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The Lottery Thesis Statement

the lottery thesis statement

A thesis statement is basically a sentence describing what the whole of your paper is going to be over. (It is usually found at the end of the first paragraph.)

So, for example, if you chose to support what The Lottery is talking about, you could use: “The Lottery is a good example for why we should question tradition.”

Example 1

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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 analysis 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 of “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. The 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 teach 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 a 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 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 event does not gander much attention. In paragraph thirty-one lines one through fourteen” Old Man Warner snorted. ‘Pack of crazy fools,’ he said. ‘Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back inside caves, nobody work anymore, live that way for a while.

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Used to be a say saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’s all be eating chicken weed and acorns.”’ In this passage, the reader finally understands that even though the world changed around the village, this ignorance prevents innocent villagers from living a full and rewarding life. Toward the end of the story in paragraph seventy-nine, lines one through three, the child of Mrs. Hutchinson handed rocks starts the reinforcement of the lottery. “’The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.”’ By handing the baby of the village a few pebbles to throw at Mrs. Hutchinson, the villagers start the idea at a young age. The major problem with this, Davy Hutchinson does not realize that mother will not tuck the child in bed tonight.

The major lesson, weaving throughout the story, teaches the reader “Tradition is the guide of the ignorant.” “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson taught several things. Just because the family always does a tradition, the members should not participate without asking the origin of the tradition. One of the most important things for a parent to realize in the story teaches the reader children learn by following the example the parent sets forth. Another lesson learned says that one must stand up and take punishment no matter how severe. If a person complains, someone may make the punishment worse. As Mrs. Delacroix picked up a stone so large the act took two hands, just to prolong the agony of Mrs. Hutchinson.

In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the author excellently expressed the central idea of the short story. The explanation of the central idea and the use of specific information from the story demonstrate how effectively this aspect of short story structure supports the overall idea. Six other criteria plot, character, setting, tone, language, and narrative viewpoint, explore all support aspects of the central idea in short story writing.

The short story presents a single plot structure and the main character that develops the central focus through these seven aspects. Analyzing the specific parts allows the reader to understand and appreciate the instructional value of the short story form of literature.


Example 2

The most devastating and skillful aspects of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” usually it regularly topples audience objectives by what should take place next to or even at all. At first, the reader is provided a story name that invokes, quite obviously, a sense of hope—the expectation that someone is going to win one thing. An initial couple of paragraphs further confirm the feeling of hope; it is a beautiful summertime day, the grass is green, the flowers are blooming, young ones from school are playing…but then we begin to see that something is amiss inside the land of perfection, lots, and hope.

Our company is then told by the narrator of “The Lottery” your official associated with lottery is performing a “civic” responsibility, which we arrive at find out is aiding into the choice of someone to be stoned by their peers, maybe even to death. Throughout the entire short tale, contrast is everywhere, also from the names of Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves. Because of this essay on “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, choose several instances that provide a contrast of audience expectations versus the grim truth and analyze them very carefully.


Example 3 – Lottery in June, Corn Be Heavy Soon

The ritual and traditions of the lottery in Shirley Jackson’s tale be seemingly in the same way old because of the city itself, especially since all of the residents don’t recall the old rituals, perhaps the Old Man Warner, who is “celebrating” his 77th lottery. This means they truly are archaic in some means and rooted in traditions of superstitions that seem to include crops and human being sacrifice.

Throughout the Salem Witch Trials in early America, very common complaints about assumed “witches” were which they had been accountable for bad harvests, therefore in many ways “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is seen as a metaphor the studies in colonial brand new England.


Example 4

A good thesis statement presents a claim (an interpretive stance on a story that can be defended using textual evidence) and is a position with which someone else could disagree. Concerning Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” you could certainly argue that the behavior of the villagers makes it clear that people have a difficult time letting go of traditions or accepting change.

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In order to defend this claim, you might discuss the fact that Mr. Summers, who runs the lotteries, has asked people about making a new box for use during the ceremony because the old one is so splintered, faded, and stained. However, the narrator says, “no one like to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.” People tend to cling to the things that they know, and these individuals know their lottery; why should they consider making changes if things have always run relatively smoothly for them?

Anyone who has ever been selected to die in the lottery might have quickly developed a problem with it, but those people are—obviously—all dead. When Old Man Warner hears that people in the north village have talked about ending the lottery, he calls them a “Pack of crazy fools” and declares that nothing is good enough for young people. A fear of becoming obsolete, of being left behind, then, is perhaps the reason people cling so tightly to what is familiar and have such a difficult time embracing change, however small or however unjust the familiar tradition is.

When constructing a thesis statement, my students often find it helpful to build the main points of the body paragraphs right into the wording. A thesis statement constructed this way might read:

A society that blindly accepts all societal traditions is dangerous, divisive, and demoralizing.

You now have three body paragraphs to build. In the first, you’ll be looking for examples of this being a dangerous society. Tessie Hutchinson dies for no other reason than random luck. She has committed no crime, but the blind acceptance of tradition is not questioned as people pick up their rocks for her stoning.

