the lottery The lottery was a very interesting movie and it took me some time to understand, but it's a brief view on how the world is ran today. In today society their is a lottery but is a secret...

the lottery

The lottery was a very interesting movie and it took me some time to understand, but it's a brief view on how the world is ran today. In today society their is a lottery but is a secret our lottery is issued through disease and war.

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would disagree with you also that disease and war equal a modern day lottery. While disease and the lottery from Jackson's story are random, the townspeople at least know that the lottery is coming each year and choose to participate (as mentioned in the previous post).  Unless you could logically argue that disease is completely controlled by mankind and all humans know when disease will strike their "village," the similarity between disease and the lottery is an illogical one. People do not choose to "participate in disease.

Likewise, war especially in the country which houses the war is involuntary and usually not random.  In both cases (disease and war), there is no one scapegoat who can bear the disease or war as Tess is forced to do in the story.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the overriding theme of Jackson's work lies in the tyranny of the majority and the targeting of individuals that exist in such a setting.  I am not certain this has much linking at all to disease, unless one is going to assume a conspiratorial front that suggests certain diseases have been "arranged" by institutional forces to target specific groups of people.  In terms of war, one can argue that same conspiratorial principle that certain wars are "engineered" to eliminate certain groups of people (the disenfranchised) who are the first to be sacrificed in a nation's armed conflict.  Yet, these would be real stretches of the ideas and I am not certain it would capture the true essence of Jackson's work.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I have not seen a movie version of "The Lottery," I wonder if your misapplied analogy is the result of your not having read the story.  I have heard students interpret the story in this way before, somehow thinking that the lottery, war, and disease are equivalent forms of population control.  But, as the previous posters point out, the lottery is entirely voluntary, and furthermore, each year the lottery culls one person from the population, hardly an adequate means of population control.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sounds like we're all saying the same thing here, and the common thread is, perhaps, the idea that you're basing your views about a short story on some director's dramatic interpretation of that story.  War and disease have no connection to Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," a story of mindless repetition of ancient rituals.  The story, the idea of a lottery, is a good jumping-off point for lots of other stories; however, what you describe is not an accurate depiction of the original. 

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't know if I agree with you.  The lottery in the story is a tradition that the community willingly participates in despite the younger community members speaking of towns who have ceased with the lottery.  Disease and war are rarely participated in willingly, and the resistance is absolutely more vocal.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I, too, do not understand your connection between disease and war with "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. War is usually the result of political agendas, and not everyone is affected the same way by war. Did  you read the story? In "The Lottery" everyone was equally at risk.