Having trouble on the last part of a test. I don't really understand what i'm supposed to be looking for? What do you think Jackson is driving at? Consider each of the following interpretations...

Having trouble on the last part of a test. I don't really understand what i'm supposed to be looking for?

What do you think Jackson is driving at? Consider each of the following interpretations and, looking at the story, see if you can find any evidence for it (Use page numbers and paragraph numbers for support):

a. Jackson takes a primitive fertility rite and playfully transfers it to a small town in North America.

b. Jackson, writing her story soon after World War II, indirectly expresses her horror at the Holocaust. She assumes that the massacre of the Jews was carried out by unwitting, obedient people, like these villagers.


c. Jackson is satirizing our own society, in which men are selected for the army by lottery.

d. Jackson is just writing a memorable story that signifies nothing at all.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question! You are to consider each of the possible reasons for Jackson having written this story and use the text to support that reason.  There are a few problems, though, with supporting each reason strictly from the text. For example, to establish that the point of the story is to show how the Holocaust happened requires you to have knowlege that is external to the story, i.e., that the story was written during or shortly after World War II and when World War II occurred. Given that external knowledge, there are sections in the story that would establish that motivation or point of the story.  Similarly, if Jackson was making a point about the draft, that requires evidence external to the story, that there was a draft, that statistically, one's chance of survival after being drafted was quite poor, and so on.  As far as the "ancient fertility rite" is concerned, you need to have some understanding of ancient fertility rites.  There is certainly a clue in the story in the little verse about the lottery and "corn be here soon." How you can find textual support for the idea that the story has no message seems quite tricky because you are being asked to establish something from a lack of evidence.  Good luck to you on this question.