How are women portrayed in Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Apropos, perhaps, of the era in which Shirley Jackson wrote her short story “The Lottery,” women in this macabre tale are treated as decidedly inferior to men. Published in 1948, social customs of the time—and of the preceding two thousand years, give or take—were highly prejudicial towards the role of women in society. After all, it had been fewer than 30 years since passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteed women the right to vote in elections. Equality of opportunity remained a goal that would not be neared for many more decades and that in many ways has yet to be achieved. The role of the average woman in the United States during the late 1940s was defined as housekeeper. The man went off to work in the morning; the wife took care of the children, cleaned the house, prepared meals, and went shopping.

In the tiny provincial town in which “The Lottery” takes place—a population of “more than 300 and likely to keep growing”—it...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 938 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team