Explain why you think Jackson's story "The Lottery" "kicked up quite a fuss."

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When "The Lottery" was first published in 1948, it received a huge amount of criticism for its themes depicting violent mob mentality and humankind's capacity to harm each other. In fact, the New Yorker received a massive amount of angry letters after its initial publication in that magazine.

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When "The Lottery" was first published in 1948, it received a huge amount of criticism for its themes depicting violent mob mentality and humankind's capacity to harm each other. In fact, the New Yorker received a massive amount of angry letters after its initial publication in that magazine.

In some ways, this was the response that Shirley Jackson hoped for. She wanted to illustrate the consequences of groupthink and blind obedience to tradition by depicting an ancient rite in a modern setting. This struck a nerve with many readers. Many criticized it for its seemingly pessimistic message. People were shocked by its violent ending. Many called it hideous, grisly, and futile. This was not the feel-good story many readers had come to expect in the New Yorker.

Part of the fuss comes from what happens when an artist holds a mirror to society. Many readers were able to identify with the townspeople in the story. Since the characters in the story so nonchalantly commit an act of violence, these readers were left with the disturbing question as to whether or not they would take part in the same rite of murder. Naturally, these questions were disturbing to many.

Many of the readers were left bewildered by the story. They were unsure exactly what point Jackson was trying to make. Some accused Jackson and the New Yorker of being anti-capitalistic and un-American. Others found it simply traumatizing.

This is not to say that all its reception was critical. Many readers and critics lauded the story upon its publication. They felt that it unabashedly addressed important aspects of human behavior that needed to be examined in the years after the unprecedented violence of World War II.

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