The Lottery Criticism

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When "The Lottery" was first published in The New Yorker on June 26, 1948, it generated more mail than any other story published in the magazine up until that time. According to Jackson, three main themes dominated the letters: "bewilderment, speculation, and plain old-fashioned abuse." Since then, critical opinion has been both ambivalent and diverse, with critics agreeing only that the story's meaning cannot be determined with exactitude. Early reviewers such as Heilman praised the emotional impact of the story's ending but suggested that Jackson took liberties with plot by suddenly Interjecting into a seemingly ordinary environment the horrifying reality of the lottery. Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren also suggested unease with the story's structure when they wrote in Understanding Fiction that Jackson "has preferred to give no key to her parable but to leave its meaning to our inference." Despite such comments, however, these critics applauded...

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This section contains 509 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Lottery Study Guide
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The Lottery from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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