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The Lottery

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Analyzation encompasses the application of given criteria to a literary work to determine how efficiently that work employs the given criteria. In the analyzation of short stories, the reader uses a brief imaginative narrative unfolding a single incident and a chief character by means of a plot, the details so compresses and the whole treatment so organized, a single impression results. To expose that impression, the reader explores the workings of seven basic criteria. On particular criterion effectively supports the central idea on "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. The author teaches the central idea through the actions of the protagonist in the plot through what the protagonist does or does not do. The author teaches the lesson, the author's idea, and the universal in two ways. Author's idea expresses the author's beliefs or opinions on a particular subject; the author may use a universal truth. A universal truth presents an idea assumed true by the masses worldwide that teaches a lesson based on the interpretation of the universal truth. What the reader learns throughout the story or the lesson consists of two categories, general and specific. General lessons teach the overall lesson in the story; usually a universal truth that speaks of qualities like greed, revenge, love, fear, discrimination, and ignorance. "Because primitive peoples meshed much more successfully with the world around them, they became far more sensitive to its needs and rhythms; they made certain that the lessons of passage were powerful and certain to have the desired effect. The rituals were intense, sometimes painful and terrifying. They were assuredly unforgettable." The Grims Brothers, Poor Richard's Almanac, and Aesop's Fables capture these ceremonies and lessons. The smaller lesson or specific lessons earned through the development of the plot and narrative reach the reader on an individual level from the actions or thoughts of any of the characters. These "little lessons" within the general lesson teach the reader the main lesson of the story. "Despite the timelessness of fables, who remembers the lessons of the past? " The Fox and the Grapes" teaches us about envy, "The Lion and the Mouse's" message of compassion. Who knows about "Little Red Riding Hood"'s message, the passage from girl- to womanhood. We need to be able to point to someone else's story and say, 'Ah, yes, I know that feeling. I identify.' These specific lessons speak of personal truths even though cloaked in symbols." In "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, the villagers follow tradition without even knowing why the tradition exists. This blind following of the past traditions leads the reader to discover a universal truth. "Tradition is the guide of the ignorant." In paragraph thirty-two, lines seven and eight, Old Man Warner states,"' There's always been a lottery' he said petulantly." In this statement, the reader sees the most ignorant of all excuses for doing anything. This, however, seems normal for the community. In paragraph six, lines three through nine, the reader discovers '"That much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations.'" While reading, the reader starts to understand the lottery tradition from which many rules and regulations disappeared for convenience reasons. This leads the reader to believe that the villagers do not truly understand the origins of the lottery. In paragraph twenty-nine, lines one through three, Mrs. Jackson states '"The people had done the lottery so many times that they only half listed to the directions...'" In this passage, the reader learns through the nonchalantness of the villager's actions that an important

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