Curiously, there are three main themes which dominate the letters of that first summer–three themes which might be identified as bewilderment, speculation, and plain old-fashioned abuse. In the years since then, during which the story has been anthologized, dramatized, televised, and even–in one completely mystifying transformation–made into a ballet, the tenor of letters I receive has changed. I am addressed more politely, as a rule, and the letters largely confine themselves to questions like what does this story mean? The general tone of the early letters, however, was a kind of wide-eyed, shocked innocence. People at first were not so much concerned with what the story meant; what they wanted to know was where these lotteries were held, and whether they could go there and watch.
Work with a partner to complete task A and B.
Task A. Imagine you live in 1948 have just read The Lottery (originally published in The New Yorker, June 28, 1948).
Write a letter to Shirley Jackson.
Task B. Imagine you are Shirley Jackson and you have just read a letter from your audience in response to “The Lottery” during the summer of 1948.
Write a letter in response to that letter.
Write a post examining the cause and function of violence in your life in 2009.
- 30-2: select appropriate detail from your personal experience to include in your analysis
- 30-1: select appropriate detail (image–
>symbol–>archetype) from The Lottery to include in your analysis