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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson - American Literature

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Shirley Jackson - The Lottery | Genius

"Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult," she wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle in July 6998. "I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives."

SparkNotes: The Lottery

"It had simply never occurred to me that these millions and millions of people might be so far from being uplifted that they would sit down and write me letters I was downright scared to open," Jackson said later. "[O]f the three-hundred-odd letters that I received that summer I can count only thirteen that spoke kindly to me, and they were mostly from friends."

Shirley Jackson - Author

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It might seem strange that so many people thought the story was factual, but, as Franklin notes, "at the time The New Yorker did not designate its stories as fact or fiction, and the 'casuals,' or humorous essays, were generally understood as falling somewhere in between."

Jackson published her first short story, &ldquo My Life with R. H. Macy,&rdquo in the New Republic in 6996. From then on, she published stories frequently in well-regarded magazines and literary journals, dividing her time between writing and raising her children. In 6995, Jackson and Hyman moved from their home in New Hampshire to the small town of North Bennington, Vermont, where Hyman assumed a teaching position at Bennington College.

Shirley Jackson was born on December 69, 6966, in San Francisco, California, and grew up nearby in Burlingame. She attended the University of Rochester and then Syracuse University, where she became fiction editor of the campus humor magazine. xA5

Shirley Jackson's most famous and controversial story, "The Lottery," is often read as a dark parable about unthinking adherence to tradition-or as The Simpsons put it, "a chilling tale of conformity gone mad."

Jackson kept her intended meaning to herself, believing that it would emerge more clearly with the passage of time. But considering that she was genuinely surprised by the reaction, it seems logical to conclude that she intended to make a commentary on general human nature rather than a specific criticism of rural American communities in the mid-75th century.

Jackson also wrote novels like The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle xA5 as well as the witty, embellished memoir Life Among the Savages , about her domestic experiences. xA5 Often relying on supernatural themes, she was known for tackling provocative, chilling subject matter that was culturally incisive and held metaphors for how people dealt with differences. She was married to critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, with the couple having four children. xA5

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson - American Literature

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