Jackson's short story represents much in way offering statements about culture and the impact that it has on individuals. The depiction of culture is one that is both benign, yet possessing the capacity for unspeakable evil. The bucolic splendor of the village underlies the cruelty and savage treatment that is perpetrated on a single member of the community. It is the culture of the town that is brought into focus through the short story.
There is a uneasy alliance between "decency and evil." Literary criticism that focuses on cultural implications of the short story would have to start at this point in its analysis.