The Lottery | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of The Lottery.
This section contains 2,851 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Helen E. Nebeker

SOURCE: "'The Lottery': Symbolic Tour de Force," in American Literature, Vol. 46, No. 1, March, 1974, pp. 100-07.

In the following essay, Nebeker discusses the underlying themes in "The Lottery," focusing on the religious symbolism and anthropological elements of the story.

Numerous critics have carefully discussed Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" in terms of the scapegoat traditions of anthropology and literature, pointing out its obvious comment on the innate savagery of man lurking beneath his civilized trappings. Most acknowledge the power of the story, admitting that the psychological shock of the ritual murder in an atmosphere of modern, small-town normality cannot be easily forgotten. Nevertheless, beneath the praise of these critics frequently runs a current of uneasiness, a sense of having been defrauded in some way by the development of the story as a whole.

Virgil Scott [in Studies in Short Story, 1968], for example, writes that "… the story leaves one uneasy because...

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This section contains 2,851 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Helen E. Nebeker
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Critical Essay by Helen E. Nebeker from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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