The short story - The Lottery

In the short story “The Lottery” the author uses a variety of writing strategies to develop the central idea relating to human nature. Using these strategies, the author reveals to the reader that people are okay with committing crimes whenever they are allowed to. The author effectively develops this idea through her use of characterization which works to reveal character traits throughout the story. Essentially, Jackson’s use of characterization causes us to learn that individuals will do whatever they want when society deems okay. In the short story “The Lottery” the author uses a variety of writing strategies to develop the central idea relating to human nature. Using these strategies, the author reveals to the reader that people are okay with committing crimes whenever they are allowed to. The author effectively develops this idea through her use of characterization which works to reveal character traits throughout the story. Essentially, Jackson’s use of characterization causes us to learn that individuals will do whatever they want when society deems okay. For example Jackson states, “speaking of planters and rain, tractors and takes...The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters”(1). In other word these are everyday people, in a normal town. Here the author uses characterization to show that even though they are standard people when the time comes for them to stone Tessie they do it without hesitation. Additionally the author writes “they both laughed softly”(4). This means that after Tessie shows up late she finds one of the other town moms and they talk, enjoying eachothers company. Mrs.Delacroix seems to get along with Tessie and has nothing against her yet whenever it came time to execute the ritual she “selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands”(10). This means that even though we can assume the two are friends she still decides to participate in murdering Tessie because she can. These quotes show that if you’re allowed to do something you will, even if it's wrong through its use of characterization because the common towns people and her friends participate in the stoning without hesitation. If the author had not include characterization, the text would be different because we wouldn't know they type of people in this town or how they feel about killing their neighbors. For example, Jackson states, “they still remembered to use stones”(10). This shows that even though they forgot the parts of the ritual they still remembered to use stones, that they had to throw one by one resulting in a slow painful death. Jackson even goes as far to say “someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles”(10). This adds to the passage by pointing out the fact that even children are expected to participate. A child doesn’t know what they are doing, just what they are being told to do. In davy’s case he is helping harm his mother and unaware of it. This develops the central idea further showing that from a young age it's ingrained in their minds that murder is acceptable. Essentially, the previous examples of characterization contributes to the central idea that individuals will do whatever they want when society deems okay.