery,” possibly the most widely known American short story. Perhaps that is because the story seems such a transparent attack on blind obedience to tradition that little or no exegesis is necessary, a reading usually encouraged by discussion questions accompanying this much-anthologized story. But “The Lottery” is not an assault on mindless, cultural conformity. It is a grim, even nihilistic, parable of the evil inherent in human nature.

It is not that the ancient custom of human sacrifice makes the villagers behave cruelly, but that their thinly veiled cruelty keeps the custom alive. Savagery fuels evil tradition, not vice versa. This is no chicken-egg question, but a fact evident from the text. From the beginning...

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This section contains 1,073 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by A. R. Coulthard
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Critical Essay by A. R. Coulthard from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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