In the second body paragraph, you’ll look for examples of this society being divisive. In a desperate attempt to save herself, Tessie is willing to throw her own daughters under the bus to decrease her own chances of death by stoning.

Still, this divisive attempt to spare herself doesn’t open anyone’s eyes to the injustices of the situation. And in the third body paragraph, you will look for examples of how this society demoralizes people. Tessie is reduced to an insignificant entity, suddenly not deserving to live another day as she simply draws an unlucky piece of paper. Even children’s names can be drawn to die. The lack of societal values are horrific because people blindly accept nonsensical traditions.

A defendable thesis is crucial to a well-constructed paper. Be sure your points are textually significant and use a few quotes to further defend your position.A good thesis would clearly state would you believe to be the theme or meaning of the story. To be solid, a thesis statement must state an opinion that is both specific and defensible.

You might, for example, want to point out that the story makes an argument that clinging to outworn traditions can be destructive, but that it is difficult to change. In the story, the town continues to have an annual lottery to choose a human sacrifice, believing that stoning a person to death will ensure a good harvest.

But by the late 1940s, when the story was written, most people would have been well aware that human sacrifices don’t guarantee a bountiful harvest. However, the village as a whole is unwilling to relinquish a tradition that seems to be a part of who they are. They are uncomfortably aware of how barbaric the practise is, but they can’t seem to change.

You could write the following as a thesis:

Shirley Jackson shows in “The Lottery” that clinging to outmoded traditions is both destructive and difficult to change.

You would then collect quotes and details from the story that back up both claims. You want to be sure that your support is both sufficient and relevant. “Sufficient” means that you have enough evidence to convincingly support your claim, and “relevant” means that the quotes and facts you have chosen actually back up the claim you are making.

One thesis statement for “The Lottery” could be a declarative sentence about the atavistic propensity for violence that still lies in the nature of man, along with a blind adherence to tradition, an adherence that Emerson termed “the opium of custom.”

That there is yet a proclivity for violence in the boys is evinced in their exciting gathering of stones and placing of certain ones into their pockets in the exposition of the story. Bobby Jones, Harry Jones, and Dickie Delacroix make a massive pile of rocks and guard it against raiders so that they will have them available when they need more during the stoning. The fathers, who stand around quietly talking and joking, make no comment to the boys about their actions.

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When Tessie Hutchinson’s name is called, no one expresses any sympathy or tries to have her excused from the proceedings. Instead, the woman who has just finished a friendly conversation with Tessie, Mrs. Delacroix, now tells her to “be a good sport, Tessie.” Another woman, Mrs. Graves—the wife of the postmaster, who helps with the procedure—says unsympathetically, “All of us took the same chance. Even Tessie’s husband scolds her, “shut up.”

This complicit behaviour of the community with the proceedings of the lottery suggests that no one empathizes with Tessie, nor does anyone demonstrate sympathy for her plight and protest the violent death Tessie faces. Moreover, when the stoning begins, Mrs. Delacroix, who has been friendly with Tessie, has a stone “so large she had to pick it up with both hands.” She turns to another woman, saying, “Come on. . . . Hurry up,” apparently eager to inflict violence on her neighbour.


Example 5

A. Introduction and overview of the short stories, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell.

B. The short stories have two different story lines with different plots.

C. The short stories can be described as the lottery or gamble of life though a game.

D. Tessie Hutchinson, yells, “it is not fair” in the Lottery and gets killed by her own community. However, in the Most Dangerous Game the victim from the beginning ends up being the winner in the hunting game. E. Thesis statement- “The Lottery” and “The Most Dangerous Game” are both stories that are uniquely different by the tone and format; however, they both have conflicts that the ending results lead to death.


Example 6

A. “The Lottery,” leaves the reader guessing until the end, wondering what the lottery consists of.

B. Many readers, in the beginning, would assume that the lottery would be a good thing, even assume it a lottery of money. However, the lottery is the fate of life. The story setting took place in a town where the lottery takes place. There were multiple lotteries that occur though out the story.

C. The character in the story, Tessie Hutchinson becomes the lottery winner, but really, the she is a victim.

D. The conflict of the lottery shows the selfish attitude of the character, Tessie Hutchinson.


Interesting ideas

The term community is a form of irony in this short story by the characterization, the setting, and the ritual they performed. Well yes it could be a good statement, though the irony comes mostly from their ritual more than the other aspects. You might want to make that the front-runner of your thesis instead of putting it bluntly at the end.

In Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery”, the author creates a story filled with symbolism, irony, grim reality and a ritualized tradition that masks evil, which ultimately showcases how people blindly follow tradition.

We could change the odd word here and there but it’s a good synopsis.

In Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery”, the author creates a story filled with symbolism, irony, grim reality, and a ritualized tradition that masks evil, which ultimately DEMONSTRATES how people blindly follow tradition.

Following a crowd can have unfortunate results, they become a mob of unthinking members, they abandon their individuality, and they send Tessie to her bashing. If you could expand upon that, that’d be fantastic. Include how the writer does this and also a sort of “so what?” aspect to your thesis. Maybe you could talk more about the fickleness of the mob, or the desire for self-preservation.

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